Apple Inc. co-founder Steve Jobs dies aged 56

The co-founder and former chief executive officer of Apple Inc. Steve Jobs has died yesterday at the age of 56, according to the company website.

On August 24, Jobs resigned from his post as CEO. He has been fighting pancreatic cancer since 2004.

Steve Jobs

Jobs, born in San Francisco on February 24, 1955, has built the most valuable technology company in the world, with a market value of $348.8 billion. He started Apple in 1976, and in 1984 the first Macintosh personal computer was released to the public. One year later he was fired from the company and he founded NeXT. In 1986 he bought Pixar which was acquired by The Walt Disney Company in 2005. In 1996, following Apple Computer’s purchase of NeXT, Jobs returned to Apple and soon after reassumed the role of CEO. In 1998 Apple introduced the iMac personal computer, in 2001 the iPod music player and the following year the Mac OS X operating system was released. 2007 was the year of the iPhone smartphone, then the iPad tablet computer in 2010.

A statement on Apple’s website, the homepage of which currently displays a black and white photograph and the text “Steve Jobs 1955-2011”, states: “Apple has lost a visionary and creative genius, and the world has lost an amazing human being. Those of us who have been fortunate enough to know and work with Steve have lost a dear friend and an inspiring mentor. Steve leaves behind a company that only he could have built, and his spirit will forever be the foundation of Apple.”

United States President Barack Obama said “Steve was among the greatest of American innovators — brave enough to think differently, bold enough to believe he could change the world, and talented enough to do it”.

Former Microsoft CEO Bill Gates responded to Jobs’ death with a statement on his blog: “The world rarely sees someone who has had the profound impact Steve has had, the effects of which will be felt for many generations to come. … I will miss Steve immensely.” The current Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer also expressed condolences for Jobs and described him as “one of the founders of our industry and a true visionary”.

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Apple executive Steve Jobs resigns

Steve Jobs, founder of Apple, has chosen to step down from his post as CEO of the company. The former Chief Operating Officer, Tim Cook will be succeeding Jobs as CEO. Jobs resigned in a letter to Apple’s board of directors stating, “I have always said if there ever came a day when I could no longer meet my duties and expectations as Apple’s C.E.O., I would be the first to let you know. Unfortunately, that day has come.” In that same letter, Jobs stated that his desire was to remain as chairman of the board.

Steve Jobs

Steve Jobs has been fighting pancreatic cancer since 2004 and has been on medical leave since January of this year. This was Jobs’ third period of medical leave. He briefly made an appearance in March and June to unveil the iPad 2 and the iCloud, an online cloud computing service. In part of his resignation, Jobs left this farewell, “I have made some of the best friends of my life at Apple, and I thank you all for the many years of being able to work alongside you.”

Tim Cook was personally recommended by Jobs to take over as CEO and has been serving as interim CEO since the beginning of Jobs’ medical leave. Before his post at Apple, Cook held positions at IBM and Compaq. He is known for staying out of the spotlight. Due to an operational overhaul by Cook, he is credited with the success of the iPad and MacBook Air. He also stood in Steve Jobs’ place while the CEO underwent liver transplant surgery. He received $59 million for his performance in the position.

Analyst Charles Golvin predicts that the resignation will not begin to affect Apple performance for 1.5 to 2 years. Many of the new products are already under development and Jobs will continue to steer the company from his position as chairman of the board. Art Levinson, chairman of Genentech and a member of the board, adds, “Steve will continue to serve Apple with his unique insights, creativity and inspiration”. A contrary view is offered by Charles O’Reilly, a management expert at Stanford University, who stated, “Great companies rarely go from strength to strength”. Richard Doherty attributes Steve Jobs’ success as the ability to hold off on a product until it is perfect. He states “A lot of products could have gotten to market earlier, but he wanted it better.”

In light of the revelation, Apple shares (AAPL) slid $19.37 in after hours trading—a drop of over 5%. Since market open, Apple shares rose to $373.72, a drop of only $2.46 since Wednesday’s close.

Boeing rolls out first 787 Dreamliner to go into service

Three years after it was first due for delivery, Boeing has rolled out the first 787 Dreamliner that is to be delivered to a customer. Japan’s All Nippon Airways (ANA) were to take delivery in May 2008, but will now receive the aircraft next month.

The plane promises increased fuel efficiency as it is the first model to be built out of plastic and carbon composites, more lightweight than conventional materials. Boeing says they have 800 orders at $200 million per aircraft. Launch customer ANA have ordered 55.

The first flight of a B787, back in December 2009

Delayed by Boeing’s outsourcing system to a variety of subcontractors, two models have been developed. The 787-8 holds between 210 and 250 passengers; the 787-9 holds 250 to 290. Airlines choose the seating layout they want.

After the 787, already bearing ANA’s livery, arrives in Tokyo next month, the airline will use its first commercial flight for a special charter from Tokyo to Hong Kong. “We plan to use the 787 to expand our business, particularly our international routes,” says ANA senior vice president Mitsuo Morimoto. “We plan to increase our revenue from international route significantly and the 787 will play an instrumental role in this,” he adds, noting flights to Europe or the US are possibles for 787s.

“We are rolling out the first delivery airplane, the first 787,” enthused Scott Fancher, 787 project manager and Boeing vice president. “That’s an amazing thing for those who have worked on the program five, six, seven years, here at Boeing and our partners around the world.”

Boeing says they must increase the tempo of production from two a month to ten, if they are to meet customer demand. “It’s an extraordinary challenge, no one has ever built a wide body aircraft at the rate of 10 per month before,” claims Flight International writer John Ostrower.

Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim remains the world’s richest man

According to Forbes’ annual World’s Billionaire list released yesterday, Mexican tycoon Carlos Slim is the world’s richest person for the second year in a row, with a net worth of US$74 billion. American Bill Gates, co-founder of Microsoft Corp is again listed in second place with US$56 billion while investor Warren Buffett of Berkshire Hathaway is third.

Carlos Slim, the world's richest man

China added the most new billionaires to the list with 54 while Russia added 31. The US came in third, with 23 new billionaires; American Mark Zuckerberg, chairman of Facebook, more than tripled his net worth to US$13.5 billion, placing him in Forbes’ 52nd spot.

Although the US is home to 413 billionaires, more than any other country, the changing distribution of global finances is evident. Today, due to the increasing wealth of emerging nations, just one in every three billionaires is American, a decline from ten years ago when Americans numbered one in every two. Brazil, Russia, India and China together accounted for more than 108 new billionaires. Last year, New York was home to more billionaires than any other city in the world, while this year Moscow is home to 79, which beats New York’s current number of 58.

Forbes lists a world total of 1,210 billionaires whose combined wealth is US$4.5 trillion, an increase from last year’s total of US$3.6 trillion.

‘Gates, Jobs among 5 most influential geeks’

Microsoft founder Bill Gates, and Apple Inc’s iconic CEO Steve Jobs seems to have become the rulers of the tech-world with featuring among five of the most influential ‘geeks’ on earth, says a magazine, ExecDigital.

Steve Jobs and Bill gates.

The credit of changing our lives and the entire world with the latest technologies also goes to the software major Oracle Corp CEO Larry Ellison, Larry Page, co-founder of internet search titan Google and telecom czar Carlos Slim Helu, the report added.

Cheering the technocrats, the magazine noted, “Their technology drives our lives and our businesses. These super execs have changed the world and continue to do so.”

Gates, who is among the richest man in the world with a net worth of USD 53 billion, founded Microsoft in 1975, which has become an integral part of almost every home today.

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