On the 4th anniversary of Steve Jobs’ death, Tim Cook sends moving email to Apple staff

Steve Jobs
Wikipedia
In life, Steve Jobs was lauded as a brilliant innovator who revolutionized the intersection of technology and design. In memoriam, however, the man responsible for establishing the iEmpire has often been portrayed as something less than ideal, and recent films and biographies have highlighted of the less flattering traits of the Apple pioneer.

So now, the heir to the Apple kingdom, Tim Cook, whose public persona has in many ways become the antithesis of Jobs’, has written a heartfelt email to his employees, celebrating the life of the man who, for better or for worse, is responsible for much of what our technological landscape looks like today.

The lengthy email, in which Jobs is described as a “brilliant person” and a “dear friend,” urges current employees to “ask what he was really like,” no doubt a direct reference to the more critical portraits painted by various media outlets as of late. “Steve was a brilliant person, and his priorities were very simple,” Cook wrote. “He loved his family above all, he loved Apple, and he loved the people with whom he worked so closely and achieved so much.”

Jobs’ own history with Apple was storied and certainly not without strife. Despite co-founding the company with Steve Wozniak and Ronald Wayne in 1976, he was effectively stripped of his influence within the firm in 1985, and took a lengthy hiatus before returning as Apple’s CEO in 1997. In the decade that followed, Apple established itself as the industry standard in desktop and mobile computing, as well as in design. Under Jobs’ leadership, some of Apple’s most valued and storied products were introduced, including the iMac, iPod, iPhone, and iPad.

Highlighting his numerous achievements, Cook wrote that Jobs’ vision for Apple included producing “The greatest products on earth, beloved by customers and empowering hundreds of millions of people around the world. Soaring achievements in technology and architecture. Experiences of surprise and delight. A company that only he could have built. A company with an intense determination to change the world for the better.”

Read Cook’s full email below:

Team,

Today marks four years since Steve passed away. On that day, the world lost a visionary. We at Apple lost a leader, a mentor, and many of us lost a dear friend.

Steve was a brilliant person, and his priorities were very simple. He loved his family above all, he loved Apple, and he loved the people with whom he worked so closely and achieved so much.

Each year since his passing, I have reminded everyone in the Apple community that we share the privilege and responsibility of continuing the work Steve loved so much. 

What is his legacy? I see it all around us: An incredible team that embodies his spirit of innovation and creativity. The greatest products on earth, beloved by customers and empowering hundreds of millions of people around the world. Soaring achievements in technology and architecture. Experiences of surprise and delight. A company that only he could have built. A company with an intense determination to change the world for the better. 

And, of course, the joy he brought his loved ones. 

He told me several times in his final years that he hoped to live long enough to see some of the milestones in his children’s lives. I was in his office over the summer with Laurene and their youngest daughter. Messages and drawings from his kids to their father are still there on Steve’s whiteboard. 

If you never knew Steve, you probably work with someone who did or who was here when he led Apple. Please stop one of us today and ask what he was really like. Several of us have posted our personal remembrances on AppleWeb, and I encourage you to read them. 

Thank you for honoring Steve by continuing the work he started, and for remembering both who he was and what he stood for.

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