Steve Jobs: World leaders and CEOs pay tribute

Barack Obama says 'the world has lost a visionary'...
Written by Nick Heath, Contributor

Barack Obama says 'the world has lost a visionary'...

Steve Jobs, Apple

Steve Jobs: Brave enough to think differently, bold enough to believe he could change the world, and talented enough to do itPhoto: CNET Asia

World leaders and CEOs have paid tribute to Apple co-founder Steve Jobs, who has died at the age of 56.

Jobs is credited with transforming Apple, the company he co-founded with Steve Wozniak in 1976, into one of the biggest consumer brands in the world. Outside of Apple, Jobs was a driving force in helping Pixar, the animation house he owned from 1986 to 2006, become the Oscar-winning studio it is today.

Tributes have been pouring in, praising Jobs' singular vision for helping to revolutionise the world of computing and for opening the world's eyes to the transformative power of technology.

Barack Obama, president of the United States

Michelle and I are saddened to learn of the passing of Steve Jobs. 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.

By building one of the planet's most successful companies from his garage, he exemplified the spirit of American ingenuity. By making computers personal and putting the internet in our pockets, he made the information revolution not only accessible, but intuitive and fun. And by turning his talents to storytelling, he has brought joy to millions of children and grown-ups alike. Steve was fond of saying that he lived every day like it was his last. Because he did, he transformed our lives, redefined entire industries, and achieved one of the rarest feats in human history: he changed the way each of us sees the world.

The world has lost a visionary. And there may be no greater tribute to Steve's success than the fact that much of the world learned of his passing on a device he invented. Michelle and I send our thoughts and prayers to Steve's wife Laurene, his family, and all those who loved him.

Separately, the president said through his twitter account, "Rest in peace, Steve Jobs. From all of us at #Obama2012, thank you for the work you make possible every day - including ours"

Bill Gates, chairman of Microsoft and co-chair of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation

I'm truly saddened to learn of Steve Jobs' death. Melinda and I extend our sincere condolences to his family and friends, and to everyone Steve has touched through his work.

Steve and I first met nearly 30 years ago, and have been colleagues, competitors and friends over the course of more than half our lives.

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.

For those of us lucky enough to get to work with him, it's been an insanely great honour. I will miss Steve immensely.

Larry Page, CEO of Google

I am very, very sad to hear the news about Steve. He was a great man with incredible achievements and amazing brilliance.

He always seemed to be able to say in very few words what you actually should have been thinking before you thought it. His focus on the user experience above all else has always been an inspiration to me.

He was very kind to reach out to me as I became CEO of Google and spent time offering his advice and knowledge even though he was not at all well. My thoughts and Google's are with his family and the whole Apple family.

Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Facebook

Steve, thank you for being a mentor and a friend. Thanks for showing that what you build can change the world. I will miss you.

Steven Spielberg, director

Steve Jobs was the greatest inventor since Thomas Edison. He put the world at our fingertips.

John Lasseter, chief creative officer at Pixar, and Ed Catmull, president of Pixar Animation Studios

Steve Jobs was an extraordinary visionary, our very dear friend and the guiding light of the Pixar family. He saw the potential of what Pixar could be before the rest of us, and beyond what anyone ever imagined. Steve took a chance on us and believed in our...

...crazy dream of making computer-animated films; the one thing he always said was to simply 'make it great'. He is why Pixar turned out the way we did and his strength, integrity and love of life has made us all better people. He will forever be a part of Pixar's DNA. Our hearts go out to his wife Laurene and their children during this incredibly difficult time.

Stephen Fry, actor, writer and Apple fan

Woke to the news of Steve Jobs' death. He changed the world. I knew him a little and admired him entirely. Love to Apple and his family.

Steve Jobs vigil

iPads and iPods offer a simple goodbye to the man who left his mark on our culture in so many waysPhoto: James Martin/CNET

Statement from Apple

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.

Richard Holway, chairman of analysts TechMarketView

The news today is dominated by the death of Steve Jobs. Of course, we have all had a long, long time to get prepared for this news. It was, unfortunately, inevitable. But it has still hit me hard.

Since 1983, when I first got my hands on a Lisa, Apple has been a crucial part of my personal, my family and my business life. My daughter overcame her dyslexia because of the Mac. Richard Holway Ltd, formed in 1985, used Apple from the very start. iPods, iPhones and iPads litter my house. And my grandson is a great fan of everything that comes out of Pixar.

The affection I have for all of these things is huge. I think my very first iPod Touch is still the most beautiful object I own. There is no other 'make' of goods for which I have any similar level of affection.

I've likened Jobs to my other hero - Isambard Kingdom Brunel. Both achieved greatness across many different things - bridges, railways, tunnels, buildings, ships in the case of Brunel. Both were passionate workaholics. Both were sticklers for detail. Both died young. Both had, or in the case of Jobs will have, huge effects on our lives for many years, decades, centuries after their death.

I could say 'the world is poorer for his death'. But, much more appropriate, is that we are all the richer in our lives for what Steve Jobs brought us. Thank you Steve. We will never forget you.

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