Steven Paul “Steve” Jobs (February 24, 1955 – October 5, 2011) was an American inventor and entrepreneur. He was co-founder, chairman, and chief executive officer of Apple Inc. Jobs also previously served as chief executive of Pixar Animation Studios; he became a member of the board of directors of the Walt Disney Company in 2006, following the acquisition of Pixar by Disney.
In the late 1970s, Jobs—along with Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak, Mike Markkula and others—designed, developed, and marketed one of the first commercially successful lines of personal computers, the Apple II series. In the early 1980s, Jobs was among the first to see the commercial potential of Xerox PARC’s mouse-driven graphical user interface, which led to the creation of the Macintosh. After losing a power struggle with the board of directors in 1985, Jobs got fired from Apple and founded NeXT, a computer platform development company specializing in the higher-education and business markets. Apple’s subsequent 1996 buyout of NeXT brought Jobs back to the company he co-founded, and he served as its interim CEO from 1997, then becoming permanent CEO from 2000 onwards. After resigning as CEO in August 2011, Jobs was elected chairman of Apple’s board of directors and held that title until his death.
In 1986, he acquired the computer graphics division of Lucasfilm Ltd, which was spun off as Pixar Animation Studios. He was credited in Toy Story (1995) as an executive producer. He remained CEO and majority shareholder at 50.1 percent until its acquisition by The Walt Disney Company in 2006. Consequently Jobs became Disney’s largest individual shareholder at 7 percent and a member of Disney’s Board of Directors.
On October 5, 2011, Jobs died in California at age 56, seven years after being diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. On his death he was widely described as a visionary, pioneer and genius—perhaps one of the foremost—in the field of business, innovation, and product design, and a man who had profoundly changed the face of the modern world, revolutionized at least six different industries, and who was an “exemplar for all chief executives”. His death was widely mourned and considered a loss to the world by commentators across the globe.