Steve Jobs, who had undergone a liver transplant after suffering from pancreatic cancer and opted out of the CEO position in August this year, may remain as the company’s unforgotten icon. The news of his ill-health first surfaced in January when the 56-year-old honcho abruptly went on medical leave.
His sporadic appearances, including a meeting with President Barack Obama or a brief exit caught on camera outside a hospital, left little doubt about his eventual come-back to the center-stage at the company.
But the expectations proved futile with the death of the tech-savy saviour of the industry on Wednesday.
Born to a Syrian graduate student Abdulfattah Jandali and his American classmate Joanne Simpson, Steve was adopted by Jobs and lived in California. He took up several odd jobs before visiting India in the mid-1970s with a Reed College friend, Daniel Kottke, who became the first Apple employee.
It was in India that he was exposed to multi-culturalism which influenced his entrepreneurial thinking that shaped Apple’s future. He turned a Buddhist with his head shaved, wore traditional Indian clothing and of course, experimented with psychedelics. But when it comes to business, he had never let his feelings oblique the reality. In fact, Apple was reluctant to enter the Indian market known for its delays in giving licenses.
Since he was born to parents of different cultural traits and lived with multi-cultural people including frequent visits to the famous Hare Krishna temple in Cupertino, his personality developed beyond the traditional mindset and he often welcomed new ideas and remained optiistic till the end of his life.
When he returned to the US, he co-founded Apple with Steve Wozniak, and started the popular series of Macintosh computers in the 1980s. But he left the company in 1985 over differences with colleagues but had to return to save the near-bankrupt company in 1997.
He revived the company first by launching iMac brand of colour computers and later the iPod in 2002 that changed the outlook of music devices.
Finally, the turnaround in the company’s status came with the iPhone, which set a new dimension to the concept of smartphones. Later, the iPad too proved hugely popular despite initial skepticism. Apple lovers are sure to miss him every time a new product is released by the company.
And India will miss one of its silent admirers forever.