The service was held last week at the company’s Cupertino headquarters and featured tributes from Apple executives and musical performances by Norah Jones and Coldplay. In addition to employees at Apple’s headquarters, the memorial was also broadcast Wednesday to other company employees; Apple stores around the world shut down temporarily on Wednesday so that employees there could watch the event.
“Steve made our world a better place and left his fingerprints all over society, all over the world,” Apple CEO Tim Cook told the employees attending the memorial. “He also leaves behind a company that only he could have built and a spirit that will be the foundation of this company forever.’
Cook, who called the two weeks since Jobs’s death at age 56 “the saddest of my life by far,” characterized the event as a celebration of Jobs’s life and his accomplishments. Jobs passed away on October 5 after a lengthy battle with pancreatic cancer.
“Steve would have wanted this cloud to lift from Apple and our focus to return to the work he loved so much,” said Cook, who devoted his remarks not only to celebrating Jobs’s personal and professional accomplishments but also to some personal reminisces of Apple’s co-founder.
To that end, Cook told employees that Jobs’s final advice was that Apple employees was not fixate on what he would do but rather “just do what’s right.”
In addition to Cook, Apple board members Bill Campbell and Al Gore spoke at the memorial, as did Apple senior vice president of industrial design Jonathan Ive.
“Steve used to say to me, and he used to say this to me a lot, ‘Hey Jonny, here’s a dopey idea.’ And sometimes they were,” Ive recalled of a man he called his “closest and most loyal friend.” “Sometimes they were truly dreadful. But sometimes they took the air from the room, and they left us both completely silent. Bold, crazy, magnificent ideas or quiet simple ones, which in their subtly, their detail, they were utterly profound.”
For the past two weeks, Ive said, “I’ve think we’ve all been struggling for ways to say goodbye. This morning I simply want to say, ‘Thank you, Steve. Thank you for your vision… that has inspired and united this incredible group of people.”
Apple posted the 81-minute video of the memorial event the day before a biography of Steve Jobs was set to hit retail shelves. The book—Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson—is the first biography of Jobs to be written with the cooperation of Apple’s co-founder. As Isaacson appeared on the 60 Minutes news program Sunday night to talk about the book, Apple observers took to Twitter to report that pre-orders of biography were being delivered to both Amazon’s Kindle and Apple’s iBooks app.
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