"Coach" Bill Campbell, an executive at Apple andIntuit who mentored the likes of Steve Jobs, Google co-founder Larry Page and Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, died Monday morning of cancer after a long illness, according to venture-capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, which spoke on behalf of the Campbell family. He was 75.
Campbell was not a household name in thePantheon of high-tech execs but his leadership skills left an indelible impact on two generations, from Apple and Amazon to Google, Intuit and scores of start-ups.
"Silicon Valley lost a giant," KPCB general partner John Doerr said in a tweet today.
"A very sad day. My deepest condolences to his family. Bill was instrumental as a mentor — for me, for Google, for all Valley entrepreneurs," Alphabet Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt said in another tweet today.
BEHIND THE SCENES
Despite his low profile, Campbell was a behind-the-scenes power broker at Apple, where he was most closely identified. He joined the company in 1983 when then-CEO John Sculley recruited him to head marketing and served on Apple’s board for 17 years until he stepped down in 2014.
"Bill Campbell was a coach and mentor to many of us at Apple, and a member of our family for decades as an executive, advisor and ultimately a member of our board," Apple said in a statement.
In an interview with Fortune in 2008, Jobs said Campbell "loves people, and he loves growing people."
Campbell, who earned his moniker as a football coach at Columbia University (1974-9), where he earned undergradute and graduate degrees, often used sports analogies on teamwork to drive home his business philosophy. The Homestead, Pa., native was also a long-time Intuit board member and CEO of Apple software spin-off Claris.
The gregarious Campbell shared his management and sports insights during an annual holiday segment on local sports-talk radio station KNBR-AM in San Francisco.
Campbell helped raise millions for school districts in his native Pennsylvania, including $8.7 million to create a foundation for academic and structural improvements.
Those who worked for and with Campbell described a generous, father-like figure.
"Profoundly sad to hear Bill Campbell has died. Feel lucky to have been coached by him. We shared a love for Butte, Montana & fly fishing," Dave Morin, CEO of social network Path and a former Facebook executive, said in a tweet.
Added former Twitter CEO Dick Costolo in a tweet: "Called me on my last day at Twitter & had both the funniest & most insightful comments."
Campbell is the second seminal figure in Silicon Valley to pass away in recent weeks.
Last month, former Intel CEO Andy Grove, 79, died. The Hungarian-born Grove helped spur the semiconductor revolution while building Intel into a worldwide technology powerhouse.
You can’t go past a news paper, radio show or television news story these days without being flooded by all things Bitcoin or Crypto Currency. Some say it’s the new world of money while others suggest its all just a passing fad. Whatever your position or preference of...
This week I announced a suite of measures for the Government to consider when it comes to small and medium sized business and what we can all be doing as we start to look at emerging from the COVID19 lockdown. The reality is that a good number of small business owners,...
As someone who has been working in suicide prevention for some years now i know that often having a simple conversation can make all of the difference when a loved one is doing it tough. COVID 19 and the lock down tends to amplify how we feel when we are isolation or a...
We know that mob out there are uncertain as to what the COVID-19 / Corona Virus means for them – this can cause us all to panic and some in community more so that others. Panic attacks can compound the situation so we gather some information about what you can do now t...
Don’t forget our elders can suffer in silence too: suicide prevention
Many people think that mental health and suicide are not topics that impact our elders but they could not be more wrong. The data tells us there continues to be an emerging trend when it comes to peop...