Silicon Valley’s “coach” dies

bill-campbellThe bloke who coached some of Silicon Valley’s brightest stars has died. Bill Campbell was 75 and lost his long battle with cancer.

Campbell advised tech leaders including Apple’s Steve Jobs and Amazon.com’s Jeff Bezos. He was chief executive of tax software maker Intuit Inc from 1994 to 1998 and again for a few months until January 2000. He retired in January this year as the company’s chairman, a post he had held since 1998.

Campbell was an Eastman Kodak executive in Europe when he was recruited to Silicon Valley in 1983 by Apple’s chief executive at the time, John Sculley. Sculley named him vice president of marketing.  Campbell later played a significant role in Apple’s spectacular turnaround when Steve Jobs, who had been fired by Mr. Sculley, returned to the company in 1997. Apple went on to revamp its Mac computer line and introduce the iPod, iPhone and iPad.

He has served on a number of boards, including Apple’s for 17 years – he stepped down in 2014.

Eric Schmidt, executive chairman of Alphabet said in a post that Campbell helped build Google and in countless ways made its success possible.

Campbell was bought to Google as an informal adviser to the two founders, Page and Sergey Brin. Campbell was instrumental in the hiring of Eric Schmidt to be Google’s chief executive in August 2001.

“His contribution to the success of Google and now Alphabet is incalculable,” Schmidt said.

Former Twitter CEO Dick Costolo tweeted that the news was horrible. “He called me on my last day at Twitter & had both the funniest & most insightful comments.”