NZ partners pay tribute to Apple chairman

Apple's board of directors has announced that Steve Jobs has died

Apple's New Zealand partners have paid tribute to Apple founder Steve Jobs, who has died.

Apple's board of directors announced that Jobs has passed away and issued the following statement today "We are deeply saddened to announce that Steve Jobs passed away today. Steve's brilliance, passion and energy were the source of countless innovations that enrich and improve all of our lives. The world is immeasurably better because of Steve."

Jobs has previously been called by Andy Grove, the former chairman and CEO of Intel, the most inspirational leader in Silicon Valley.

Today Apple's New Zealand partners also paid tribute.

Renaissance CEO Richard Webb says it is a sad day. "He was an extraordinary contributor to an amazingly dynamic industry. We will miss him. I have a great respect for his innovative capacity."

Kelly Eyerman, senior business development manager at Ingram Micro responsible for the Apple division also says: "It is a sad day for the IT industry."

Vodafone New Zealand has emailed the following statement: "Vodafone New Zealand is deeply saddened to hear of the passing of Steve Jobs. His vision for Apple transformed computing world, the way we buy and listen to music and more recently the smartphone industry, overnight. Our thoughts go out to his family, friends and colleagues at Apple."

An obituary by Computerworld US reporter Agam Shah notes Jobs had been struggling with his health for several years after being diagnosed with a rare form of pancreatic cancer in 2004.

Early this year he took another, indefinite leave of absence to "focus on my health," as he put it, and on 24 August he announced his resignation as CEO, with chief operating officer Tim Cook taking over and Jobs elected board chairman, a position he held until his death.

Both Webb and Eyerman say that Apple's senior executive team has the company in good hands.