SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - Apple is allowing the general public to get a look at a heartfelt and star-studded memorial service it held for employees to celebrate the life of Steve Jobs at its Cupertino headquarters last week.
Apple Inc. posted a link on its website late Sunday to a video of the service, which was held on Wednesday morning in an outdoor amphitheater in the center of the company’s campus. The ceremony was intensely private. It was closed to the public and media handlers shooed reporters away from Apple’s buildings at the time.
In a way, the video may serve that purpose. It runs 81 minutes and gives a rare glimpse of a company in mourning, showing several executives and board members reminiscing about their time with Jobs and speaking about the indelible mark he left on the technology world.
Jobs returned as interim CEO in 1997 after Apple, then in financial dire straits, purchased a computer company he created called Next. He led the company through a remarkable upswing that included the launch of such popular products as the iPhone, iPad and iPod.
He battled pancreatic cancer in 2004 and underwent a liver transplant in 2009 after taking a leave of absence for unspecified health problems. He took another leave of absence in January _ his third since his health problems began _ and resigned in August, handing the CEO job over to his hand-picked successor, Cook. His death came a day after Apple Inc. announced its latest iPhone, the 4S.
In the service honoring his life, CEO Tim Cook kicks things off, addressing an overflowing crowd of hundreds of Apple employees both on the ground and peering off balconies of surrounding buildings. Also in the audience was Jobs‘ wife, Laurene Powell Jobs, wearing a black shirt and dark sunglasses.
Apple closed all of its retail stores for the service so its many employees at those locations could view the memorial live via a webcast as well.
Banners flanking buildings surrounding the amphitheater show images of Jobs, including one with a famous shot of the then young tech executive cradling the first Macintosh computer.
In his remarks, Cook said the past two weeks had been the saddest of his life.
Jobs saw how The Walt Disney Co. became “paralyzed” after founder Walt Disney’s death, with so many people spending time thinking about what Disney would want. “And he did not want this to occur at Apple,” Cook said.