Longtime Apple advisor, board member Bill Campbell dies at 75

Posted:
in General Discussion edited April 2016
Bill Campbell, a legendary figure in Silicon Valley and a major part of Apple's history, has succumbed to cancer and passed away on Monday at the age of 75.




Campbell first joined Apple in 1983 as vice president of marketing. He left the company for a number of years -- during which he built Intuit into a global financial force -- until joining the board of directors following Steve Jobs's return in 1997.

Serving until 2014, Campbell was the longest-tenured director in Apple's history. He was replaced in July of that year with BlackRock partner Susan Wagner.

Campbell's death was first noted by Re/code.

Campbell was known as "the coach," as much for his position as an advisor to modern-day Silicon Valley luminaries as for the fact that he coached the Columbia University football team -- his alma mater -- in the mid-1970s. He had a particularly close relationship with Jobs until the Apple co-founder's own death in 2011.

"I watched him emerge as a CEO in real time," Campbell said of his time with Jobs. "I had a continuum with him. I watched him when he was general manager of the Mac division and when he went off and started NeXT. I watched Steve go from being a creative entrepreneur to a guy who had to run a business."

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 16
    Apple lost one more great person .....RIP  :(
  • Reply 2 of 16
    emoelleremoeller Posts: 431member
    I never could figure out why this Apple Board member and founder of Intuit wouldn't allow his software to be compatible with Apple products.  
    lkruppcincyteeuraharamacky the macky
  • Reply 3 of 16
    sevenfeetsevenfeet Posts: 394member
    I had the good fortune to meet Coach Campbell back in December 1985 when I was in college.  I was on the Yale basketball team and we were playing at Stanford for a Christmas basketball tournament which Apple sponsored.  Apple threw a party on the Cupertino campus for the teams which featured many Apple executives including Bill Campbell, who was Apple's national sales director at the time.  Steve Jobs had been ousted by that time and Apple hadn't been doing well in 1985 since the Mac 512K hadn't sold well (that would change in 1986 when the Mac Plus was introduced).  But Coach Campbell was very gracious and engaging to our group and I never forgot the meeting ( I still have his old business card).  We had a lot of fun joking about his coaching stint at Columbia which was terrible....he once held the dubious record of having the longest losing streak in Division I football at four years.  His career change to the top echelons of business was extraordinary.  And I would later join Apple as my first job out of college in 1988.

    Bill Campbell would eventually depart Apple to run Intuit and then be its Chairman for decades.  When Steve Jobs came back to Apple, so did Bill Campbell on Apple's board as one of Steve Jobs most trusted advisors, friend and mentor.  And many of the decisions that guided Apple through the post 1997 Apple era had his fingerprints on them.

    Rest in peace, Coach.
    edited April 2016 propodpacificfilmfotoformatradarthekaticoco3pscooter63
  • Reply 4 of 16
    loquiturloquitur Posts: 112member
    emoeller said:
    I never could figure out why this Apple Board member and founder of Intuit wouldn't allow his software to be compatible with Apple products.  
    By this, you surely don't mean Turbotax, which many have used for years on a Mac, especially on days like today.
  • Reply 5 of 16
    Bill Campbell == Class
  • Reply 6 of 16
    Bill on Steve at his memorial https://youtu.be/zidIBvkkzSs?t=13m50s
    He was a great coach :(
  • Reply 7 of 16
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 6,819member
    emoeller said:
    I never could figure out why this Apple Board member and founder of Intuit wouldn't allow his software to be compatible with Apple products.  
    As I recall Steve Jobs had to personally lobby Campbell when Intuit announced it was halting development of Quicken and Quickbooks for the Mac. Even though Intuit relented the versions of Quicken for the Mac to this very day aren't feature equivalent to the Windows version. I'm hoping the new owners of Quicken follow through on their pledge to actively support and develop the Mac version to be more feature rich and like the Windows version.
  • Reply 8 of 16
    mknelsonmknelson Posts: 312member
    Intuit, Sage - they seem to be going cloud based for many users. Cross compatible and they get ensured subscription revenue.
  • Reply 9 of 16
    emoelleremoeller Posts: 431member
    loquitur said:
    emoeller said:
    I never could figure out why this Apple Board member and founder of Intuit wouldn't allow his software to be compatible with Apple products.  
    By this, you surely don't mean Turbotax, which many have used for years on a Mac, especially on days like today.
    Correct, Turbotax was multi-platform from its inception, however Quicken and Quick Books (especially), which were the hallmark programs for Intuit were not.   As I recall Steve Jobs had to personally persuade Bill to even offer a version for Mac (and even then it looks year to come to market).   But it was crippled for years (and may still be, I found alternatives for my Mac).

    That said, Bill was an amazing individual who contributed greatly to Apple and to the technology industry overall.  His passing is a loss for us all.
    anantksundarammonstrosity
  • Reply 10 of 16
    volcanvolcan Posts: 1,772member
    emoeller said:
    I never could figure out why this Apple Board member and founder of Intuit wouldn't allow his software to be compatible with Apple products.  
    Probably because the Mac is not often found in the accounting department so most accountants are Windows people. For the small market share that Mac represents in that kind of software, it was likely just a matter of it not being worth the development costs. Has nothing to do with him being on the Apple board of directors. Even though they now do offer Quickbooks for Mac, in terms of revenue, it probably doesn't break even. As someone else noted, lately they are promoting Quickbooks online rather than desktop versions.
  • Reply 11 of 16
    volcan said:
    emoeller said:
    I never could figure out why this Apple Board member and founder of Intuit wouldn't allow his software to be compatible with Apple products.  
    Probably because the Mac is not often found in the accounting department so most accountants are Windows people. For the small market share that Mac represents in that kind of software, it was likely just a matter of it not being worth the development costs. Has nothing to do with him being on the Apple board of directors. Even though they now do offer Quickbooks for Mac, in terms of revenue, it probably doesn't break even. As someone else noted, lately they are promoting Quickbooks online rather than desktop versions.
    As he was decent CEO he most likely looked at the potential market for Mac users of Quickbooks and weighed that against the actual cost of supporting a mac version and decided it would be a loss. Or at least a loss for years until the marketshare changed which is a good enough reason not to commit to the effort. If you were producing mac software in the mid '90s, you weren't exactly enjoying market growth. Unlike Design and Graphics Software or MS Office, not everyone that owned a mac was potentially in the market for accounting software. Even if the argument could be made that the availability of accounting software would encourage more switchers, Intuit already had the Windows market covered and really didn't need to bet against themselves.
  • Reply 12 of 16
    The coach was also in charge of Claris which became AppleWorks  two programs I still sorely miss   Rest in peace coach 
  • Reply 13 of 16
    cincyteecincytee Posts: 258member
    loquitur said:
    emoeller said:
    I never could figure out why this Apple Board member and founder of Intuit wouldn't allow his software to be compatible with Apple products.  
    By this, you surely don't mean Turbotax, which many have used for years on a Mac, especially on days like today.
    No, primarily it's the many iterations of QuickBooks, whose Mac versions (though they do exist) still are not at feature parity with their Windows cousins. And forget about QB POS (that's point of sale, not piece of ....).
  • Reply 14 of 16
    skiwiskiwi Posts: 4member
    A nice article on a side of Bill not well known - here http://www.nzherald.co.nz/sport/news/article.cfm?c_id=4&objectid=11625360

  • Reply 15 of 16
    I was at Claris when he announced he was leaving. I was a contractor, so I wasn't allowed into the meeting, but when people poured out of the auditorium, most had tears in their eyes. He was a warm, wonderful guy. Steve Jobs was worshipped, Bill was loved.
  • Reply 16 of 16
    jpellinojpellino Posts: 611member
    I ran an external research site for Apple many years ago. On a visit to Cupertino we ended up in two places: first the old ATG labs where, because it was after hours, and no badges were available, I was merely told not to exclaim too loudly when I saw some of the demos so no one would notice me and ask for my credentials. It was not easy to comply. We also headed over to Claris on a Friday afternoon which was their regular unwind-time, beer included. A genuinely happy crowd, and until my colleague introduced me to Bill, I couldn't have picked out the CEO on a bet. Very matter-of-fact, personable, could not have been more interested in someone he'd never met and would likely never see again. He and Guy Kawasaki were, on paper, completely unqualified to be bigwigs at tech companies until you factor in personality, motivation skills and the value of an outsider's view.
Sign In or Register to comment.