Legendary Silicon Valley Advisor Bill Campbell Dies

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Bill "The Coach" Campbell passed away Monday morning after a long bout with cancer, according to Re/code. Mr. Campbell is a former Apple executive, the former CEO of Intuit, and he was one of the first people Steve Jobs picked for Apple's board of directors on his return to the company in 1997. He retired from Apple's board in 2014.

Bill Campbell was 75 when he died.

Bill Cambell

Bill Campbell

Mr. Campbell had an enormous impact on the development of Silicon Valley, have played advisor and mentor to the likes of the late Steve Jobs, Google cofounder Larry Page, and Amazon founder Jeff Bezos. His counsel was sought by many, and his advice was often followed.

He was one of Steve Jobs's key advisors after Mr. Jobs returned to Apple in 1997, joining Apple board of directors as one of many people brought in by Mr. Jobs. Mac users often expressed frustration that Mr. Campbell's own company—Intuit, which got its start on the Mac—allowed products like QuickBooks for Mac to languish.

Despite such quibbles, however, Mr. Campbell took on legendary status within the ranks of Silicon Valley executives for the quality of his opinions and advice, and that's likely what he will be most remembered for.

Bill Campbell earned the nickname "The Coach" in part because he was a football coach at Columbia University from 1974 to 1979. He left sports to enter the world of marketing, and was hired by then-Apple CEO John Sculley as vice president of marketing at Apple.

While at Apple, he built and ran the Claris software division, and left over a disagreement on spinning Claris off. When Steve Jobs returned to Apple, Claris was spun off, where it eventually became FileMaker, Inc.

Few icons in Silicon Valley are considered "beloved," but Mr. Campbell was the exception that rule.

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