SAN FRANCISCO — Apple is allowing the general public to get a look at a 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.
Apple Inc. has not held any public services for Jobs, the company’s visionary co-founder who died at age 56 on Oct. 5 after a long battle with pancreatic cancer.
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.
CEO Tim Cook kicks off the service, 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.
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.
“But I know Steve. Steve would have wanted this cloud to lift for Apple and our focus to return to the work that he loved so much,” he said.
Cook also divulged some of the last advice Jobs gave him, which he said was “to never ask what he would do, just do what’s right.”
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.
Following Cook was former Apple executive and current board member Bill Campbell.
“He loved Apple so much, probably only a shade less than he loved his family,” he said.
Former Vice President and current Apple board member Al Gore took the stage as well. And Apple’s head of industrial design, Jonathan Ive, who worked with Jobs on such popular products as the iPod, iPhone and iPad, spoke too.
The service also included performances by singer Norah Jones and British band Coldplay.
The service followed a memorial at Stanford University on Oct. 16 for Jobs’ friends and family. That service at Memorial Church reportedly brought out tech titans including Oracle chief Larry Ellison and Microsoft’s Bill Gates, as well as politicians including Bill Clinton. U2 frontman Bono and Joan Baez reportedly performed.
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