April 18, 2016

Euologies pour in for Silicon Valley tech world ‘coach’

Silicon Valley on Monday mourned the death of Bill Campbell, nicknamed “The Coach” for precious advice he dispensed to top figures at companies such as Apple, Google and Amazon

Bill Campbell

Bill Campbell

“A very sad day,” Alphabet executive chairman and former Google chief executive Eric Schmidt said in a message set from his Twitter account.

“My deepest condolences to his family. Bill was instrumental as a mentor — for me, for Google, for all Valley entrepreneurs.”

Campbell, 75, died after a lengthy battle with cancer, news reports indicated.

The Pennsylvania native and former American football coach at Columbia University became legendary in Silicon Valley as a mentor and coach for technology industry titans such as Steve Jobs of Apple, Larry Page of Google, Amazon’s Jeff Bezos and Schmidt.

Facebook president of communications and public policy Elliot Schrage in a post at the social network on Monday credited Campbell being “instrumental” to the lawyer becoming “part of the digital world.”

“He helped ‘vet’ me as I made the transition from policy wonk to business executive and served as a friend, advisor and, yes, coach, as I navigated the challenges of working in a fast growing, hard charging, opinionated culture and organization,” Schrage said.

“I know he played a similar role for many others and I know the Valley, and our industry, has stronger leaders and better management as a result of his thoughtfulness, enthusiasm and, yes, colorful language.”

Campbell’s technology industry background included running Intuit as well as working as an Apple executive and serving on the company’s board of directors for 17 years after the return of Steve Jobs as chief.

“Silicon Valley lost a giant as Coach Bill Campbell passed away this morning,” technology industry venture capitalist John Doerr said in a message at Twitter.