Silicon Valley's 'Secret CEO Whisperer' no more
William “Bill” Campbell- one of Silicon Valley’s most influential business executives, fondly called the “Coach of Silicon Valley”, passed away after a long battle with cancer at the age of 75. Campbell earned a bachelor's degree in 1962 from Columbia University where he later became football coach from 1974 to 1979. Campbell’s journey from a football coach to an executive coach was almost by chance. According to Ozy, his first client was Amazon’s Jeff Bezos - who was known for his creativity but needed operational chops, according to board members. Campbell went on to spend six weeks with Bezos, working with him. Jeff ultimately took over all the operations.
Campbell was a big name in Silicon Valley but was little known to the outside world. He rarely appeared on stage and hardly gave any interviews to the press. He was known for his close association with many high-profile executives including the likes of Steve Jobs of Apple, Larry Page and Eric Schmidt of Google, former eBay CEO John Donahoe. He wasn’t just a coach; he was a board member of Apple, Chairman of the board of trustees of Columbia University, Chairman of the board of Intuit and a CEO for Claris and GO Corporation. Ben Horowitz, the widely known Venture Capitalist who was mentored by Campbell when he was the CEO of a software company called LoudCloud wrote on his medium post, “Whenever I struggled with life, Bill was the person that I called. I didn’t call him, because he would have the answer to some impossible question. I called him, because he would understand what I was feeling 100%. He would understand me."