PALO ALTO, CA: Fred Hoar, a legend in Silicon Valley PR who worked at Apple, Genentech, and Miller/Shandwick, died January 2 after a three-year bout with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis. He was 77.
While Hoar was well known for his work with the aforementioned companies, along with RCA and Fairchild Semiconductor, he was equally renowned for his charm, warmth, and sense of humor.
"One of the things that impressed me about Fred was his ability and desire to call back anybody and everybody who ever called him or left a message," said Steve Jursa, Porter Novelli's global technology practice leader. Jursa worked with Hoar at Miller/Shandwick in the late 1980s. "It didn't matter if it was a student intern or a CEO or a venture capitalist. He made the time for every person who reached out to him. That is why so many people knew him and loved him, and why he will certainly be greatly missed."
In the early 1980s, Hoar was VP of communications at Apple, helping with the company's IPO and Macintosh product launches. He was also a founding member of the Band of Angels, a Silicon Valley private investment group, and served on the boards of dozens of start-up companies.
Hoar spent the last years of his career teaching marketing and branding at Santa Clara University.
"His legacy is tremendous," said Lisa Kelaita, president and CEO of VCPR. Kelaita also worked with Hoar at Miller/ Shandwick. "There isn't one person who met him who wasn't changed. While he was a gargantuan personality, he was also a person everyone felt comfortable with. He brought charm and humor and a real personal warmth to the high-stress, highly competitive world of technology PR."