Campbell was a longtime Jobs confidant, and had served on Apple's board of directors for 17 years before he stepped down in 2014. He had also served as CEO of Intuit from 1994 to 1998. He had worked in several key positions at Silicon Valley companies like Apple (as vice president of marketing), Claris (as CEO), and Go.
Son of a local school official, Campbell — nicknamed "The Coach" around Silicon Valley because of his close friendships with various tech company CEOs —was born and raised in Homestead, Pennsylvania, near Pittsburgh. He attended Columbia University where he played football under coach Buff Donelli from 1959 to 1961. In his senior year, he was named to the All-Ivy Team. He graduated in 1962 with a bachelor's degree in economics.
In 1964, he obtained a master's degree in education from Teachers College, Columbia University. He was head coach of Columbia's football team, the Columbia Lions from 1974 to 1979. Prior to this he was an assistant at Boston College for six years.