Steve Jobs Steps Down as Apple CEO

In a move that, in hindsight, is likely not that surprising, Apple's longtime CEO Steve Jobs has stepped down from his position.

The cancer survivor has been on sabbatical from the company since January 17 due to undisclosed medical reasons. It would be unfair to speculate on the nature of this condition or the reason for his stepping down, but one can't help but wonder that it may be all connected.

In any case, in a letter to the board of directors of Apple, Jobs offered to remain on with the company as Chairman of the Board and an employee, and suggested that Tim Cook, the current COO of the company and the man who Jobs was seemingly grooming for the job, take over as CEO, and the board has complied with his wish.

Jobs said the following in a written statement:


CUPERTINO, Calif. -- August 24, 2011

To the Apple Board of Directors and the Apple Community:

I have always said if there ever came a day when I could no longer meet my duties and expectations as Apple’s CEO, I would be the first to let you know. Unfortunately, that day has come.

I hereby resign as CEO of Apple. I would like to serve, if the Board sees fit, as Chairman of the Board, director and Apple employee.

As far as my successor goes, I strongly recommend that we execute our succession plan and name Tim Cook as CEO of Apple.

I believe Apple’s brightest and most innovative days are ahead of it. And I look forward to watching and contributing to its success in a new role.

I have made some of the best friends of my life at Apple, and I thank you all for the many years of being able to work alongside you.

Jobs has been with the company since it started out of his garage in the late 70s, along with co-founder Steve Wozniak. Despite a highly successful early line-up and one of the most successful and highest grossing IPOs in history in 1980, Jobs' relationship with the company soured thereafter, and the founder remained in a minimal role with the company for over a decade. But since coming back in the late 90s, Jobs regained his role and earned the title of CEO, and more importantly, revolutionized the way we think of computing.

From Mac computers, to laptops, to music devices and now phones, tablets and even television and movie viewing, Apple has dominated at everything they do, and Jobs was at the center of most of it. What effect his departure will have on the company is unclear, but when it was announced this afternoon, the company's stock took a bit of a nosedive in afterhours trading.

That said, Tim Cook has been with the company a long time, and Jobs, in the end, was only a single cog in a large machine, as important as he was to the company. The move likely won't affect Apple's release schedule going forward, with another iPhone slated to come out later this year and the iPad 3 due sometime in early 2012. But considering everything that Jobs has given us, it is definitely a sad day, and we can only hope that his health improves from here.

Source: Reuters