Breaking: Steve Jobs resigns as Apple CEO

Faith Merino · August 24, 2011 · Short URL:

Apple names Tim Cook new CEO

Apple CEO Steve Jobs has officially resigned, citing his inability to continue fulfilling his obligations as CEO.  The 55-year-old pancreatic cancer survivor took an indefinite medical leave in January.  Jobs has indicated his wish to see Tim Cook succeed him as chief executive, as per the company's succession plan.  Below is the note that Jobs wrote to shareholders and the Board of Directors:

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 submitted his resignation today, after which Apple announced that COO Tim Cook will succeed him as CEO.  The succession isn't surprising, considering Cook has stepped in to take the helm during Jobs' medical leaves, so he undoubtedly has a thorough understanding of the company's workings.

As COO, Cook was previously in charge of worldwide sales and operations, including end-to-end management of Apple’s supply chain, sales activities, and service and support in all markets and countries.  He also headed the Mac division.

Cook has become an increasingly high-profile presence as he has stepped in to publicly represent Apple at events and conferences.  When Verizon unveiled its very own iPhone back in January, Tim Cook took the stage to represent Apple's role in the deal. 

While Cook is said to be something of a polar opposite of Steve Jobs (Jobs is the visionary, Cook is the under-the-radar guy who gets things done), one thing they do have in common is their obsessive and downright neurotic about their work, according to a 2008 profile in Fortune Magazine. 

Jobs, meanwhile, will stay on with the company as Chairman.

“Steve’s extraordinary vision and leadership saved Apple and guided it to its position as the world’s most innovative and valuable technology company,” said Art Levinson, Chairman of Genentech, on behalf of Apple's Board. “Steve has made countless contributions to Apple’s success, and he has attracted and inspired Apple’s immensely creative employees and world class executive team. In his new role as Chairman of the Board, Steve will continue to serve Apple with his unique insights, creativity and inspiration.”

Jobs is widely credited with ressurecting Apple in the mid-90s when he returned to the company he co-founded after being away for a decade.

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