Earlier today, Steve Jobs, the CEO of Apple, resigned. Here’s the full letter of resignation that he sent to the Apple Board of Directors and the Apple Community today:
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.
Apple later published a press release regarding his resignation and their decision on the next CEO:
Apple’s Board of Directors today announced that Steve Jobs has resigned as Chief Executive Officer, and the Board has named Tim Cook, previously Apple’s Chief Operating Officer, as the company’s new CEO. Jobs has been elected Chairman of the Board and Cook will join the Board, effective immediately.
“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.”
“The Board has complete confidence that Tim is the right person to be our next CEO,” added Levinson. “Tim’s 13 years of service to Apple have been marked by outstanding performance, and he has demonstrated remarkable talent and sound judgment in everything he does.”
Jobs submitted his resignation to the Board today and strongly recommended that the Board implement its succession plan and name Tim Cook as CEO.
As COO, Cook was previously responsible for all of the company’s 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 Apple’s Macintosh division and played a key role in the continued development of strategic reseller and supplier relationships, ensuring flexibility in response to an increasingly demanding marketplace.
Apple designs Macs, the best personal computers in the world, along with OS X, iLife, iWork and professional software. Apple leads the digital music revolution with its iPods and iTunes online store. Apple has reinvented the mobile phone with its revolutionary iPhone and App Store, and has recently introduced iPad 2 which is defining the future of mobile media and computing devices.
For 15 years, Steve has led Apple through good and bad times. He helped develop the incredible culture that exists around the world today through the many groundbreaking products he designed and launched (with the help of the massive team of people at Apple). If it weren’t for Steve, technology would not be as greatly developed and user friendly as it is today. Microsoft would dominate even more of the market, and with great monopoly comes poor innovation.
Back in the 1970’s, Steve kicked off the multi-billion dollar company that is Apple with the help of Steve Wozniak and Mike Markkula. They developed and the Apple II, the earliest successful series of PCs that revolutionized the computer market.
After the success of their Apple II computers, the staff of Apple gradually grew until a large development team created the first version of the now widely known Macintosh operating system (named after McIntosh apples). The operating system even had a graphic user interface, and it was controlled by a mouse. It was released in January 24th, 1984.
Due to conflict between Steve and the board of directors, he resigned from his position at Apple later that year. This turned out to be the right move, as he went on to develop NeXT. While running NeXT, he acquired Pixar Animation Studios. The computer platform NeXT became good enough that Apple actually bought it, bringing Steve back to Apple. Starting in 1997, he started his 15-year reign as CEO.
During his reign, Pixar was sold to the Walt Disney company, Macintosh was much further developed, several new lines of personal computers were designed and released, the wildly popular line of iPods was made, a mobile OS (iOS) was made, Apple created an amazing smartphone, the first successful tablet computer (the iPad) was developed, and many developers and geeks found jobs and money through Apple’s numerous products and services.
Steve Jobs has led a great business life, and it seems that he can’t take the stress and responsibility that running a massive company burdens him with. In addition, he is still struggling through several health conditions, and his resignation gives him more time to recover.
Complying with Steve’s request, the board of directors chose Tim Cook, Apple’s Chief Operating Officer, to take his place. He has already shown that he is capable of running the company by standing in for Steve when he was out getting treatment for his pancreatic cancer.
As could be expected, Apple shares dropped almost $20 when the announcement became public. With any luck in Apple’s part, this was just a small bump in the road, and shares will continue to rise steadily.
Steve lasted three more years of than his competitor and fellow technology business founder Bill Gates, who resigned back in 2006. Both were born in 1955. They didn’t just drop all contact and support for their companies either, each chose a to play a more minor role in his company.
To quote that one developer who always yelled out during Steve Jobs’s presentations, “We love you Steve!”
Apple as updates their executive profile page on Apple.com with the position changes for Steve Jobs and Tim Cook.