Few individuals have had the influence in modern personal computing, portable electronics and in essence our daily lives as Steve Jobs has had. In 1976 at age 21 Steve Jobs co-founded Apple marking the beginning of the personal computer. Having left the company in 1984, Jobs returned to Apple in 1996 and has served as CEO from 1997 until 2011. During this time, Apple introduced a host of game changing devices like the iPod, the iPhone and the iPad. Jobs oversaw the move to Mac OS X, and the release of iconic personal computers such as the iMac, the iBook and most recently the MacBook Air. Apple had recently become the most valuable company in the world, with a market capitalization reaching $330 billion.
Steve Jobs has announced today that he has stepped down as Apple’s CEO to be replaced by former COO Tim Cook. Steve will remain as an Apple employee and Chairman of the Board. Here’s his letter:
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.
And the official press release from Apple:
[Apple press release, Tim Cook’s executive profile]
Steve Jobs Resigns as CEO of Apple
Tim Cook Named CEO and Jobs Elected Chairman of the Board
CUPERTINO, California—August 24, 2011—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.