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.
Over the past 14 years Apple has had success after success under the leadership of Jobs, from the OS X operating system to popular Mac computers including the MacBook, MacBook Pro, and MacBook Air, and a range of mobile devices including iPods, iPhones, and iPads.
Jobs co-founded the company in 1976, but he was pushed out in the 80s only to return in 1997 and help make Apple one of the most valuable companies in the world. For many people, Steve Jobs is Apple, so it’s not surprising that news that he’s stepping down was greeted with concern by Wall Street. The announcement came after the market closed for the day, but Apple Stock is down by about 5 percent in after-hours trading as of 8:00PM Eastern Time.
Still, Apple has a strong stable of successful products including iPads, iPhones, and laptops at this point, and it’s likely that the iPhone 5, iPad 3, and other upcoming devices will still be big hits for the company. Whether Apple can maintain its reputation as a champion of design and innovation remains to be seen — but as important as Jobs’ vision was to the company, there are thousands of Apple employees that make the company’s products what they are.
Apple and Jobs haven’t discussed his reasons for stepping down, but he’s been dealing with medical issues including pancreatic cancer in recent years. He’s been on medical leave from Apple since January, although he’s made an occasional public appearance on the company’s behalf. Cook has largely been running the day to day operations since Jobs went on leave.
Bye bye, Steve !