Steve Jobs resigns as Apple CEO, takes chairman role

24 Aug 2011

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At the pinnacle of Apple’s success and after more than 35 years of innovation Apple CEO Steve Jobs has decided to call it a day and has resigned from the helm of a company that has become one of the most valuable in the world.

The company’s 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.”

Jobs submitted his resignation to the board today and strongly recommended that the board implement its succession plan and name Tim Cook as CEO.

In the late 1970s Jobs along with Steve Wozniak started Apple and helped ignite the personal computer revolution with the Apple II and Macintosh families of computers.

In the past decade he kick started revolutions in digital music with the iPod, in smartphones with the iPhone and most recently in tablet computers with the iPad.

In the company’s most recent financial results Apple’s Q3 revenues reached a massive US$28.5bn, up 82pc from US$15.7bn, thanks to the enduring success of its iPhone and iPad devices, delivering a profit of US$7.3bn, up from US$3.2bn a year ago – up 125pc.

“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.”

As COO, Cook was previously responsible for all of Apple’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.

Here is the text of the letter Steve Jobs delivered to the board of Apple:

Letter from Steve Jobs

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.

Steve

Editor John Kennedy is an award-winning technology journalist.

editorial@siliconrepublic.com