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Steve Jobs resigns as Apple CEO, Tim Cook takes the reins

Steve Jobs has resigned as CEO of Apple. Tim Cook will be his successor. Jobs plans to stay on as Chairman of the Board.

Steve Jobs resigned as Apple CEO on Wednesday afternoon. In a letter to the Apple Board of Directors, he cited no longer being able to fully handle the responsibilities of the job as his reason for stepping down.

"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," Jobs wrote. "Unfortunately, that day has come."

Jobs recommended that the Board follow the succession plan that had already been decided upon and immediately name Apple COO Tim Cook as the company's new CEO. Jobs also asked to stay on as an Apple employee and, more importantly, become Chairman of the Board. The Apple Board agreed to both measures and also added Cook as a member of the Board.

On behalf of the Board, Art Levinson, Chairman of Genentech, said, “Steve’s extraordinary vision and leadership saved Apple and guided it to its position as the world’s most innovative and valuable technology company. 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."

Levinson also threw a vote of confidence to Cook, saying, “The Board has complete confidence that Tim is the right person to be our next CEO. 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.”

Naturally, the question that is going to be asked over the next 24 hours is "Why now?" Jobs has been on medical leave from the CEO job since January, but has appeared publicly several times since then. The speculation about his health taking a recent turn for the worse is going to be inevitable, although there are no reliable reports to support that.

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About

Jason Hiner is the Global Editor in Chief of TechRepublic and Global Long Form Editor of ZDNet. He is an award-winning journalist who writes about the people, products, and ideas that are revolutionizing the ways we live and work in the 21st century.

35 comments
Slayer_
Slayer_

Well hopefully. Not that I want him to die or anything, but evil Apple corp needs to fall back down.

abdulrahman.mohdsharef51
abdulrahman.mohdsharef51

Credit must be given where its due. Mr. Jobs has done a very good job. Mr. Cook surely have his ideas but it will take sometime for him to settle into the hot seat. I wish him luck. As long as you keep pleasing us users you'll have our support. Just don't do a HP on us...

John.M.Thompson
John.M.Thompson

Some of the comments expressing concern for his health are very touching. What a great person he must be for people to feel this way about him. We wish him well.

kwabula
kwabula

Well I think Apple will still be the leader in Electronics even after Jobs leave. Jobs is not Steve but Steve will not leave forever. I do not think Apple is a one man company. That said, there is a possibility that the Company may nose-dive if Jobs is not up to scratch.

xangpow
xangpow

As a Microsoft person I would be lying if I say I wasn???t upset that he was leaving. Yet, every great leader has their best enemy. Luke/Vader comes to mind (being a true computer geek lol) Now people will argue over who is Luke and who is Vader, but I have always like Microsoft being the Empire and Gates being Vader. That???s just the geek in me. lol But I digress. With Steve Jobs out of the picture, per se, Microsoft people won???t have a lightning rod to focus our attention on. Secretly we do hope Cooks run the company into the ground, but through competition we get better technology. Where would graphics be without the ATI/Nvidia fight. Where would processors be without the Intel/AMD fight. So while in a way I???m gladden that one ???leader??? is leaving the battlefield, I???m also sadden that a great warrior has left.

jscott418-22447200638980614791982928182376
jscott418-22447200638980614791982928182376

It may not happen overnight but you cannot discredit the amount of passion Steve brought to Apple to help bring it out of failure. Are their still excellent engineers,designers and such at Apple. Of course. But when a new product was introduced, who was it that presented it? Who was it that every one waited for to tell us about it? Who was it that sold us as consumers about the new product? Apple clearly has a big void in its companies vision now that Steve is not at the helm.

vickokan
vickokan

I could still remember the first Logo program I wrote to get that turtle run around the screen on my first Apple II. Its been so many years the technology has evolved and a legend like that will be surely be missed. I will not compare him with Gates, but both individuals have been the person I grow up with and played an inspirational part to why I entered into the field of technology consulting in the first place. Seeing technology at work has been cool.

A_Openiyi
A_Openiyi

His health issue is kinda disturbing. But a new CEO means that a new person makes decisions. I wonder if Jobs will still deliver keynotes. I dont think the Chairman of the Board has any control or real say over the CEO

TNT
TNT

The announcement lead to a predictable fall of Apple stock, but it will rebound as people understand Jobs is still Chairman of the Board. I imagine his vision will still guide Apple for a time. The real question is, "Who is Tim Cook"? Does this guy have the vision and skill to carry Apple forward after Jobs steps down completely? The other big question is, "How long will Apple hold sway over the art community?" Their rising popularity in China notwithstanding I'm not sure what this announcement will mean to Macintosh. I wouldn't be surprised if down the road Apple followed HP's move and paired out the Mac side of the company in favor of further developing iPod and iPad and the accompanying software and service.

HAL 9000
HAL 9000

To accept his decision and leave him in peace to do what is required to deal with his health issues. Unfortunately that's unlikely to happen with the way that the [b]Chooks Behave[/b] that comprise the Media, as they all believe that they have a [b]God Given Right[/b] to trample on whoever to get their so called [b]Story.[/b] It's something that anyone who has bothered looking even once in the past few months could fail to see coming, of course that leaves the Mass Media out as they are mostly idiots who follow the Old Adage [b]Never Let the Truth Get in the Road of a Good Story and Monkey does as Monkey sees.[/b] Personally I'll not be surprised to see in the Morning Newspapers Apple Broke filing for Section 12 Bankruptcy as a result of Jobs resigning. Silly of course but then again who ever accused the Media of having any brains. ;) Col

Sterling chip Camden
Sterling chip Camden

... of remarkable leadership. This is a much bigger deal IMO than when Gates stepped down.

JamesRL
JamesRL

Its somewhat ironic that the 1984 ad is about how brave little Apple is going to take on evil IBM, and now Apple is being accused of being evil. You may or may not like what they are selling, but millions do. You may see more value in other products, but millions are voting with their wallets. They are a huge success, and furthermore, they have come back from the brink of failure. You may say its because of marketing, you may be right, but that part of selling products these days. Jobs can take credit for pushing the company into new areas and getting product to market first. Having said that, I am sure that Apple will survive his departure, he will still be on the board, just less hands on.

JCitizen
JCitizen

That brings back memories! Never since Ford or Bell, has an individual been so entwined with a product. And entwined with my fondest memories.

YetAnotherBob
YetAnotherBob

The Chairman of the Board has the job of hiring or firing the CEO. The CEO in turn set the policies that the COO implements. This move is Jobs supporting someone who he has been training and mentoring for years. But, Jobs is still in control. I am sure that Steve Jobs will be in the office much more than four times a year for board meeting. And no, I don't think that Jobs version of Apple will fall off a cliff, though I do expect the stock will slip by close to 50% in the next two years, as it is badly overpriced right now, but that is true of EVERY popular company at this point in time. Maybe that just means that I am a Pessimist. Guilty as charged.

nwallette
nwallette

I don't see HP as a particularly innovative company. They're more of the "me-too" follow-the-industry type. Nothing they do is exceptional. Like: Computers? Nah, Dell owns that one. Portable devices? Uhh... I don't think I could name one from memory. Printers? Yeah, maybe. But there's also Canon, Epson, Brother . . . Scanners? Ditto. Network equipment? Let's see. Procurve or Cisco? Or better yet, Juniper? Hmm. Cameras? Bah! Apple, on the other hand, has a whole portfolio of desirable products. Subject to opinion, sure, but you can't deny their presence. No one uses HP products as a status symbol (for better or worse.) On a related note, I just got Snow Leopard to install on a homebuilt. Holy crap guys... I've been a PC guy since Win 3.0, but sheesh. OS X is really nice! It made Windows 7 feel really frumpy in comparison.

HAL 9000
HAL 9000

Only the guy chosen by Jobs to succeed him so at a guess he has the qualities required to do the job. I'm naturally supposing that Jobs wants Apple to continue to go the way that it is but that's just an [b]Assumption.[/b] It's perfectly possible that Jobs wants Apples to self destruct and fall to bits after he leaves just so he can say [b]I told you so.[/b] However after he returned to resurrect the company from the Chosen People to run it after they dumped him I don't think that is overly likely. ;) Col

dogknees
dogknees

What the media say? I've been ignoring them for years now. If others take it seriously, that's their problem.

JCitizen
JCitizen

anyone can replace him. If I were a stock holder, I'd be breathing a sigh of relief that he will still be the board chairman!

biancaluna
biancaluna

I also suspect it is not a particularly good sign from a health perspective. Sometimes when you are so critcally ill, a purpose you feel passionate about keeps you upright - gives you something you are good at when your body and medical treatment may fail you. He always said that when the day came, he would step down. I fear for him, Chip. The guy had vision and enough passion, drive and persistance to make it so. I admire that. And perhaps he is connecting the dots (as he so eloquently said in his much criticised speech to Stanford Uni freshmen) in a more spiritual way to know that it has been enough. As the farmer said to the piglet in the movie Babe - That'll do, Pig. To live, love, learn and leave a legacy. Apple will continue, leadership builds culture and attitude, the heart and soul of an organisation.

Slayer_
Slayer_

People prefer communism. Apple may be the Dr Evil of evil empires, but they are still evil. They attack both friends and allies, they even attack their own customers. They are even willing to kill to save a buck, just check their factory suicide rates... Apple is anti freedom, and anti choice. They brainwash children with their advertisements (and apparently child-like adults...). Does Apple even have any charities (I don't have time to search) because I never hear of them, they certainly never seem to try and look like a good company.

dogknees
dogknees

Cook will almost destroy the company, then Steve will come back and save it again. The "third coming" perhaps? What a hero.

HAL 9000
HAL 9000

But life gets downright nasty when you have a bunch of what are effectively Homeless People camping on your driveway with their Companies Equipment all trying to get a better story than the others there. What passes for Law goes out the Window when a bunch of Rabid News People start competing with their cohorts to do what they want. Sure there are supposed to be Laws to control them but the reality is that No Police Officer is going to enforce those laws when they will be Publicly Humiliated and Castigated for preventing the Press from doing their job. Besides if nothing else happens it's going to _Pi$$ Off Job's neighbors with that crowd taking up residence on the [b]"Pubic"[/b] street. ;) Col

JCitizen
JCitizen

stories here and other IT forums about how predatory Apple has become; it isn't like it has been a secret. Right now, I consider them worse than Microsoft in that department.

xangpow
xangpow

Bill Gates and Steve Jobs are going to sneak into your room one night and tickle you till you wet yourself and your bed then take pictuers and post them on Facebook. I read this on Google so it must be true. :P

biancaluna
biancaluna

IBM senior executives were filmed dancing on stage at a conference throwing darts at pictures of EDS execs. Your statements to me sound like a somewhat immature mind that needs to get some life under his or her belt (suspect his). This is not a movie, Steve Jobs is not Dr Evil, Google is not plotting to take over the world and give everyone purple hair, Facebook will not be instaling cameras in your bathroom to film you taking a leak. Take a step back and consider that corporations consist of people that come into work to do the best they can do based on a vision. The best charity is anonymous. And the best person is the one that does not judge based on a narrow frame of reference, but offers constructive feedback, not absolute statements that close off real dialogue. In your own words, one does not cease to be somewhat silly and childish just because someone is taking your bait.

Slayer_
Slayer_

You dont stop being evil just because someone else is evil. Was the guy that killed those people in Oslo more or less or not at all evil, than stallin or hitler?

JamesRL
JamesRL

I just point out that MS has done a lot more "evil" behaviour than Apple has done. Just google Microsoft and Lawsuit.

Slayer_
Slayer_

I hate everyone equally. I don't discriminate.

JamesRL
JamesRL

Back away from the bar for a minute.... Back when Apple was the underdog, Apple was often attacked by IBM and Microsoft, and not always in fair manner. Microsoft made money from Apple loyalists, but made sure that their products came out on Apple many months after they came out on Windows, even though the port was ready at the same time. Apple wants to make a buck, but no one is putting a gun to your head to buy an Apple product. They are capitalists, not communists. As for charities, Apple has been supporting education by charitable donation as long as they have been operating. Many schools that run Macs have them donated. As for the manufacturing, those plants aren't owned by Apple, and those same suppliers build for other manufacturers like Lenovo and Dell. Brainwashing? Please. Thats just absurd. You wanna talk about attacking your own customers? Let talk about Microsoft Bob....

dogknees
dogknees

It's my cynical take on events. I have no reason to believe with any certainty that he will or will not.

Vulpinemac
Vulpinemac

Jobs has almost 13 years of working with Cook at Apple. Cook came in as an engineer, not as a college-bred CEO. Cook has also spent that 13 years confirming and expanding upon Job's concepts. In a word, when Jobs said, "Fix it," Cook fixed it. I see more growth and continued vision for Apple for at least another 10-15 years as Cook follows Job's dreams and carries Apple into the new age of personal computing.

YetAnotherBob
YetAnotherBob

Tim Cook is the man who has been running Apple on a day to day basis for the last several years. Jobs has been out for extended periods of time the whole time. His health issues haven't been a secret. This is just one step further on the same road. Now, Mr. Cook goes from chief Operations Officer to Chief Executive Officer, and he still reports to Steve Jobs, as Jobs is now the Chairman of the Board. Nothing has changed except the titles. But, it is an indication that Steve Jobs health is a concern. I wish him well.

jscott418-22447200638980614791982928182376
jscott418-22447200638980614791982928182376

So the real question is if Tim Cook has a different vision of Apple that he may implement or if he will continue in a fashion similar to Steve's? I do not think anyone can say for sure at this stage. Obviously Tim has been with Apple long enough to establish himself as a true Apple fan. I certainly think the commitment will be there. The real question is how will the media and consumers react to a non Steve new product event. Will it still inspire the same interest or will Apple be like any other company?

A_Openiyi
A_Openiyi

Why do you think Cook will destroy the company? any real, solid reason? Also Steve Jobs aint gonna be around forever, "third coming"... albeit when he is sixty or sumn. Don't worry Steve is respected and his advice will count for sumn.

dogknees
dogknees

That'll move them! Seriously, if they are on your property, do whatever is legal to remove them or make it uncomfortable for them to stay. Start with the sprinklers and escalate from there. If the police won't enforce the laws, they don't deserve the title. Public humiliation is/should be irrelevant in this case. When you take those oaths and put that uniform on, your highest responsibility is to the rule of law. It outranks any personal desires or feelings. Or, at least it does if you are professional. This standard of behaviour and responsibility is one of the primary things that define what a professional is. If you fail the test, you're not in the category. The good ones that deserve their salaries know this and will sacrifice their own safety and even their lives for others.

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