The news that Steve Jobs is stepping down as Apple CEO was announced via an emotional resignation letter as the man who famously held aloft the iPod, iPhone and "revolutionary" iPad has now decided that he could “…no longer meet my duties and expectations as CEO.”
On Jobs's recommendation, the Board has appointed COO Tim Cook as new Apple CEO. Having previously acted as chief executive officer at the Cupertino company while Jobs was on medical leave, we take a look at the man who has a big act to follow. Here's the Tim Cook story so far...
New role: Apple CEO
Old role: Chief Operating Officer
Salary: $800,000 (£500,000) last year, plus a $5 million (£3.1 million) bonus and stock options worth more than $50 million (£31 million)
It was Cook who closed most of Apple’s manufacturing operations and forged close ties with Asian hardware builders, cutting costs, increasing flexibility and bringing more technical advances. He also placed Apple in high-end retails outlets, boosting sales and cementing Apple as a premium brand.
What it means for him
This is the third time 50-year-old Cook has taken over while Steve Jobs has been off, and he’s always proved a safe pair of hands. This stint, if not permanent, is likely to cement Cook’s reputation as Apple’s go-to guy in times of crisis.
What it means for Apple
It’ll be business as usual at Apple in the short term, at least as far as consumers are concerned. The question is what happens after that. Apple’s share price dropped 2.2% on the day the news of Jobs’ leave of absence broke. That’s because investors fear that Apple’s product releases over the next five to ten years would be less successful without Jobs’ at the helm.
The fact that Apple then posted record results – a $6 billion profit, up 71% on the previous year – underlined that replacing Jobs long term would have an incredibly tough act to follow. Cook is a replacement, but can Apple continue to reel out stellar products without Jobs’ legendary vision?
What it means for you