Steve Jobs has resigned as the CEO of Apple. In an open letter, addressed to the Apple Board of Directors, Jobs said he could, “…no longer meet my duties and expectations as CEO,” and that he had recommended COO Tim Cook as his successor. The Board has agreed to Cook’s appointment.
Jobs, 56, has been on medical leave since January, with Cook overseeing operations in his absence. However, the erstwhile CEO has been a major presence at Apple’s key launches this year, albeit in a reduced role.
The news has already wiped billions of dollars off Apple's stock market value as traders cast doubt over the company's long-term future without its visionary leader at the helm. More than $17bn (£10.3bn) or 5 per cent has been slashed from its overall stock market value, bringing it down from $348bn to $330.5bn, just weeks after Apple became the world’s most valuable company.
Since he was snapped looking scarily thin while leaving a Californian cancer clinic earlier this year, Jobs’ on-going battle with pancreatic cancer has come under intense media scrutiny, with some even using his declining health to launch attacks against Apple. And in Feburary, a US tabloid magazine went as far as to claim Steve Jobs had only six weeks to live.
Speaking on behalf of Apple’s Board, Art Levinson of the biotechnology company 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.”
Jobs will continue to serve as Chairman of the Board at Apple, with his fellow directors approving his new role last night. It means significantly less time at work for Jobs, whose health will now fall under the spotlight.
Read Steve Jobs' full resignation letter below:
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.