Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Steve Jobs resigns as Apple CEO

Steve Jobs - image via crunchbase

Breaking news - Steve Jobs has resigned as the CEO of Apple.  Mere minutes after my iPhone 5 post comes out, Steve Jobs again steals the show.

This is huge news for both Apple and the greater tech world.  Jobs is largely given direct credit for Apple's success in the last decade or so, with MacBooks, iPods, iPhones and iPads saving Apple from near-irrelevance and catapulting it to one of the most powerful companies in the world.  Jobs was a very hands-on CEO, well known for his showmanship during keynote speaches and his influence on design decisions.  Recently, his health problems had made it more difficult for him to handle some of these duties, and in a brief statement Jobs claimed he was no longer able to live up to the expectations of Apple CEO.  He strongly recommended acting CEO Tim Cook as his successor.

It feels like the end of an era.  There may not be another company on earth so represented by a single person, and with the aura of secrecy around all things Apple, there's a sense that Jobs knows things nobody else does.  Apple is in a strong position, and given that Tim Cook has been acting CEO for much of this year already, it seems likely Apple will continue to lead the tech world, at least for the near future.  Say what you will about the closed-garden approach of Apple as headed by Jobs, but it will be impossible for the company to replace someone so innovative.

See the statement after the break.

Update: Tim Cook has officially been named Apple's next CEO.

CUPERTINO, Calif.—(BUSINESS WIRE)— 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.


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