Big news tonight out of the Apple camp as Steve Jobs has announced that he is resigning as CEO of Apple. In its official press release detailing the move, Apple has said that former COO Tim Cook will take Jobs's place as Apple CEO. This doesn't mean that Steve Jobs is completely leaving Apple behind, though, as he has been appointed Chairman of the Board. Jobs's letter announcing the decision is available below, followed by the Apple press release.
Obviously this is huge news, not only for mobile but for the tech industry as a whole. Steve Jobs has taken a few leaves of absence in recent years due to health issues, with the most recent break coming back in January of this year. Tim Cook has been in charge of Apple's day-to-day operations since January. It's not yet clear who will replace Cook as COO of Apple or what other moves the company may be planning, but we're sure to hear more in the coming days and weeks.
UPDATE: Need more evidence that Steve Jobs isn't totally done with Apple just yet? The Wall Street Journal is reporting that, according to the famous "people familiar with the situation," Jobs "continues to be active at Apple and is closely involved in the company's product strategy."
"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 Jobs Resigns as CEO of Apple
Tim Cook Named CEO and Jobs Elected Chairman of the Board
CUPERTINO, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Apple’s Board of Directors today announced that Steve Jobs has resigned as Chief Executive Officer, and the 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.
“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.”
“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.”
Jobs submitted his resignation to the Board today and strongly recommended that the Board implement its succession plan and name Tim Cook as CEO.
As COO, Cook was previously responsible for all of the company’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.
Apple designs Macs, the best personal computers in the world, along with OS X, iLife, iWork and professional software. Apple leads the digital music revolution with its iPods and iTunes online store. Apple has reinvented the mobile phone with its revolutionary iPhone and App Store, and has recently introduced iPad 2 which is defining the future of mobile media and computing devices.