After 14 years as Apple’s CEO, Steve Jobs resigned his post on Wednesday and was replaced by Tim Cook, who previously was the company’s Chief Operating Officer. Jobs, in turn, was elected as chairman of Apple’s board of directors.
“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,” Jobs said in a letter addressed “to the Apple Board of Directors and the Apple Community.”
“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,” Jobs wrote. “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.”
“In his new role as Chairman of the Board, Steve will continue to serve Apple with his unique insights, creativity and inspiration,” board member and Genentech chairman Art Levinson said in an Apple press release. “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 had been on a medical leave of absence since January 2011. He continued to hold the CEO title while Cook oversaw the day-to-day operations of the company. At the time, Jobs told Apple employees he was taking a leave from his day-to-day duties to “focus on my health.”
The full text of his letter of resignation and the board of directors’ statement are here.
It’s been six years since I bought my first Apple computer. The shiny new Mini had just been introduced and offered me an affordable way to experiment with Apple’s OS X operating system Like any longtime geek, I had spares of monitor, keyboard, etc. to hook up.
After 22 years – at the time – of being an adept with Microsoft, IBM and precursor operating systems there were a number of day-to-day encumbrances and questions I was tired of resolving, day after day, time after time.
That Mini and OS X put all that behind me. I was never a command-line addict or the sort of geek who needed to be up to my elbows inside an OS. I just needed the tools I used on a daily basis to work properly and predictably. I never looked back.
I credit Steve Jobs for what he did to make that change so easy for me. As someone who’s spent a long and varied career involved with commerce around the planet, I also appreciate the cultural and social boundaries he’s set aside in the process of building Apple into one of the most successful firms on the planet.