Steve Jobs Resigns as Apple CEO, Recommends Tim Cook as Successor [Update]

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Steve Jobs announced late afternoon on Wednesday that he was resigning from Apple Inc., the company he cofounded with Steve Wozniak in 1976. In a letter, the iconic technology leader said that the day had come when he could no longer meet his duties as CEO and he recommended Tim Cook as his successor.

Apple Chairman Steve Jobs

Apple Chairman Steve Jobs
(Click the photo for a larger version) 

Steve Jobs’s letter:

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.

Apple has followed Mr. Jobs’s letter with its own official announcement naming Tim Cook CEO. The company also announced that it was taking Mr. Jobs up on his offer to be Chairman, and that he had officially been elected to that position.

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Comments

BurmaYank

Steve Jobs made Apple, and we saw him like (Gutenberg & Henry Ford before him) make Apple make nearly perfect, magical world-transforming things.
Now without Steve Jobs, we shall see how well Steve Jobs made Apple.

RonMacGuy

Hopefully Apple’s momentum will continue even without Steve.  But let’s see the initial stock reaction tomorrow - probably won’t be good…

aardman

It’s a shame that he chooses to step back from the CEO position, but what makes me feel sad about this is what it might imply about his health.  (might, okay?  not starting any rumors here.)  Nonetheless, it was an unparalleled run and I feel personally indebted to him because Apple stock basically let my family go through the recession unscathed.

Yes it will take a hit in the next few days but I am completely confident that people will soon realize that the Jobsian DNA is so ingrained in Apple that it will continue on its world beating path even with Tim Cook as CEO.  But in truth, at this moment, AAPL prices are not really that worthwhile to think or talk about. Pardon me if I sounded crass.

Nemo

An exceptional performance as CEO, which establishes Mr. Jobs as one of history’s best CEO and certainly the best CEO of his era.

mhikl

yardman, I have the same concerns. I wish him good health and good will.

Apple stock price means nothing in the short run for those in for the long run.

Apple can stand on its own. Steve’s good honour is that he didn’t attempt to keep the legacy all to himself which is often what those who think they are irreplaceable do.

I believe his motto might be: Didici, Doceo, Partem habeo

I teach I learn I share; (Hope a Latin scholar will check the Latin.)

Apple will do fine. Buddhists often pick the time to slow down and concentrate on more important things than material goods and services so health might not be the whole issue.

ilikeimac

Well done Steve. We’ll miss you. I hope that chairman job leaves you plenty of time for friends, family and fun.

Xwintelslave

Momentous news, but we can’t say that we didn’t see it coming for some time now. I have the same confidence as that expressed by others here that Apple will continue innovating and changing how people interact with technology.  On a personal note, I find it a little ominous and sad that health concerns are the motivation for Steve to step down.  I hope he has many, many years ahead of him to both enjoy the fruits of his labor and to contribute to Apple’s future success.

cb50dc

When I first read the headline on Yahoo, yeah, my eyes widened for a few moments. And very quickly I recalled all the conjecture over the last couple of years and decided, yeah, Apple will be fine. The team’s in place. They’ve known this would happen eventually.

I can only add my dittos to Xwintelslave, who said it best: “I hope he has many, many years ahead of him to both enjoy the fruits of his labor and to contribute to Apple?s future success.”

Lee Dronick

I wish him the best.

Bosco (Brad Hutchings)

Unfortunately, that day has come.

I hope he has many years ahead of him too. History will then show that he quit when he realized he couldn’t own and control every idea.

By all means, new Apple under Cookie’s leadership… Innovate and compete. But don’t play this asinine Jobsian game where when you don’t win in the marketplace, you cry to the courts. That is weak sauce.

Oh, and Jony Ive… Gone by November.

Lee Dronick

Oh, and Jony Ive? Gone by November.

Why do you say that Bosco? Do they not get along? If so I didn’t know that.

FlipFriddle

Good luck Mr. Jobs, and thanks.

geoduck

Sorry to hear it but as others have said, it’s not a huge surprise.

It’s my hope that he’s departing now so he can be around as an “Emeritus CEO” nudging things behind the scenes for years to come.

All the best Steve. Thanks for the years of fun.

Bosco (Brad Hutchings)

Why do you say that Bosco? Do they not get along? If so I didn?t know that.

Ive knows that Cookie has no vision. Ive could be hired in as CEO of just about any semi-floundering computer company because he could turn their product line around quickly with design, just as he did at Apple. But he could also just “retire” to the old country and raise his kids for a few years, watch from afar what a mess Cookie makes, and ride in later to save it just like Steve.

RonMacGuy

Innovate and compete. But don?t play this asinine Jobsian game where when you don?t win in the marketplace, you cry to the courts.

Yeh, like Apple isn’t winning in the marketplace. You are so clueless, as usual.

skipaq

This is a sad day for Apple and its’ customers. Wish Steve well.

@Bosco I see your personal animus toward Steve hasn’t let up. You are making yourself into the exact image you paint for others. Not surprising that we get the same judgements for those still leading Apple. Who knew that you were so well connected to the thoughts of Ive and Cook? Of course, you predict the future and it all comes true. You declare histories findings before the time. Does it get lonely way up there?

mhikl

But don?t play this asinine Jobsian game where when you don?t win in the marketplace, you cry to the courts. That is weak sauce.

Yes, the leader of the wealthiest and possibly most powerful corporation in America has done it all wrong and should listen to someone who hasn’t run any corporation that anyone has heard of, has knocked out all his competitors nobody has ever heard of, and has, is and very likely will continue to drive innovations all others covet that we haven’t ever heard of.

Bosco, I am sure Steve is following you closely. Continue leading by example.

Inept and bitter is your style.

BurmaYank

Inept and bitter is your style.

@Bosco - All your expressed thoughts have reminded me of farts.  These were a little more unpleasant than some.

aardman

You guys must admit that it is quite entertaining to watch someone make a complete fool of himself.  Especially when he seems to be totally unaware of how big of an asshat he looks when he presumes to speak as if he stands on the same pedestal as a man who is considered to be the greatest business leader of our time.

It is just breathtaking to watch.  You marvel that such people exist.

kevinlane

History will then show that he quit when he realized he couldn?t own and control every idea.

Are you really so biased and, quite frankly, stupid, to think that Steve Jobs resigned because he “couldn’t own and control every idea.?”  Do you not think at all that this is health related, as sorry as I am to suggest that? 

I wish for his sake that you were right, that this would have nothing to do with his health.  Unfortunately, I believe that it has everything to do with his health. 

History (which will, quite obviously, not be written by you) will remember Jobs for how he changed the world with innovation. 

How will history remember you?

geoduck

Gentlemen, Gentlemen
While I agree that the opinions of Bosco aren’t (to paraphrase a former vice president) worth a bucket of warm spit, but let us do try to keep it civil and on topic if we might.

I read elsewhere that SJ was planning to keep a hand in with product development. that’s very good news as it’s what he likes to do best anyway.

mhikl

Ive knows that Cookie has no vision. . . . and ride in later to save it just like Steve.

You are a pompous ass, Bosco. To restate, you’re like a strutting peacock who thinks he knows everything yet nothing of relevance that you prophesies comes true. Apple continues to do better and better raking in the profits, developing the products that people want and the competition is falling like dominoes. Shortly there will be no Android sorority, there will only be Google’s gPhone and it won’t be able to compete unless it is so cheap the poor can purchase it. And yet you will still be spraying your vile spiel like the wounded knight in a Monty Python farce.

So you don’t like Steve, you don’t like Tim. You like Apple’s competitors, all losers whose corporations can’t compete with Apple.

Go figure.

On a happy note, you still have the pits and the ferret. And dogs listen, and love and adore you, unconditionally. Good. Loneliness should be never be wished on anyone. It would be terrible. Not sure about the ferret, though.

mhikl

More proof Bosco is right.

Apple now earns $5,600 per sq ft, blows past other US retailers.

Apple’s retail network has brought in $14 billion over the year ending in June

Apple at top of rankings of 20 US retail chains in terms of merchandise value sold per square foot of store.

Time to take the pits for a walk.

craigf

Please, please, PLEASE stop quoting Bosco in your replies. I always make sure I’m logged in so I can filter out his ravings and those of another loser or two. The only sane thing to do is to filter out comment loonies and refuse to rise to their bait. If you can’t live without your daily dose of craziness please don’t share it with the rest of us who only care about thoughtful and informed opinion and who can live without obsessive hatred.

I’m begging you.

RonMacGuy

You guys must admit that it is quite entertaining to watch someone make a complete fool of himself.

The sad thing is, he says such idiotic and ignorant things yet he continuously ropes us all into responding. I honestly think he does it just for our reaction. A true troll in every sense of the word. By responding we are providing his “fix”.

Sorry Bryan, but it looks like all civility has gone out the window.

Bosco (Brad Hutchings)

Are you really so biased and, quite frankly, stupid, to think that Steve Jobs resigned because he ?couldn?t own and control every idea.??? Do you not think at all that this is health related, as sorry as I am to suggest that??

Notice who engages in name calling here. I sincerely hope he lives a long time. Then we can look back at when he iQuit and notice an inflection point in the narrative where things didn’t go Apple’s way. The Dutch judge handed Apple a very significant defeat in its legal assault on competitors today. 1 for 10 against phones, Ofer against tablets, enough lead time for Samsung to address the problem without a hitch in its supply chain. Is Apple really going to continue that silly legal game? From what I know of Jobs’ temper tantrums over the wrong bottled water brand, I wouldn’t be surprised at all if that pushed him over the edge.

Paul Goodwin

Having Steve recommend Tim Cook as his successor is good enough for me. He obviously sees the right stuff in him to keep Apple ahead of every one of their competitors. So what’s with the comment about Tim Cook failing and someone else coming in to bail him out? BLONEY. This departure of Steve is so different from when he left the first time and Apple stagnated. He’s surrounded himself with great people as every great business man has, and has preached a long time about staying on target, innovating, creating and making money. The culture there is set. And he’s not leaving (for a while at least). From my first Apple IIc and Mac SE to my latest iMac, iPhone, and iPad, the guy has had it right. That’s a very long time to be to be great. And I don’t think he’s done quite yet.?

mhikl

Please, please, PLEASE stop quoting Bosco in your replies.

You are right, craigf.

When people do not respond to his stir, he gets bored and leaves. As well, when Apple is doing so well and all his favourite junk companies doing so inarguably badly, he stays away.

Today was a difficult day. It wasn’t difficult because Steve is stepping down but that there is the real chance that he had no choice and his days are numbered. Bosco is so insensitive to the feelings of others that he actually gets pleasure in the worst of times and worst of people’s fears. When Steve does leave this good life, Bosco will be there with relish. It is who he is. There are energy givers and energy devourers. We know which he is.

But, you are right. Bosco is destroying this site and by our responses, we are enablers. There are many who have left TMO to go elsewhere for Apple information and Apple shared values for the very reasons you state. But that is what happens when we embrace free speech. We all need to make better choices in this matter if we want to keep TMO vibrant.

I have noticed that the editors of this site, unless I have missed it, have not been addressed him in a while. There was a point where I had to leave this site because it had almost become a TMO hug-in for Bosco and the need of some for his respect. I think everyone concerned realised that that is not a concept familiar to his psyche or to a sense in his spirit and it stopped. This is the best they can do. It must come from the readers, no front he good editors of TMO to deal with Bosco.

I have not chosen to ignore anyone as I do so strongly believe in free speech. However, that would not prevent me from not communicating with or about some one. Your bold choice to raise this topic is a courageous one. This might be what must be done and then possibly the ones who choose to spar with him will stop. Then he would have little reason to stay around.

Kudos for bringing this up Craig. I look forward to your posts on all things Apple and I hope I haven’t been one you have chosen to ignore for then you wouldn’t see my repines. smile

Notice Bosco’s last response above. As soon as he sees a response to him he can argue with, he is in his glory. It is very curious to what he responds. There is a pattern to his method.

aardman

Having Steve recommend Tim Cook as his successor is good enough for me. He obviously sees the right stuff in him to keep Apple ahead of every one of their competitors. So what?s with the comment about Tim Cook failing and someone else coming in to bail him out? BLONEY.

Agree absolutely.  If there are no Steve Jobs clones available, and chances are there aren’t, the best CEO is a quiet but efficient operator who does not feel the need to grab the spotlight and thus is able to keep the incredibly talented team that Steve Jobs has assembled to continue working together at peak effectiveness.

BurmaYank

mhikl: Buddhists often pick the time to slow down and concentrate on more important things than material goods and services so health might not be the whole issue.

“For the past 33 years, I have looked in the mirror every morning and asked myself, ” If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?” And whenever the answer has been “no” for too many days in a row, I know I need to change something.”

BurmaYank

this is how my 2nd. quote in my previous comment would have read, if TMO’s comment-editing function on the iPhone hadn’t timed me out:

Steve Jobs (to Stanford U. students in 2005): ?For the past 33 years, I have looked in the mirror every morning and asked myself, ? If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?? And whenever the answer has been ?no? for too many days in a row, I know I need to change something.”

Lee Dronick

this is how my 2nd. quote in my previous comment would have read, if TMO?s comment-editing function on the iPhone hadn?t timed me out:

Quoting on an iOS device is a pain in the butt. I occasionally do it, but sometimes it takes several attempts. If I highlight text and then hit the action icon (gear wheel)  to choose Quote Selected Text the text may deselect and I get an error message. I think my finger tip is too wide for the touch screen in this situation; I may start carrying and using my stylus more often.

Getting back on topic, sort of, the tech and news world is abuzz on this news. The quality of their stories about Steve Jobs and Apple are all over the scale. I may take a break from watching TV or checking news websites other than TMO and focus on my projects.

A hot humid day is forecast for San Diego. I am taking the beagles for a walk while it is still foggy and cool outside.

BurmaYank

craigf:
“Please, please, PLEASE stop quoting Bosco in your replies. I always make sure I?m logged in so I can filter out his ravings and those of another loser or two… If you can?t live without your daily dose of craziness please don?t share it with the rest of us who only care about thoughtful and informed opinion and who can live without obsessive hatred.

I?m begging you.

OK, I agree - I’ll pledge to stop quoting Bosco, too.  Your reasoning makes a lot of sense to me, too.

geoduck

I always make sure I?m logged in so I can filter out his ravings and those of another loser or two.

Well said. If I might make a suggestion, when we block someone though their comments are hidden, they still arrive in our e-mail. I created a rule to move any message with the username I’ve blocked in the message field directly to my Trash folder. The rest stay in my in-box. It saves a lot of aggravation.

Freedom of speech is a fundamental right, as is our right to choose for ourselves not listen to someone we find offensive.

Lee Dronick

Freedom of speech is a fundamental right, as is our right to choose for ourselves not listen to someone we find offensive.

Freedom of speech only applies between someone and their government. But point taken, anyone one of us here can comment as long as we don’t violate the MacObserver’s Terms Of Service. Furthermore nothing stops us from blogging on our own website, even then the host may have TOS with which we must comply.

wab95

I realise that I am late to this party, but I?ve been out in the deep weeds.

I think (and therefore it is an opinion, not a fact) that those pundits who have bemoaned Steve Jobs? stepping down as CEO, on the one hand, and those who have hailed his departure at the helm as an opportunity for Apple?s competition, on the other have, alike, missed the climax to one of the greatest final acts-in-tenure of any departing CEO in living memory, namely Steve?s greatest creation yet - Apple Inc.

This product is fundamentally different from, albeit integral to, all of the products that have come out of Apple?s mint since SJ returned in 1997. This one is organic. It is a product steeped in creative culture, populated by formidable talent, and reborn through two of the most galvanic forces any company can encounter; near extinction at its birth and unbridled success in its present. This is a company on fire; in touch with its mortality, but in harmony with the object of its creative spirit - we the consumers.

Apple has earned its place of honour amongst the world?s leading industrial tier through trial and triumph. CEOs of the world?s most respected companies, across disciplines, stand in awe of this transformation from a niche computer company to a tech juggernaut that has redefined both the industry and its models of engagement. This Jobsian invention will be studied by businesses and scholars for decades to come.

When a company pulls a one-off great and improbable feat, it is an anomaly. When it does so repeatedly, over time and across multiple fronts, it is a force of nature. This company has demonstrated to a once sceptical and dismissive world that it has the DNA to endure, but more than that. Studies of lions, ironically enough, show that cubs from successful prides make the most successful predators. They perfect their craft to an art form, and continue as dominant prides. This company, through both its pain and its later prowess has developed, I believe, more than keen survival instincts, but an instinct for killer products and a path to bind them all into an ecosystem where the consumer is king.

Of all of his creations, this is the one I believe Steve Jobs will be most remembered for in time - the man who invented Apple Inc. As for the competition, good luck; Apple needs their competitive dialectic.

As for Steve, I salute his accomplishments and his genius, but I predict and look forward to a dynamic future for an insanely great company, and all which that means for the rest of us.

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