Wednesday evening, the iconic Steve Jobs announced that he would be stepping down as CEO of Apple, the company that he helped found in 1976. Since his return to the top spot at the company in 1997 after an internal power struggle, Jobs has overseen the rebirth of Apple and the launch of innovative products like the iPod, iPhone, and iPad that have revolutionized the tech industry.
In typical Jobs fashion, the letter is scant on details. He simply says that he can “no longer meet [his] duties and expectations as Apple’s CEO” and recommends that Tim Cook, Apple’s COO, take his place. Though not mentioned in the letter, Jobs’ years-long struggle with pancreatic cancer could be a motivating factor in his decision.
The big question now is how Apple will fare without its charismatic captain, especially since Jobs and his famous showmanship have been front and center for nearly every major Apple product release. However, Jobs will not be leaving completely. His letter to the Apple Board of Directors requests that he remain an Apple employee and be made the board’s Chairman, a position which had not previously existed. It’s safe to say that while Steve Jobs may be stepping down, he’s certainly not bowing out.
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.