Industry | News

Steve Jobs Leaves CEO Post at Apple

Steve Jobs has resigned from his post as CEO of Apple, according to information released by the company Wednesday afternoon. Jobs, who founded Apple in 1976, will be replaced by Chief Operating Officer Tim Cook. Jobs himself has been elected chairman of Apple's board of directors.

In a letter published on Apple's site, Jobs stated simply that he could no longer fulfill his duties as CEO and recommended Cook as his replacement:

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'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, in a statement released Wednesday afternoon.

Jobs was one of the original founders of Apple, along with inventor Steve Wozniak, and contributed to the development of some of Apple's earliest and most recent technologies, with more than 300 inventor or co-inventor credits to his name from patents held by Apple. He was forced out of the company in 1985 by former PepsiCo President John Sculley, who'd stepped into the role of Apple CEO in 1983 largely at the urging of Jobs himself.

That same year Jobs founded NeXT, which manufactured high-end workstations, and a year later acquired Pixar (then known as the Graphics Group). NeXT was eventually acquired by Apple in 1996, and Jobs returned as a consultant for Apple shortly after that while NeXT's core operating system--NeXTSTEP--was being reworked into the system that would eventually become Mac OS X, the OS that currently powers all of Apple's servers, professional workstations, consumer desktops, and laptops. Jobs became interim CEO in 1997 and formally took the permanent role of CEO in 2000.

"[Jobs] has made countless contributions to Apple's success, and he has attracted and inspired Apple's immensely creative employees and world class executive team," Levinson continued. "In his new role as chairman of the board, Steve will continue to serve Apple with his unique insights, creativity, and inspiration.

Jobs's successor as CEO will be COO Tim Cook, who came to Apple from Compaq. He presently heads up Apple's Macintosh division.

"The board has complete confidence that Tim is the right person to be our next CEO," Levinson said. "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."