Steve Jobs resigns as Apple CEO

Aug 25 2011 - 12:03pm

Images

FILE - In this March 2, 2011 file photo, Apple Inc. Chairman and CEO Steve Jobs waves to his audience at an Apple event at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts Theater in San Francisco. Apple Inc. on Wednesday, Aug. 24, 2011 said Jobs is resigning as CEO, effective immediately. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu, File)
FILE - In this June 7, 2010 file photo, Apple CEO Steve Jobs holds the new iPhone 4 during the Apple Worldwide Developers Conference in San Francisco. Apple Inc. on Wednesday, Aug. 24, 2011 said Jobs is resigning as CEO, effective immediately. He will be replaced by Tim Cook, who was the company's chief operating officer. It said Jobs has been elected as Apple's chairman. (AP Photo/Paul Sakuma, File)
FILE - In this file photo taken Jan. 11, 2011, Tim Cook, Chief Operating Officer of Apple, announces that Verizon Wireless will carry Apple's iPhone, in New York. Apple Inc. on Wednesday, Aug. 24, 2011 said Steve Jobs is resigning as CEO, effective immediately. He will be replaced by Cook, who was the company's chief operating officer. It said Jobs has been elected as Apple's chairman. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan, File)
FILE - In this Oct. 14, 2008 file photo, from left: Apple's chief operating officer, Tim Cook, CEO Steve Jobs, and vice president Phil Schiller take questions during a meeting at Apple headquarters in Cupertino, Calif. Apple Inc. on Wednesday, Aug. 24, 2011 said Jobs is resigning as CEO, effective immediately. He will be replaced by Cook, who was the company's chief operating officer. It said Jobs has been elected as Apple's chairman. (AP Photo/Paul Sakuma, File)
FILE - In this April 24, 1984 file photo, Steve Jobs, left, chairman of Apple Computers, John Sculley, center, then president and CEO, and Steve Wozniak, co-founder of Apple, unveil the new Apple IIc computer in San Francisco. Apple Inc. on Wednesday, Aug. 24, 2011 said Jobs is resigning as CEO, effective immediately. He will be replaced by Tim Cook, who was the company's chief operating officer. It said Jobs has been elected as Apple's chairman. (AP Photo/Sal Veder, File)
FILE - In this March 2, 2011 file photo, Apple Inc. Chairman and CEO Steve Jobs waves to his audience at an Apple event at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts Theater in San Francisco. Apple Inc. on Wednesday, Aug. 24, 2011 said Jobs is resigning as CEO, effective immediately. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu, File)
FILE - In this June 7, 2010 file photo, Apple CEO Steve Jobs holds the new iPhone 4 during the Apple Worldwide Developers Conference in San Francisco. Apple Inc. on Wednesday, Aug. 24, 2011 said Jobs is resigning as CEO, effective immediately. He will be replaced by Tim Cook, who was the company's chief operating officer. It said Jobs has been elected as Apple's chairman. (AP Photo/Paul Sakuma, File)
FILE - In this file photo taken Jan. 11, 2011, Tim Cook, Chief Operating Officer of Apple, announces that Verizon Wireless will carry Apple's iPhone, in New York. Apple Inc. on Wednesday, Aug. 24, 2011 said Steve Jobs is resigning as CEO, effective immediately. He will be replaced by Cook, who was the company's chief operating officer. It said Jobs has been elected as Apple's chairman. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan, File)
FILE - In this Oct. 14, 2008 file photo, from left: Apple's chief operating officer, Tim Cook, CEO Steve Jobs, and vice president Phil Schiller take questions during a meeting at Apple headquarters in Cupertino, Calif. Apple Inc. on Wednesday, Aug. 24, 2011 said Jobs is resigning as CEO, effective immediately. He will be replaced by Cook, who was the company's chief operating officer. It said Jobs has been elected as Apple's chairman. (AP Photo/Paul Sakuma, File)
FILE - In this April 24, 1984 file photo, Steve Jobs, left, chairman of Apple Computers, John Sculley, center, then president and CEO, and Steve Wozniak, co-founder of Apple, unveil the new Apple IIc computer in San Francisco. Apple Inc. on Wednesday, Aug. 24, 2011 said Jobs is resigning as CEO, effective immediately. He will be replaced by Tim Cook, who was the company's chief operating officer. It said Jobs has been elected as Apple's chairman. (AP Photo/Sal Veder, File)

SAN JOSE, Calif. -- Steve Jobs has resigned as CEO at Apple, the company he co-founded at age 21 and turned into an international business icon, known for its tremendous profits and elegantly designed devices like the iPhone, iPad and Mac computers.

The Cupertino, Calif., company announced Wednesday that veteran executive Tim Cook has been named as Jobs' replacement.

In a letter released Wednesday afternoon, Jobs said the time to leave had arrived.

"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 wrote, in a letter addressed "to the Apple Board of Directors and the Apple Community."

Apple offered no further detail on why Jobs was stepping down. The 56-year-old Jobs has been on his third medical leave after previously being treated for pancreatic cancer and a liver transplant.

The company said the board had voted to elect Jobs as chairman. In his letter, Jobs told the Apple board, "I would like to serve, if the Board sees fit, as Chairman of the Board, director and Apple employee." He also recommended the company implement its succession plan by naming Cook as CEO.

"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 added. "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."

The letter was signed, simply, "Steve."

In a statement released by the company, Apple director Art Levinson praised Jobs for his iconic role at the company.

"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 Levinson, who is also chairman of Genentech.

"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."

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

Cook, who had been acting in Jobs' place while Jobs was on medical leave, had previously served as chief operating officer, responsible for the company's worldwide sales, supply chain and other operations. He also headed Apple's Macintosh division.

The 50-year-old Cook had previously stepped in for Jobs in 2004 and 2009.

While many analysts have praised Cook's leadership and operational skills, he has big shoes to fill. Jobs is practically worshipped in Silicon Valley for turning Apple around and achieving its current position as one of the most profitable companies in the tech industry.

Apple's stock dropped more than 5 percent in after-hours trading Wednesday after the company released Jobs' letter.

(c)2011 San Jose Mercury News (San Jose, Calif.)

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