I don’t think anybody was expecting this day to come for a very long time, and yet here it is. Steve Jobs has stepped down from his post as CEO of Apple. Steve penned this letter for all to read:
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.
The Apple Board of Directors has granted Steve’s wishes; effective immediately former Apple COO Tim Cook is taking over Steve’s vacated position and Steve has been elected Chairman of the Board. In a press release announcing the news, Steve’s achievements are praised and his new role is briefly described:
“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.”
Tim Cook joined Apple in 1998 and nine years later he became COO of the company. In that position he “played a key role in the continued development of strategic reseller and supplier relationships, ensuring flexibility in response to an increasingly demanding marketplace.” Cook is no stranger to the CEO position; he filled in as interim CEO three times (in 2004, 2009, and January 2011) when Steve was forced to go on medical leave. In his letter Steve says that the day has come when he “[can] no longer meet [his] duties and expectations as Apple’s CEO.” Whether or not this means his medical condition has taken a turn for the worse, I wish him good health.
Though the question on everybody’s mind is going to be Can Apple exist without its leader?, we must take time to realize everything that Steve has done for this company, the technology industry, and the world. Under his leadership, Apple has churned out some of the most innovative products and services for consumers and businesses. He forever changed the music industry with the introduction of the iPod and iTunes, he reinvented the cell phone with the iPhone, he figured out how to make tablet computing popular with the iPad, with Apple designer Jony Ive he set a very high bar in terms of device craftsmanship, and last but certainly not least he pushed personal computing into the future with Mac OS X. Steve Jobs is synonymous with Apple. Whether or not the company will continue to be as successful as it has become over the years under new leadership remains to be seen. Cook has been with the company long enough alongside Steve for me to reside full faith in his ability to carry the company and Steve’s magical legacy onward. As Chairman of the Board, Steve will continue to guide Cook and the company on right path.
In 1985 Steve said this: “I’ll always stay connected with Apple. I hope that throughout my life I’ll sort of have the thread of my life and the thread of Apple weave in and out of each other, like a tapestry. There may be a few years when I’m not there, but I’ll always come back.” No matter what happens to Steve his sheer genius and passion for the development of how we interact in the world will always be apart of Apple’s DNA. Steve, we’ll miss you at the top and we’ll never forget all of your invaluable contributions.