Steve Jobs resigns as Apple CEO, Tim Cook takes over

Posted in News,Technology by Scott Meisner on August 24th, 2011

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.

Steve

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.

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Ellen DeGeneres leaves her post as American Idol judge [Update: JLo takes her place]

Posted in News,Television by Scott Meisner on July 29th, 2010

Ellen DeGeneres has decided to call it quits after only one year as the judge who just couldn’t fit in on American Idol.  Today FOX released two statements, one from DeGeneres and the other from the network itself.

DeGeneres: “A couple months ago, I let Fox and the American Idol producers know that this didn’t feel like the right fit for me. I told them I wouldn’t leave them in a bind and that I would hold off on doing anything until they were able to figure out where they wanted to take the panel next.  It was a difficult decision to make, but my work schedule became more than I bargained for.   I also realized this season that while I love discovering, supporting and nurturing young talent, it was hard for me to judge people and sometimes hurt their feelings. I loved the experience working on IDOL and I am very grateful for the year I had.  I am a huge fan of the show and will continue to be.”

Peter Rice, FOX Chairman of Entertainment: “We love Ellen and understand and support her decision to bow out of Idol. We were fortunate to receive the humor, energy and love for talent that she brought to the show.”

According to the latest reports, American Idol creator Simon Fuller will be back for season 10, and he hopes to bring new judges to the panel.  Judge Simon Cowell left the show to produce the American version of The X Factor, and this leaves a huge gap to fill.  Justin Timberlake and Elton John are currently in talks with the network concerning this matter.  The state of Kara Dioguardi and our main dawg Randy Jackson remains up in the air until a final decision is made.  The Television Critics Tour begins this Monday; it would be wise for FOX to steal the show by announcing an exciting new panel of judges there.

Update:  According to a report from Deadline, Jennifer Lopez will take DeGeneres’ place as a new American Idol judge for season 10.  FOX and JLo’s reps have yet to comment on the breaking news.  Deadline also spills that “unconfirmed reports” target Steven Tyler as a possible Cowell replacement (that’s in addition to Justin Timberlake and Elton John).

[Via EW-HollywoodInsider]

ABC president Steve McPherson steps down [Update: Paul Lee steps in]

Posted in News,Television by Scott Meisner on July 29th, 2010

After six years as ABC Entertainment Group President, Steve McPherson has resigned from the company.  When McPherson first took the reins of the ABC primetime lineup the network was stuck in fourth place behind direct competitors CBS, FOX, and NBC.  Throughout his career as president he oversaw many of ABC’s well known hits and misses.  He had a hand in launching the uber-successful primetime dramas like Lost, Grey’s Anatomy, and Desperate Housewives; the new Wednesday night comedy lineup including Modern Family, Cougartown, and The Middle; and one of most watched reality programs Dancing With the Stars.  During his early days, though, he was there when the network overplayed “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire” until its eventual cancellation.  He has also been faulted with not pushing hard enough for procedural dramas (like CBS’ The Mentalist) as opposed to the heavily serialized shows like Lost.  As great as a show Lost was (and always will be), shows like it are hard to repeat and syndicate once they are completed.  His final year with ABC (2009-2010) landed the network in third place, just 150,000 viewers ahead of NBC.

The sudden resignation comes on the heels of the Summer TV Press Tour 2010, a time when the big networks show off and promote their fall TV lineups.  Yesterday “an informed source” leaked information saying that McPherson was tied up in a formal investigation conducted by ABC related to sexual harrassment crimes.  ABC has not responded to comment, nor have they denied the rumors.  McPherson’s lawyer states that his client “made a voluntary decision to resign, and ABC accepted his resignation.  It is not uncommon for high-level executives to be the subject of gossip and innuendo.”  Whatever the case may be, McPherson is out and a replacement has not been decided upon yet.  ABC Family president Paul Lee, riding high on his recent teen-hit Pretty Little Liars, is expected to occupy the now-vacant position.  McPherson’s parting words:

“I want to thank the wonderful team of individuals who have worked with me throughout my time here and wish them nothing but the best.”

Update: It’s official.  Paul Lee is the new ABC Entertainment Group President and will oversee the network’s primetime lineup and its sister company, ABC Studios.  If he can do to ABC what he did with ABC Family (Kyle XY, The Secret Life of the American Teenager, Pretty Little Liars, Greek) this network might have a fighting chance against behemoths FOX and CBS.

[Via EW-HollywoodInsider; here & hereTHR]

Paula Abdul bids American Idol adieu

Posted in News,Television by Scott Meisner on August 5th, 2009

After judging contestants for eight years, judge Paula Abdul will not return for Season 9 of American Idol this year.  She broke the news on Twitter: “With sadness in my heart, I’ve decided not to return to #IDOL.  I’ll miss nurturing all the new talent, but most of all … being a part of a show that I helped from day 1 become an international phenomenon.” 

According to numerous sources, the reason she is not returning to the show involves money and contract issues.  She was asking for as much as $20 million a year to stay on the show, and it looks like the two sides could not come to an agreement.  At least she is leaving the show with an untarnished image, right?  Uh, not so much.  Over the years, Abdul has been criticized for her unusual behavior and her supposed relationship with one of the show’s contestants.  Her quirkiness, drunken states of mind, unpredictability, and memorable interactions with co-judge Simon Cowell were definite crowd pleasers, and I am curious to see if ratings will continue to skyrocket without Abdul drinking rum and coke in between takes.  For now, Cowell, Jackson, and DioGuardi remain the current judges, and Ryan Seacrest will continue to host.

[Via Variety]

Google CEO Eric Schmidt resigns from Apple’s board

Posted in News,Technology by Scott Meisner on August 4th, 2009

In a not-so-surprising move, Google CEO Eric Schmidt has resigned from Apple’s Board of Directors.  A conflict of interest has come between the two corporate giants.  In recent news, Google announced their new Chrome OS; they currently run the Android OS on many cell phones, and they are expanding their search and web applications.  What it comes down to is this: Schmidt simply does not belong on the Apple BoD any longer.  With Google services starting to overlap in areas that Apple has lived in for decades, this is a smart decision for Google.  Although Google and Apple can be labeled competing companies, it would be wise for them to maintain a healthy relationship as many of Google’s services (namely, Maps & YouTube) come pre-loaded on all Apple iPhones.  As of late, though, things have become stale between the two; Apple continues to reject Google applications that too closely resemble and function like Apple apps.  The recent Google Voice rejection definitely left a bad taste in Schmidt’s mouth, I bet.  Check out the full PR release after the break.

[Via Engadget; Apple]

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