In the span of mere days, Google announced its intentions to acquire Motorola Mobility, HP halted webOS and PC production, and the TouchPad
went on a fire sale at just $99. Now, Steve Jobs is stepping down as Apple
's CEO. August has surely been a shocking month for the tech world.
In fact, the news from Cupertino was so shocking, Apple's publicly traded stock was halted in after-hours trading. The assumption is that there will be a massive sell-off now that Jobs isn't at the helm, but at least the stop will allow people to digest news and figure out what's next for the company.
Jobs has been "on leave" for some time, making a brief stop at WWDC to speak at what is now his final keynote as Apple CEO. Reports of his declining health have brought doubts about the future of the company, and analysts have long wondered what Apple's succession plan would be.
Tim Cook, previously Apple's Chief Operating Officer, will be taking over as CEO. Cook has been playing an increasingly important role in the company, and now his duties will be elevated further. The shock here cannot be overstated: Jobs was largely credited for turning Apple completely around, from a company on death's doorstep to one that many other rivals can only envy.
The iPod line has a lock on the portable music-player market, and the iPhone revolutionized the modern-day smartphone and spurred Android on, in part, to become yet another competitor. The iPad has a commanding lead in tablet sales. To deny Apple's impact on consumer technology during Jobs' rule as CEO would be foolish; regardless of whether one likes or dislikes Apple products, they have moved the overall market in a major way.
Needless to say, Cook has big shoes to fill, but Jobs won't be leaving Apple altogether, but rather will continue to serve Apple as Chairman of the Board. It remains to be seen how Cook will lead; the iPhone 5 will likely be the first major Apple launch under Cook's hand, with the iPad 3 not far behind.
It goes without saying that the thoughts of many are with Mr. Jobs. He confessed that the "day has come" where he could no longer meet his duties and expectations as Apple's CEO, likely due to health concerns. His full letter is posted below.
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 Jobs Resigns as CEO of Apple
Tim Cook Named CEO and Jobs Elected Chairman of the Board
CUPERTINO, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Apple's Board of Directors today
announced that Steve Jobs has resigned as Chief Executive Officer, and
the Board has named Tim Cook, previously Apple's Chief Operating
Officer, as the company's new CEO. Jobs has been elected Chairman of the
Board and Cook will join the Board, effective immediately.
"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
"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. "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
"The Board has complete confidence that Tim is the right person to be
our next CEO," added Levinson. "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."
Jobs submitted his resignation to the Board today and strongly
recommended that the Board implement its succession plan and name Tim
Cook as CEO.
As COO, Cook was previously responsible for all of the company's
worldwide sales and operations, including end-to-end management of
Apple's supply chain, sales activities, and service and support in all
markets and countries. He also headed Apple's Macintosh division and
played a key role in the continued development of strategic reseller and
supplier relationships, ensuring flexibility in response to an
increasingly demanding marketplace.
Apple designs Macs, the best personal computers in the world, along
with OS X, iLife, iWork and professional software. Apple leads the
digital music revolution with its iPods and iTunes online store. Apple
has reinvented the mobile phone with its revolutionary iPhone and App
Store, and has recently introduced iPad 2 which is defining the future
of mobile media and computing devices.