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Steve Jobs steps down as CEO of Apple

 By matt buchanan [CC-BY-2.0 (www.creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons 25th August 2011

Steve Jobs has stepped down of CEO of Apple, handing the reins of the company he founded to Chief Operating Officer Tim Cook. Jobs will remain as chairman of Apple.

Jobs founded Apple in 1976 with fellow Silicon Valley legend Steve Wozniak where he stayed until being ousted in 1985. After spending several years creating or driving businesses such as NeXT Computer and Pixar, he returned to Apple in 1998 and is credited in helping to turn the then struggling company into perhaps what is the world's most important technology company that it is today.

In recent years, Jobs has struggled with pancreatic cancer which lead to a liver transplant. Since January 2011 he has been on medical leave from Apple and this latest turn of events also appears to be due to his poor health.

Apple is a company that polarises opinions, and as a company its impact has been both highly positive and high negative at the same time, but Jobs is highly respected in the industry as a whole even amongst bitter business rivals. Job's departure from the CEO role is a sombre moment and industry observers are concerned that this marks a serious deterioration in his health.

Our thoughts are with Mr Jobs and his family. The full text of his resignation letter is below.

    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

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