Apple announced in a press release on Wednesday that Steve Jobs is stepping down as the company's CEO. At his own request, Jobs will stay on as Chairman of the Board, and former chief operating officer Tim Cook will be taking his place. "I have always said if there ever came a day when I could no longer meet my duties and expectations as Apple’s C.E.O., I would be the first to let you know. That day has come," wrote Jobs in his resignation letter. "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’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 on behalf of Apple's Board. "In his new role as Chairman of the Board, Steve will continue to serve Apple with his unique insights, creativity and inspiration."
The scoop was characteristically well-guarded, but the announcement was not entirely unexpected. Though Wall Street put a hold on Apple stock just moments before the news, Apple stock sunk nearly 7 percent in after hours trading in the span of about half an hour. The media, meanwhile, immediately posted reactions--many of them cobbled together from earlier this year when Steve Jobs announced he was taking an indefinite medical leave of absence.
- TechCrunch's MG Siegler tweeted, "Not going to rush out some half-assed tribute post to Jobs written in 15 minutes. My thoughts from January still hold"
- Business Insider's Henry Blodget and Dan Frommer offered up everything you need to know about Apple's new CEO Tim Cook. Frommer also posted this obituary-like post on "The Life and Awesomeness of Steve Jobs."
- The Wall Street Journal's Jennifer Valentino-Devries compiled some of Steve Jobs's best quotes. The Journal also has this feature on Apple's "Deep Bench."
- The New York Times's Nick Bilton furiously updated his blog post with a look back at Steve Jobs's career and medical difficulties.
- Gizmodo's Brian Barrett shared a though that crossed our mind, too: "Steve Jobs chose the perfect time to resign."
- The Daily Beast's Brian Ries collected reactionary tweets from Apple employees. (They're all quite positive.)
- Byliner compiled a great list of longform journalism on Steve Jobs and his career.
Here's Jobs's resignation letter to Apple's board:
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.
And here's the release:
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’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 and inspiration.”
“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.