The man who cofounded Apple and led its remarkable turnaround, beginning in the late 1990s, announced this afternoon in a short, plainly-worded letter that he was resigning as Apple’s chief executive officer, presumably due to his health:
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.
Jobs has been on indefinite medical leave as CEO since January. Now his leave is permanent, rather than indefinite.
Apple wasted no time in announcing the appointment of Chief Operating Officer (COO) Tim Cook as its new CEO. Cook will join Apple’s board immediately, and Jobs will assume the duties of chairman, immediately.
No doubt Apple waited until after the close of trading to announce all of these changes so that investors could get digest the news throughout the early and late evening. Since the board has already acted to appoint Cook as CEO and Jobs as Chairman, there won’t be any uncertainty about who will be running Apple tomorrow morning. The board is obviously hoping to mitigate fears that Apple’s future will not be as bright without Jobs running the company.
Standard & Poor’s 500 Index futures lost 0.4 percent to 1,167.60 at 6:59 p.m. in New York. Nasdaq-100 Index futures fell 1 percent. Apple shares dropped 6.6 percent to $351.35. Jobs said he’s resigning and recommended Tim Cook be named his successor. Jobs said he would like to continue as chairman.
Apple’s short-term trajectory is unlikely to be affected by Jobs’ resignation. Long-term, however, the company’s future will become more uncertain the eyes of many analysts and investors, because Jobs will not be at the helm micromanaging decisions. But if Apple is to survive, it will have to make do without Jobs at its helm. Apple’s shareholders and board of directors have always known this.