Steve Jobs Stepped Down As Apple CEO

Apple CEO Steve Jobs on Wednesday submitted his resignation letter to the company board. Steve Jobs will be replaced by former Chief Operating Officer Tim Cook, the company said on late Wednesday.Jobs will stay on as Apple's chairman.Apple has made no mention of Jobs' health in its statement about the change, but Jobs alluded to […]

Apple CEO Steve Jobs on Wednesday submitted his resignation letter to the company board. Steve Jobs will be replaced by former Chief Operating Officer Tim Cook, the company said on late Wednesday.

Jobs will stay on as Apple's chairman.

Apple has made no mention of Jobs' health in its statement about the change, but Jobs alluded to it in the letter of resignation he sent to Apple's board on Wednesday and later released publicly.

Apple's board took pains to praise Jobs, who led a historic turnaround for the once-ailing company. Apple shares were briefly halted in after-hours trading as Apple announced its leadership change. When trading resumed, shares dropped 5%.

"Steve's extraordinary vision and leadership saved Apple and guided it to its position as the world's most innovative and valuable technology company," board member Art Levinson said. "In his new role as chairman of the board, Steve will continue to serve Apple with his unique insights, creativity and inspiration."

"One of the most important things that Steve Jobs did in Apple 2.0 is rebuilding the culture," said Mike McGuire, analyst at Gartner. "But it's not quite the 'cult of Steve' like many believe. He built incredible teams that didn't quite have free reign, but had plenty of room to innovate. It's going to be hard work, but Apple will be fine without him."

Wall St. Journal's Walt Mossberg says that Steve Jobs' role at Apple will remain unchanged:

Extremely well-informed sources at Apple say he intends to remain involved in developing major future products and strategy and intends to be an active chairman of the board, even while new CEO Tim Cook runs the company day to day.

Here is his resignation letter:

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