Steve Jobs, the iconic founder and longtime CEO of Apple, resigned his CEO position Wednesday and has been elected Chairman of the Board.
Jobs will be replaced as CEO by Tim Cook, who had been serving as COO. In addition to his position as CEO, Cook will become a member of the Board of Directors, Apple said.
No reason was given for the resignation, and Apple did not respond to a request for more information. In his letter of resignation to the Board, Jobs said that the day has come, "when I could no longer meet my duties and expectations as Apple’s CEO."
Jobs has had a history of dealing with cancer. He was treated for pancreatic cancer in 2004 and had a liver transplant in 2009.
Jobs took an unexpected medical leave of absence starting January 17 of this year. In February, there were concerns that he might have as few as six weeks to live.
He eventually returned to work in March to oversee the launch of Apple's iPad 2.
Despite concerns that Apple's business might suffer without Jobs as CEO, the company has continued its stellar growth on the basis of its iPad, iPhone, and Macintosh PC lines.
Investors took a dim view of Jobs' resignation, causing the company's share prices to fall 5 percent in after-hours trading.
Under Jobs, Apple developed mobile devices and smart devices that drove the company to become the largest publically-listed company in the world in August when its market capitalization passed that of Exxon. That is a far cry from 1997 when Apple received a cash investment of $150 million from Microsoft that helped it shore up its shrinking computer business at a time when it had only a 3 percent market share.
Next: Cook's Apple History And Jobs' Resignation Letter
Cook has a long history with Apple, and in the past handled the company’s worldwide sales and operations, including its supply chain, sales activities, and service, and served as head of the company's Macintosh division.
Art Levinson, Chairman of Genentech, wrote in a statement on behalf of Apple's Board, “The Board has complete confidence that Tim is the right person to be our next CEO. 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.”
The full text of Jobs' letter of resignation to the Apple Board is as follows:
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.