In a brief letter to the Apple board of directors as well as the “Apple Community”, Steve Jobs announced his resignation as CEO of the company. “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,” he said fuelling speculation that the 55-year-old, who co-founded Apple in a garage and is a survivor of pancreatic cancer is indeed in ill health.
In response to the letter of resignation, Art Levinson, chairman of Genentech, said on behalf of Apple’s board, “Steve’s extraordinary vision and leadership saved Apple and guided it to its position as the world’s most innovative and valuable technology company. Steve has made countless contributions to Apple’s success, and 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.”
“I believe Apple’s brightest and most innovative days are ahead of it,” Jobs said in his public letter. The markets, however, disagreed. Apple’s shares plummeted 7% immediately after the announcement of the resignation was made.
Jobs co-founded Apple in 1976 with Steve Wozniak and Ronald Wayne, then parted ways with the company in 1986 only to return in 1997. He formally assumed the CEO position in 2000, steering Apple to its most profitable period in history. Under his leadership, Apple has come to be identified as the epitome of technological advancement. It remains unclear how active a role Jobs will still play in running the company as his letter of resignation requests that he remains a director, Apple employee and chairman of the board. DM
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