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 Jobs co-founded Apple in 1976 with Steve Wozniak, Mike Markkula, and others. In 1977, they launched Apple II, the first “practical” personal computer. Jobs left Apple Computer in 1985 and founded NeXT, a computer company aimed toward the education market. He returned to Apple in 1996 when Apple acquired NeXT for $429 million and took over as CEO in 1997.
Jobs, a genius and legend of Silicon Valley, turned around Apple Inc. from the brink of bankruptcy and stock prices of around $3/share to $350+/share over the last 14 years, introducing successive and successful innovations, including the first mouse-driven user interface, the hugely popular, digital-music-game-changing iPod media player, the phenomenally successful touch interface mobile phone, the iPhone, and the pioneering tablet computer, the iPad – revolutionizing media, telecommunications, mobile applications (apps) and retail businesses in the process.
Jobs also co-founded and incorporated Pixar, a computer animation film studio, in 1986, where he was the CEO, turning out huge box-office hits like Toy Story, Finding Nemo, WALL-E and a slew of other animated films. The Walt Disney Company bought Pixar in 2006 at a valuation of $7.4 billion, and the transaction made Jobs the largest shareholder in Disney.
In August, 2011 Apple temporarily became the largest publicly-traded company in the world, surpassing Exxon-Mobil for the position. They are locked in battle for the crown since.
News of Jobs’ resignation led to AAPL prices to fall by 5% in after-hours trading, although analysts’ sentiments remain bullish. In fact, the price drop is seen by some as a good opportunity to “buy”, particularly about an hour into markets opening.
Tim Cook, the COO of Apple Inc., replaces Jobs, who remains on the Board as Chairman. Cook is considered by the industry an apt replacement in terms of his familiarity and involvement with Apple.
As a visionary, Jobs remains hard to replace, hard to replicate.
Steve Jobs’ 2005 Stanford Commencement Address