Apple’s ailing, but iconic, CEO is CEO no longer.
Steve Jobs resigned his top leadership role at Apple Wednesday afternoon. He will stay on as chairman, a director and an Apple employee.
The company’s board, at Jobs’ suggestion, has named COO Tim Cook as Jobs’ replacement as CEO, according to a statement released by Apple. Cook will join Apple’s board immediately.
“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,” Jobs said in a letter to Apple’s board and the Apple “community.” He did not say what brought about his resignation.
Jobs has been on temporary leave from his role as CEO since early January for undisclosed reasons. He also took a leave in 2009 for a liver transplant
That leave followed an earlier medical leave which Jobs took in 2004 in order to deal with pancreatic cancer.
“The Board has complete confidence that Tim is the right person to be our next CEO,” Art Levinson, chairman of Genentech and a member of Apple’s Board, said in the statement.
Besides being co-founder of the company, Jobs is widely credited with bringing the graphical user interface to the commercial computing world in the form of the Mac in the 1980s. After he was forced out of the company that he co-founded, again in the mid-1980s, he later returned to the company and is credited with saving the company, which had fallen on hard times.
Since then, Jobs has presided over a veritable golden age at the company, launching the return of the Mac as well as the introduction of the iPod, iPhone, and iPad as well as introducing iTunes and the Apple store. Jobs recently unveiled a new campus that will likely be seen as a large part of his legacy.
An authorized biography of Jobs is set to be released this fall.