A major development out of Cupertino: Apple CEO Steve Jobs has stepped down, the board naming Tim Cook as his replacement. The company said "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 himself published the following letter:
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.
Apple has confirmed that Jobs will stay on as Chairman.
Art Levinson, chairman of Genentech and an Apple board member for more than 10 years, issued this statement on behalf of the 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 he 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.
Jobs was diagnosed and treated for pancreatic cancer in 2004. He's taken three separate leaves of absence for medical reasons during and since that time. In 2009, Jobs had a liver transplant at Methodist University Hospital in Memphis, TN. He has been away from his day-to-day duties since January of this year.
Regarding Tim Cook's appointment as CEO, Levinson wrote:
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.
Apple's stock was paused in after-hours trading at 4:19PM for approximately 35 minutes. The final trade was at $375.56. When trading resumed at 4:55, Apple's stock was down more than 5% to $351.
Engadget / MacRumors