Steve Jobs resigned as Apple's CEO and was replaced by Tim Cook, formerly COO of the iconic company Jobs cofounded 35 years ago.
According to a letter circulated on Business Wire, Jobs tendered his resignation to the company's board of directors on Wednesday afternoon after saying he was no longer able to meet the requirements of the post.
"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," he wrote. "Unfortunately, that day has come."
He didn't elaborate.
The board approved Jobs's recommendations that he be named chairman and that Cook be named as the next CEO and join Apple's board. The changes take effect immediately. Jobs, 56, will remain an employee of the company.
Cook, 50, previously oversaw Apple's worldwide sales and operations, including management of the company's supply chain, sales activities, and service and support. He was also responsible for Apple’s Macintosh division and played a key role in the continued development of strategic reseller and supplier relationships. He assumed day-to-day operations of the company during leaves Jobs took in 2009 and again earlier this year.
Jobs was diagnosed with a rare form of pancreatic cancer in 2004 and underwent a liver transplant two years ago. He went on medical leave in January and has appeared in public at least twice since then, once at the launch of the iPad 2 in March and at Apple's annual developer conference in June.
Jobs cofounded Apple in 1976 at the age of 21. He and friend Steve Wozniak quickly catapulted to fame with the run-away success of the Apple II and Macintosh computers. Jobs left Apple in 1985 following a fight with John Sculley, who had been recruited by Jobs to become CEO two years earlier.
After founding NeXt Computer and later buying the computer graphics division of Lucas Film and refashioning it into Pixar, Jobs rejoined Apple in 1996 when the company agreed to buy NeXt for $400 million. He soon returned to the helm and helped revive a badly ailing Apple with the iMac line of computers. It was the beginning of a steady stream of hits over the years that would also include the the iPod, MacBook, iPhone, and iPad.
Under Jobs's exacting stewardship, Apple became the second most valuable company, behind Exxon Mobil, and the world's most valuable tech company.
"I believe Apple’s brightest and most innovative days are ahead of it," Jobs wrote in his resignation letter. "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." ®