3 hours ago, the letter from the man himself:
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.
Unfortunate, indeed. Sad. We wish him the best. Jobs was immediately elected chairman. And Tim Cook named CEO:
“Steve’s extraordinary vision and leadership saved Apple and guided it to its position as the world’s most innovative and valuable technology company,” said Art Levinson, Chairman of Genentech, on behalf of Apple’s Board. “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.”
“The Board has complete confidence that Tim is the right person to be our next CEO,” added Levinson. “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 shares dived 7% in after-hours trading. Confidence in the company remains strong:
“Investors are very comfortable with Tim Cook even though Jobs has been a driver of innovation and clearly an Apple success. Tim has shown Apple can still outperform extremely well when he’s been acting as CEO,” said Cross Research analyst Shannon Cross.
“I don’t know if it’s a health issue. I don’t know if it is a shock. Most likely it was going to happen at some point. Why today versus another day? I don’t know.”
I saw that headline and my nervous system took a jolt.
The thing to keep in mind is this: Apple tomorrow, a week from now, and next month is the exact same Apple from yesterday, a week ago, and last month…
Jobs’s greatest creation isn’t any Apple product. It is Apple itself.
Today’s announcement is just one more step, albeit a big and sad one, in a long-planned orderly transition — a transition that no one wanted but which could not, alas, be avoided. And as ever, he’s doing it his way.
Many complained that the ecosystem that he created was a walled garden, but I’d equate it to a pasture. “The reason everything looks beautiful is because it is out of balance,” wrote Zen master Shunryu Suzuki. “But its background is always in perfect harmony.” In the front, anything can happen. In the back, perfect calm and order.
There is a strain of Internet thought that requires us to tear down, to refuse to see the other side. There will be plenty of that going on in the next few days as talking heads talk. But name one CEO who, on leaving his company, will raise such a wave of well-wishes and interest? When Michael Dell dodders off or Howard Stringer plops into a club chair for his final cigar, will anyone care the next day?
Walt Mossberg begins his essay:
Steve Jobs’ resignation as chief executive officer of Apple is the end of an extraordinary era, not just for Apple, but for the global technology industry in general. Jobs is a historic business figure whose impact was deeply felt far beyond the company’s Cupertino, Calif. headquarters, and who was widely emulated at other companies.
And now, for the first time since 1997, he won’t be the company’s chief executive.
To be very clear, Jobs, while seriously ill, is very much alive. Extremely well-informed sources at Apple say he intends to remain involved in developing major future products and strategy and intends to be an active chairman of the board, even while new CEO Tim Cook runs the company day to day.
Arik Hesseldahl of All ThingsD on what happens next:
Two things will happen tomorrow in the wake of today’s news that Steve Jobs has resigned as the CEO of Apple.
First, Apple investors will freak out.
Second, Apple will do what Apple has planned to do for all these years.
Engadget’s Steve Jobs Apple timeline.
WSJ Digits picks Steve Jobs best quotes. My pick from theirs:
“I think it’s brought the world a lot closer together, and will continue to do that. There are downsides to everything; there are unintended consequences to everything. The most corrosive piece of technology that I’ve ever seen is called television — but then, again, television, at its best, is magnificent.” [Rolling Stone, Dec. 3, 2003]
James Altucher’s HuffPo 10 Unusual Things You Didn’t Know About Steve Jobs. #9:
He didn’t go to college. I actually didn’t know this initially. Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg are the famous college dropouts that I knew about. But apparently Steve Jobs went to Reed College for one semester and then dropped out. I guess you don’t need college to program computers, make computers, build businesses, make movies, manage people, etc.
At a Cupertino City Council meeting jobs pitches a new ‘spaceship’-like Apple campus:
Steve Jobs’ 2005 commencement speech at Stanford:
From TNW’s 10 most unforgettable Steve Jobs video moments, 1983 Apple Keynote-The “1984″ Ad Introduction:
And Mashable’s top 10.