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Apple without Steve Jobs; Steve Jobs resigns as Apple CEO

In the biggest tech news thus far in 2011 has been announced, and it doesn't even involve the iPhone or Android or any product. Steve Jobs has resigned as the CEO of Apple. In terms of the world of technology, it's almost as though a moment of silence is necessary.

It's been something that's been debated for some time: who would take over as Apple CEO when Steve Jobs left? When Steve Jobs returned from exile and became the CEO of Apple again in 1997, the company was reportedly just months from bankruptcy. Given that Apple is now trading spots with Exxon Mobil as No. 1 and No. 2 in terms of market capitalization (number of shares times share price, basically equal to company valuation), it's an amazing comeback.


As Steve Jobs leaves his post as CEO, he has been elected to be the Chairman of the Board of Apple. Meanwhile, COO Tim Cook, who has taken on the day-to-day responsibilities at Apple during both of Jobs' medical leaves (2009 and this year, as well), becomes CEO, effective immediately.

In 2004, Steve Jobs was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, but it was a rare form that he recovered from; most cases of pancreatic cancer are fatal. In 2009, however, he took a medical leave of absence, and later, he had a liver transplant. It was suggested by medical experts that his pancreatic cancer had something to do with his need to liver transplant.

The fact that Jobs has resigned, for those who know his verve and drive, seems to bode ill for his well-being. Odds are that Jobs is doing so because his health is simply not allowing him to continue as CEO. That said, Jobs is and will always be secretive, and we may never know what was the final straw that drove him to resign.

For those interested, Apple has published the full text of Steve Jobs email to the Board of Directors, announcing his resignation. It says:

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


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