The man that saved Apple is leaving his position as CEO probably for reasons of health. “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.”, said Jobs in a statement. Jobs will instead serve as chairman of the board of directors.
Jobs rescued Apple in 1997 when the company had racked up almost $1.9 Billion in debt and was reportedly only 3 months from bankruptcy.
Now Apple is the second most valuable company in the world and while most of that success has come with Jobs at the helm, but “he hasn’t been a driving force for the past two years” said Daniel Genter of RNC Genter Capital Management.
After news of his resignation came out, technology futures took a step back. The NASDAQ-100 derives 2/3rds of its value from technology companies and it slid almost a full percent on the news. Investors will likely be cautious with the stock until confidence builds in Jobs’ successor. A successful launch of the iPhone 5 later this year could be just the confidence builder the company needs.
Chief Operating Officer Tim Cook succeeds Jobs as the CEO. When Jobs handed his resignation to the board today, he reportedly also strongly recommended Cook for the position. His 13 years of experience running sales, manufacturing and distribution at apple should make for a smooth transition for the technology giant.
Apple users may be hopeful that the succession means that Adobe’s Flash technology might be allowed on Apple products. Steve Jobs’ adamant opposition to the technology has been the major reason for its absence on the ubiquitous platform. With Jobs’ serving as chairman of the board though, a change in the near future is unlikely.
Jobs ended his run as Apple’s CEO with this letter:
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.