Steve Jobs today announced his resignation from Apple, citing an inability to continue due to ongoing health issues, leaving behind a one of the world’s most valuable companies he helped turn around.
“I have always said that 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,” Jobs said in his resignation letter. “Unfortunately, that day has come.”
The Cupertino, Calif.-based company added that Jobs “strongly recommended” that the board name COO Tim Cook as his successor. Jobs will stay on as chairman of the board.
Jobs, 56, has been struggling with his health after receiving a liver transplant in 2009 to battle a rare form of pancreatic cancer discovered in 2004. He has been on medical leave, his third, since January. However, reports indicate Jobs was negotiating business deals with China Mobile as early as last week.
Cook, 50, who joined Apple shortly after Jobs returned to the company in 1997, has been widely seen as his successor. The 13-year Apple veteran has been interim-CEO since January, handing day-to-day activities in Jobs’ absence. In 2004, Cook was in charge for two months when Jobs fought pancreatic cancer, and in 2009 Cook again, took the reins when Jobs left for six months.
Over the last decade, Jobs has led one of the most celebrated turnarounds in corporate history. After stumbling and nearly going out of business in the 1990s, Jobs returned to the company that had fired him and transformed the sluggish PC maker with stylish new products such as the MacBook, iPod, iPhone and iPad.
Apple now earns more than twice as much from mobile devices and music than it does from Mac sales, highlighting the revolutionary shift Jobs helped create in the tech industry.