Less than a hour ago, Steve Jobs sent this letter via his public relations:
“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.
Like the whole consumer tech industry, we wonder what will be the future of Apple without its visionary and charismatic leader. We can expect Steve Jobs and his paranoia to have well prepared its succession, carefully selecting the leader, Tim Cook, who will step in his shoes and designing the Apple future roadmap with attention. However, knowing that in the highly competitive consumer electronics space, execution is key, we have to wonder how that will go. Investors agree: the stock is down in after-hours.
The task for Tim Cook will be a lot easier now that Apple has gained a such dominating position in mobile computing, with huge profits in high-end laptops (over $1000), and very large market share in the smartphone and tablet segments.
At the moment Steve Jobs is not completely gone, and chances are that he will be involved in the most critical decisions of the company.