Today Apple’s Board of Directors announced that Steve Jobs has resigned as Chief Executive Officer, and the Board has named Tim Cook, previously Apple’s Chief Operating Officer, as the company’s new CEO. Jobs has been elected Chairman of the Board and Cook will join the Board, effective immediately.
Jobs submitted his resignation to the Board today and strongly recommended that the Board implement its succession plan and name Tim Cook as CEO. As COO, Cook was previously responsible for all of the company’s worldwide sales and operations, including end-to-end management of Apple’s supply chain, sales activities, and service and support in all markets and countries. Apple’s stock may take a hit here in the short-term but I think Apple has executed this transition almost flawlessly. They had Jobs fall back several months ago through his leave of absence which allowed Cook to be in the spotlight for the last few months. Most folks believe that the iPhone 5 announcement is now weeks away and I would guess it could be in the next two to three weeks since Apple could use that announcement to counter any negative market reaction from the Jobs resignation. This sets up Cook to unveil the iPhone 5, the iPad 3 and whatever Apple has coming down the pipeline so it’s actually very good timing overall.
How this will work out is still yet to be seen, but we will keep an eye on it. Check out Steve Jobs’ final letter to Apple employees:
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.