By Gemma Taylor - Celebrated CEO of electricals retailer Apple Steve Jobs has resigned, it was announced late yesterday.
Jobs, the iconic figure who co-founded the technology giant in 1976, will be replaced with immediate effect by Chief Operating Officer Tim Cook, whom Jobs “strongly recommended” to succeed him.
In his resignation letter to the board of directors, Jobs claimed that he “could no longer meet his duties and expectations as Apple’s CEO”, adding: “As far as my successor goes, I strongly recommend that we execute our succession plan and name Tim Cook as CEO of Apple.”
Art Levinson, Chairman of Genentech, welcomed Cook on behalf of the board. He said: “The board has complete confidence that Tim is the right person to be our next CEO.
“Tim’s 13 years of service to Apple have been marked by outstanding performance, and he has demonstrated remarkable talent and sound judgment in everything he does.”
In spite of this public vote of confidence, shares in the company slid more than five per cent in after-hours trading on the Nasdaq Stock Market yesterday, emphasising the strong influence that Jobs holds.
Jobs has been widely seen as the creative mastermind behind the company’s immensely popular innovations, receiving a sustained standing ovations during the recent unveiling of the long-awaited iPad 2.
The announcement follows last month’s report of record revenues for the company, which reached £17.77 billion for the third quarter of its financial year.
Jobs will remain a vital, if less high-profile, presence within the company, becoming chairman and remaining on the board of directors.
Commenting on Jobs’ resignation, Levinson added: “Steve’s extraordinary vision and leadership saved Apple and guided it to its position as the world’s most innovative and valuable technology company.
“Steve has made countless contributions to Apple’s success, and he has attracted and inspired Apple’s immensely creative employees and world class executive team. In his new role as Chairman of the board, Steve will continue to serve Apple with his unique insights, creativity and inspiration.”
The departing CEO, who has been on medical leave since January for an undisclosed illness, expressed his confidence in the company as it enters a new phase and recognised the strong team that remains in place.
“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,” he said.
“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.”