In what can only be described as shocking, Steve Jobs resigned as CEO of Apple Inc this evening. Here is his resignation letter in full (via WSJ):
CUPERTINO, Calif.–August 24, 2011–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.
We all knew Steve was having health problems, but I never hoped it would come to this. Get well Steve.
Unless you were in a secret underground lair and only recently surfaced, you heard all about Steve Jobs leave of absence at Apple this week. This is the second time Steve Jobs has temporarily relinquished control of Apple since his return from NeXT Computer. In 2004 while battling pancreatic cancer, he gave control of Apple to Tim Cook. With his latest absence, Tim Cook has again been chosen to run Apple while Steve is gone.
So what do we know about Tim Cook? Fortune’s Adam Lashinsky recently decided to share some details regarding Cook. My favorite quote from the article:
One day back then, he convened a meeting with his team, and the discussion turned to a particular problem in Asia.
“This is really bad,” Cook told the group. “Someone should be in China driving this.” Thirty minutes into that meeting Cook looked at Sabih Khan, a key operations executive, and abruptly asked, without a trace of emotion, “Why are you still here?”
Khan, who remains one of Cook’s top lieutenants to this day, immediately stood up, drove to San Francisco International Airport, and, without a change of clothes, booked a flight to China with no return date, according to people familiar with the episode. The story is vintage Cook: demanding and unemotional.
Adam’s article is a good read if you are interested in the person currently driving the Apple ship. In fact, Tim Cook is my pick to become the next CEO of Apple whenever Jobs does decide to leave.
As much as we Apple fans hate to admit it, at some point Steve Jobs will step down as the CEO. Analysts, bloggers, and technology writers sometimes like to ponder exactly who would take over as CEO if Jobs were to leave Apple. The pondering hit a high following the WWDC Keynote when a number of publications posted on the frail look of Steve while he was on stage during the Keynote. Coming today, Fortune looks to answer those questions about Steve’s successor.
Fortune has posted 11 potential successors for the post Jobs era at Apple. Among the potential Apple executives up for the task according to Fortune:
- Tim Cook – COO
- Phil Schiller – SVP, Worldwide Product Marketing
- Scott Forstall – SVP, iPhone Software
- Jonathan Ive – SVP, Industrial Design
- Peter Oppenheimer – CFO
My money is on Tim Cook. He’s as involved with the day to day running of Apple as anyone in the company. Tim was also the interim CEO when Steve Jobs had his pancreatic cancer surgery in 2004. Tim’s also has a passion for cycling, which helps him in my book! Who do you think is the next CEO of Apple?