Apple just announced that Steve Jobs has resigned as chief executive and its board of directors named Tim Cook to the position, according to an Apple news release distributed via AP.
Cook was previously Apple’s chief operating officer and was seen as a likely successor to Jobs, who has battled health problems and took a leave of absence in January.
Jobs has been private about his health status but he’s been notably gaunt over the last year. He battled pancreatic cancer in 2004 and reportedly received a liver transplant last year.
The announcement was made after the market closed. In after-hours trading, Apple stock is down about 5.4 percent to $355.88.
From the release:
Apple’s Board of Directors today 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.
“Steve’s extraordinary vision and leadership saved Apple and guided it to its position as the world’s most innovative and valuable technology company,” said Art Levinson, Chairman of Genentech, on behalf of Apple’s Board. “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 Board has complete confidence that Tim is the right person to be our next CEO,” added Levinson. “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 Jobs’ resignation letter, published by the Wall Street Journal, he said he’s no longer able to do the job, which ominously suggests his health has worsened. From the letter:
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.