Steve Jobs steps down: the end of an era

Steve Jobs steps down. Is this a jaw-dropping announcement or just the inevitable? Jobs has been on a medical leave of absence since January 17, 2011 so this shouldn’t come as any shock at all. Speculation has run rampant on more than one occasion about the state of his health. Certainly past incidents have led everyone to think that this gentleman was going to be checking out early. In 2004, Jobs had surgery for pancreatic cancer. In 2009, he had a liver transplant. Nobody lives forever but Jobs seems to have been flirting with his mortality for some time. In light of the loss of a Canadian political notable, Mr. Jack Layton, due to prostate cancer, it would seem this latest change of status in Mr. Jobs’ position at Apple may be indicative of yet another health related issue and possibly a fatal one.

On August 24, Apple released a short letter (full text below) from Steve Jobs in which he stated, “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.” One can only assume that something dramatic has occurred with his health. He goes on to state, “I strongly recommend that we execute our succession plan and name Tim Cook as CEO of Apple.”

Jobs’ replacement, Tim Cook, may seem like a name out of the blue however his name has been with the company for some time in various capacities and a glance at his record shows that this man has filled in for Jobs in just about all of these highly publicized stories relating to the health of Apple’s CEO. Nevertheless, the world looks at Steve Jobs and with this announcement comes a flurry of speculation about the company and its future. While the company itself may be financially on solid ground, it is the creative direction of the organization which will come into question as Jobs is seen as the genius behind the development of new products.

The Guardian is reporting today that Apple stock has dropped 5% and effectively wiped out $16 billion in the company’s value. The pundits feel this stock sell-off is to be expected as the initial group of investors give a knee-jerk reaction to Jobs’ resignation. Nevertheless it is felt the company will continue to perform well in the immediate future. The longer term problem will be the strategic vision of the company. While Tim Cook is looked upon as being a competent guardian of the day to day operations, many have not yet seen any of the energetic visionary direction exemplified by Mr. Jobs over his tenure at the helm of what is considered one of the most innovative computer companies not just in the world, but ever.

Published on Aug 25, 2011 by AssociatedPress

Reactions to Jobs’ Resignation As Apple CEO

Steve Jobs, the creative force behind the iPhone, iPad and other devices that turned Apple into one of the world’s most powerful companies, resigned as CEO. The AP spoke with industry analysts about the future of the tech giant. (Aug. 25)

References

Apple Press Info – August 24, 2011

Letter from Steve Jobs

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.

Steve

Wikipedia: Tim Cook

Timothy “Tim” D. Cook (born November 1960) is the CEO and COO of Apple Inc., having joined the company in March 1998. His primary responsibility is managing day-to-day operations at the company. He was named CEO after Steve Jobs announced his retirement on August 24, 2011.

Cook served as Apple CEO for two months in 2004, when Steve Jobs was recovering from pancreatic cancer surgery. Cook also serves on the Board of directors of Nike.

In 2009 Cook again served as Apple CEO for several months while Steve Jobs took a leave of absence for a liver transplant.

In January 2011, Apple’s Board of Directors approved a third medical leave of absence, requested by Steve Jobs. During that time, Cook was responsible for most of Apple’s day-to-day operations while CEO Steve Jobs made most major decisions.

Wikipedia: Steve Jobs

Steven Paul “Steve” Jobs (born February 24, 1955) is an American business magnate and inventor. He is co-founder, chairman of the board, and former chief executive officer of Apple Inc. Jobs also previously served as chief executive of Pixar Animation Studios; he became a member of the board of directors of The Walt Disney Company in 2006, following the acquisition of Pixar by Disney. He was credited in the 1995 movie Toy Story as an executive producer.

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