Steve Jobs, a co-founder of Apple who transformed the small PC maker into consumer electronics giant, will step down from his chief executive position at the company, according to a media reports. Timothy Cook, chief operating officer of Apple, will become the new CEO. Mr. Jobs will become the chairman of the company.
Mr. Jobs has been on the leave of absence since early this year due to health conditions. During his absence, Timothy Cook ran day-to-day operations, but Mr. Jobs continued to be involved into major strategic decision. This was the second time in two years when chief exec Steve Jobs took a leave of absence due to medical reasons.
In late 2003 Mr. Jobs was diagnosed with cancer in his pancreas. In 2004 he had an operation made that removed the cancer. However, in mid-2009 the head of Apple had a liver transplant. Mr. Jobs is believed to be the mastermind behind every successful gadget Apple has released in the last thirteen years.
Steve Jobs (left) and Timothy Cook (right)
Many analysts believed that Steve Jobs needed to leave Apple and Timothy Cook, or other talented executive, should take the reins.
"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," Steve Jobs wrote in a letter to Apple's employees.
As COO, Timothy Cook was was 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. He also headed Apple’s Macintosh division and played a key role in the continued development of strategic reseller and supplier relationships, ensuring flexibility in response to an increasingly demanding marketplace.
"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," added Mr. Jobs.
Before joining Apple, Mr. Cook was vice president of corporate materials for Compaq and was responsible for procuring and managing all of Compaq’s product inventory. Previous to his work at Compaq, Cook was the chief operating officer of the reseller division at intelligent electronics. Cook also spent 12 years with IBM, most recently as director of North American fulfillment where he led manufacturing and distribution functions for IBM’s PC company in North and Latin America.
“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," said Art Levinson, chairman of Genentech, on behalf of Apple's board of directors.