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.
Yes, yes. Please, keep saying that, and say it to as many people as possible. I’ve got my market orders all queued up to buy AAPL at a bargain price in the morning, assuming there’s enough short-sighted negativity in the market to keep driving prices down (already off 5%!) in after-hours.
He’s not flat-out leaving the company. They have massive funds, some of the most brilliant people in the industry, and, from what I’ve read, his own hand-picked successor (who’s had practice running the company during his medical leaves) has already been installed by the board.
This is not to discount Jobs genius and influence on the firm, but it will be just fine without him, because he’s molded it to be like him.
But no, please, doom Apple now. My portfolio will love it.
(Celebrating 35 years of going out of business!)
((And, I’ve-been-drinking-a-bit-tonight snarkiness out of the way, this can’t but bode ill for Jobs’ health, and that makes me sad. He’s had a nearly unrivaled impact on personal computing, and I hope this is more of a “I need to seriously focus on my health” than “I’m going to die tomorrow”. Because that day will truly be a loss to us all.))
You can see the stock dropping in after-hours trading: down 5% last time I checked. Still, I think people were expecting this at some point, and I can’t imagine that sales are going to drop anytime soon. Hopefully he can at least play an advisory role for high-level product decisions for the time being.
I think the lesson of Ballmer’s tenure at Microsoft is that, no, you simply can’t replace a visionary founder and expect things to be the same. I’m sure Tim Cook will be a perfectly competent CEO, and his Apple will hum along and continue to make good money, but there’s no way it’ll be Apple as we’ve known it under Jobs.
Jobs retiring is genuinely sad, because while I certainly have my share of criticisms of him, there’s simply no denying that he was a major, major force in the industry.
Short term Apple has enough product in the pipeline to continue being a dominant force.
Long term my worry is that the company will devolve into squabbling camps arguing about “what Steve would have wanted.” The reason why Apple succeeded was because they had a visionary at the helm to drive the company right when the rest of the industry was going left. And several of those bets were win-or-go-home.
Time will tell if Tim Cook can come up with the next iPod/iPhone/iPad/iTunes/App Store.
Him and the Google founders have yet to pledge to give away portion of their fortunes. He’s closer to death’s door so one would think he would take up philanthropy like Bill and Melinda Gates have. Or they can take their fortunes with them to the afterlife like the Chinese emperors and Egyptian pharaohs.