In a stunning announcement that took the technology world by surprise, Apple today said Steve Jobs has resigned as its CEO and named Tim Cook as his successor.
Jobs has been elected chairman of the board and Cook, previously Apple's Chief Operating Officer, will join the board with immediate effect.
In a letter to the 'Apple Board of Directors and the Apple Community', Jobs said, "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," he said in the letter.
Jobs, 55, submitted his resignation to Apple's board of directors today and "strongly recommended" that the board implement its succession plan and name Tim Cook, 50, as CEO.
"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 Genentech Chairman and Apple board member Art Levinson on behalf of the company 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," he said.
The visionary behind some of Apple's most iconic and bestseller products like the iPod, iPhone and iPad, Jobs is a pancreatic cancer survivor.
Under his leadership, Apple revolutionised the music business through the iPod, the mobile business through the iPhone and the entertainment and media world through the iPad.
Earlier this month, with a market capitalisation of about USD 346 billion, Apple briefly surpassed energy major Exxon Mobil to become the country's most valuable company.
The news of Jobs' resignation came after the markets closed on Wednesday.
In after-hours trading, Apple stock fell 5 per cent.
Jobs was diagnosed with a rare form of pancreatic cancer in 2004 and underwent a liver transplant two years ago.
In a letter in January this year, he said he was taking another leave of absence to "focus on my health".
He, however, emerged briefly from his medical leave during the year on a few occasions.
In March, he unveiled the second version of the revolutionary iPad and later attended a dinner hosted by President Barack Obama for technology tycoons in Silicon Valley.
In June, he was on stage in San Francisco to talk about iCloud, Apple's latest foray into cloud-based computing.
Jobs' thin frame and gaunt appearance sparked questions about his health and for how long would he continue to be at the helm of Apple.
Jobs' medical leave of absence also raised concerns of how the technology major, which he had co-founded in a garage, would succeed without Jobs.
Steve Jobs Resigns From Apple, Tim Cook New CEO
Yoshita Singh/New York
THE LATEST ISSUE
- 'Broad Daylight Murder Of Law, Democracy': Cong Lashes Out At Govt Over Chidambaram's Arrest
- With P. Chidambaram's Arrest, His Anticipatory Bail Plea Before SC Rendered Infructuous
- Never Met Peter Or Indrani Mukerjea, We Are Being Targeted: Karti Chidambaram
- Ravidas Temple Demolition Protest: Bhim Army Chief Chandrashekhar Azad Arrested In Delhi
- INX Media Case: 20 Questions CBI Asked P Chidambaram
- Kashmiris Are Angry, Yet They Are Calm. Why?
- Indian Armed Forces, Civilians Continue To Bleed In Internal Conflicts, But Do We Care?
- On India's 73rd Independence Day, A Letter to Pehlu Khan
- The Valley Has Fallen Into Rigor Mortis
- BBC, Northern Ireland, And Kashmir – Where Shekhar Kapur Got It Wrong
- Euphoria On Abrogation Of Article 370 Is Wearing Off, Only Time Will Tell Full Meaning Of This Move
- India's Fresh Challenge On Kashmir: Engage With Donald Trump But Without Opening Another Front
- Etawah 'Ragging' Case: Police, VC Deny Medical Students Were Forced To Shave Heads
- March To Delhi Temple Demolition Site Was 'Personal Decision': Dalit Body
- Opposition Parties Protest At Jantar Mantar, Demand Release Of Leaders Detained In Jammu And Kashmir
- MNS Chief Raj Thackeray To Appear Before ED Today In IL&FS Money Laundering Case
- NDA Candidate Against Rahul Gandhi In Wayanad Arrested In UAE
- Kohli Hints At Four-Bowler Strategy Vs WI
- Live, 1st Test, Day 1: SL Win Toss, Opt To Bat First Vs NZ