Steve Jobs Resigns as Apple’s CEO

Discussion
Aug 25, 2011
George Anderson

It obviously had to happen at some point, but that still doesn’t make Steve Jobs’ decision to resign as CEO of Apple any less jarring.

In a letter to the company’s board and "the Apple Community," Mr. Jobs wrote, "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 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."

Art Levinson, CEO of Genentech and member of the Apple board, said in a statement, "The board has complete confidence that Tim is the right person to be our next CEO. 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."

Mr. Jobs will assume the role of chairman.

"I will say to investors: don’t panic and remain calm, it’s the right thing to do. Steve will be chairman and Cook is CEO," Colin Gillis, a BGC financial analyst, told Reuters.

Discussion Questions: What will Steve Jobs’ resignation from Apple mean for the company? What are the biggest challenges ahead for Tim Cook as the CEO of Apple?

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21 Comments on "Steve Jobs Resigns as Apple’s CEO"


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Tony Orlando
Guest
9 years 8 months ago

Apple will continue to do well, as it takes a lot of smart folks to do what they do, but Steve Jobs is the face of Apple, and in the short run it will probably hurt them. Keep innovating, and the sales will take care of themselves.

David Biernbaum
Guest
9 years 8 months ago

In most instances the role of the CEO is quite over rated because in rare cases is the CEO actually the creative force of the brand. Apple is the exception. Steve Jobs is the exception. And Apple is one of the greatest companies in the world, and certainly it represents what America is all about; innovation, leadership, and guts. I’m not “immediately” worried about Apple but I do think it’s reasonable to wonder about its creative future without Steve Jobs.

Paula Rosenblum
Guest
9 years 8 months ago

Tim Cook has been working with Steve Jobs and running the company for a while now. Business people are realists (even though it seems like Wall Street investors are incredibly emotional – so many mood swings). If Steve Jobs is half the man we think he is, he has prepared Tim Cook for this day.

I’m more inclined to thank Steve Jobs for the innovations that have changed the way we work and wish him well in the days ahead than I am to get crazy about Apple’s business.

Will the next great innovation come from Apple? I have no idea. I know the last FIVE great innovations came from Apple.

Dick Seesel
Guest
9 years 8 months ago

Steve Jobs appears to be a unique talent: A brand driver with an equally strong eye for innovative product development. The transition to a new CEO has been planned for a long time and will likely go smoothly in the short term, but Tim Cook is replacing somebody with an irreplaceable skill set.

Camille P. Schuster, PhD.
Guest
9 years 8 months ago

Innovations from Apple are not the surprise that the public sees. These amazing innovations have a long planning, incubation, and testing process. Innovations from Apple for the foreseeable future are already part of the fabric of the company. I am not concerned about the future of the company. On the other hand, this is a surprise to the employees and Apple fans. That letter must have been difficult for Steve to write and many people, including me, are wishing him well today.

Gene Hoffman
Guest
Gene Hoffman
9 years 8 months ago

In 1519 who replaced Leonardo Da Vinci? Nobody! Yes, there were many artists who apprenticed under Da Vinci and many were as talented as Da Vinci but who among them exceeded Leonardo’s reach?

Tim Cook is Steve Job’s talented and quite capable apprentice. He learned well and he has unique skills of his very own. He will be a good leader of Apple, keep a sharp focus of further innovations and keep Apple successfully growing … but there will only be one statue in front of Apple’s headquarters and that will be of the guy who started Apple in his parents’ garage.

Kai Clarke
Guest
9 years 8 months ago

Steve Jobs is the driving force behind this company. As before when Jobs left the company, it is only a matter of time before it starts to drift downward into a decline. The only questions are how long will it take, and how fast will the decline occur.

David Zahn
Guest
9 years 8 months ago

I am inclined to think it is a bigger potential deal than others posting. I recall how Apple’s fortunes changed when he was not at the helm the first time were not quite so rosy as they are with him at the helm. I do not diminish the power of the CEO to set culture, interact with the media/customers/analysts and be a futurist (versus a President that is typically more operationally focused on today’s challenges).

I do not know Cook and have no ability to predict how well he will do in the role – but I think it is stating the obvious to say he has big shoes to fill.

Gordon Arnold
Guest
9 years 8 months ago

Steve Jobs is a rare IT markets visionary. Many of his contemporaries will no doubt point to some of his few mistakes which were indeed costly to Apple. However, unlike the many one trick ponies that show up at regular intervals, Steve has brought many revolutionary products to market that have changed the direction and focus of the IT Industry. For that reason, his life’s contributions must be regarded as priceless. I trust Apple is in good hands and will continue to succeed. The IT industry may never see another Steve Jobs and that is going to make it less exciting.

Ed Rosenbaum
Guest
9 years 8 months ago

Apple will hardly miss a beat with Tim Cook taking over the leadership role. Fact is, he probably has been in the role for quite some time. Steve Jobs has done an excellent job preparing Tim Cook, the Apple organization and us, the public, for this day. We should all wish him the best and thank him for leading us through he maze into the sunlight of technology.

David Dorf
Guest
9 years 8 months ago

Tim Cook has been running Apple for a while, and I’m sure Steve and Tim have been working on a transition for the last 12 months. Apple will continue to be a profitable, well-run company but to continue to expect radical innovations is a stretch. Better to set our sites on smaller innovations and lots of optimization. Nevertheless, Apple will continue to thrive.

Craig Sundstrom
Guest
9 years 8 months ago

The answer to both questions is the same: everything (and no, I’m not an Apple cultist). I wish Mr. Cook well.

M. Jericho Banks PhD
Guest
M. Jericho Banks PhD
9 years 8 months ago

I’m less interested in the health of Apple than in Steve’s health. As we all know, pancreatic cancer is vicious and aggressive. Jobs will certainly be missed at Apple, but missed significantly more when he’s no longer with us at all.

Rick Moss
Guest
9 years 8 months ago

I believe Jobs’ unique ability was combining his talent with courage to take risks. He had great confidence in his own ideas, which in lesser mortals is interpreted as hubris. When asked if he used focus groups to get advice on the iPad, he was famously quoted as saying, “It’s not the consumers’ job to know what they want.” Hard to imagine his successors having the courage to go with their own gut over a consensus of opinion (which we know generally leads to mediocrity).

Adrian Weidmann
Guest
9 years 8 months ago

Whatever your thoughts are about Apple, it is certainly true that Steve Jobs ‘personalized’ the role of CEO. His vision and ability to execute that vision made the computer ‘fun’ and opened the vista to the brave new world and potential of ‘being digital’. Ironically a recent RetailWire discussion was about the business ramifications of Alzheimer’s disease. The survey question asked, Is a diagnosis of early-onset Alzheimer’s cause for termination of employment in your mind? 30% of the respondents said yes. I wonder what the response would have been if asked in 2004 whether Steve Jobs should have resigned when he announced that he had diagnosed with pancreatic cancer? Would the iPad ever been developed?

Armen Najarian
Guest
Armen Najarian
9 years 8 months ago

Cook’s biggest challenge will be to convince the investor community that “running the company well” and “inspiring creative vision” aren’t mutually exclusive characteristics. Time will tell.

Ted Hurlbut
Guest
Ted Hurlbut
9 years 8 months ago

Beyond CEO, Steve Jobs has also been the Chief Innovation Officer. If, as Chairman, he continues to be the innovation driver at Apple, then all’s well.

Mark Burr
Guest
9 years 8 months ago

No one wants to be the successor to a leader like Steve Jobs, but Tim Cook is and mostly all that can be said is to wish him the best.

These two are completely different types of leaders. The thing to remember is that if Tim Cook was not a complementary leader to Steve Jobs, it’s likely he wouldn’t have been there to be the successor.

Nevertheless, it’s a difficult position to be in but these are not normal circumstances.

All the best to Steve Jobs and Tim Cook both. This is a great company. For the sake of so many it needs to do well. I believe it will. It’s good for everyone if it does.

Bill Emerson
Guest
Bill Emerson
9 years 8 months ago

Steve Jobs actually did something that many talk about, but very few accomplish. He demonstrated that relentlessly and continuously surprising and delighting the end user will make you successful. In his case, wildly so. He never wavered from “What does this mean to the end user?” and, in doing so, changed computing and us as well.

While I’m sure Apple will continue to innovate, amaze, and delight, Steve Jobs is unique. His day-to-day involvement will surely be missed.

Jerry Gelsomino
Guest
9 years 8 months ago

We knew this day was coming. Let’s see how deep the bench really is at Apple.

Christopher P. Ramey
Guest
9 years 8 months ago

Steve Jobs led not just Apple; he led the consumer electronics industry. It would also be fair to suggest that he led the retail industry too. Perhaps all of us will be impacted by Mr. Jobs’ departure.

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