(BN) Steve Jobs Resigns as Apple CEO to Be Chairman; Tim Cook Named Successor

This made me sad.

Apple’s Steve Jobs Resigns as CEO, Succeeded by Tim Cook

Aug. 24 (Bloomberg) — Apple Inc. Chief Executive Officer Steve Jobs, who built the world’s most valuable technology company, resigned. He is succeeded by Chief Operating Officer Tim Cook.

Jobs, 56, was named chairman. He took a medical leave of absence Jan. 17 as a rare form of cancer he’s been battling since 2004 and a more recent liver transplant worsened his health, a person with knowledge of the matter said at the time. Cook, 50, who has led Apple’s day-to-day operations since January and during Jobs’s previous leave, will join the board.

“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,” Jobs said in a statement. “Unfortunately, that day has come.”

Under Jobs, Apple became the second-most valuable company in the world, after Exxon Mobil Corp., by introducing devices that revolutionized the computer, mobile phone and digital music industries. His attention to detail and emphasis on sleek, easy- to-use products helped Apple repel competition from rivals as varied as Google Inc. and International Business Machines Corp.

“Jobs has been a strong figure in the company historically, but he hasn’t been a driving force for the past two years,” Daniel Genter, who oversees about $3.7 billion as president of Los Angeles-based RNC Genter Capital Management, said in a telephone interview. “It brings clarity, he will continue as a capable board member and it creates a transparent succession plan.”

Jobs, who co-founded the company at the age of 21, was ousted by the board in 1985. When he returned 12 years later, Apple had run up $1.86 billion in losses over two years. It was 90 days away from bankruptcy, Jobs would later say.

Since then, Jobs has led Apple’s transformation from a personal-computer also-ran into a seller of everything from smartphones to music. He engineered the Cupertino, California- based company’s comeback by honing Apple’s industrial design, tightly integrating software and hardware, and pushing into new markets.

The iPhone, introduced in 2007, has become Apple’s best- selling product and turned the company into the world’s biggest smartphone maker. After winning customers away from Research In Motion Ltd. and Nokia Oyj, Apple is now sparring with Google for leadership in the market for mobile-phone software.

Apple fell as much as 7 percent in extended trading after the announcement. The shares had gained $2.58 to $376.18 at 4 p.m. New York time on the Nasdaq Stock Market.

The stock has climbed 17 percent this year, and has surged from an adjusted $5.48 on Sept. 16, 1997, the day Jobs retook the reins as head of the company.

Cook joined Apple in 1998. As operating chief, his oversight included sales, manufacturing and distribution.

To contact the reporter on this story: Tom Giles in San Francisco at tgiles5

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Tom Giles at tgiles5

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