Steve Jobs, arguably the greatest technology entrepreneur of the 21st century, has resigned from his position as chief executive of Apple.
Jobs is thought to be battling undisclosed health problems related to a previous bout of cancer. The chief operating officer of the firm Tim Cook has been appointed chief executive at Jobs' behest. He is to remain as chairman of the firm. It follows some seven months of sick leave which have nonetheless been interupted with appearances at key technology conferences and product launches.
After news of the move broke shares in Apple fell some 5% in post-market trading as investors fretted over how closely the fortunes of this once ailing but now utterly dominant company have been tied to the individual leader at its helm.
Jobs wrote to the board of Apple and 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. As far as my successor goes, I strongly recommend that we execute our succession plan and name Tim Cook as CEO of Apple.'
Jobs has been chief executive of Apple twice. He was initially deposed at the helm of the firm in 1997 aged just 30 but in 1997 as the company was apparently floundering following the rise of the PC market and Microsoft he returned to lead an extraordinary revival. He has been the driving force between products including the ipod, ipad and itunes.