Last week, Steve Jobs, 56, has officially resigned from Apple, the 35-year old company he helped found. The world was shocked by the timing, though we had all expected it to come eventually, just not at the peak of Apple’s success. There is something to be said for getting out while on top, though.
This is not the first time we have seen Steve leave. The first time was back in 1985. He started NeXt Computers at that time, which was a disaster as far as his main vision was concerned, namely creating a new competition to Mac – more expensive and based on Unix.
In 1997 he was brought back on board at Apple and he brought the overhauled NeXT, a software R&D firm, that would be integrated into Apple and give rise to the Mac OSX. It is quite likely that without those twelve disappointing years Jobs would not have developed into the leader he needed to be to take Apple to world dominance within 14 years.
Steve Jobs took on more than revamping Apple. He became dedicated to creating a revolution in the technology industry.
Here is Steve’s resignation letter:
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.
We all know he has been battling health issues that forced him to take leave three times in recent years. He was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in 2003, but surgery was enough to cure it. In 2005 he admitted in a speech at Stanford University that doctors had given him half a year to live. In 2009 he stepped down due to what he claimed was a hormone imbalance and complicated health problems, but in June the world learned that he had a liver transplant.
On top of the history of health problems, the issue of how much the public should be informed of regarding a CEO’s health has become the center of a debate, because of the public’s identification of Steve Jobs with Apple. It is not yet a settled issue.
Tim Cook is named new CEO, which comes as no surprise to anyone. He has been Apple’s COO for seven years and did fill in for Steve Jobs during the leave of absences. Tim Cook is 50 years old and was responsible for the manufacturing restructuring that out-sourced to third-party companies what had been taking place in foreign factories abroad. His decision led to a reduction in inventory and increased margins across the whole lineup of products. Efficiency is his game.
Everyone will miss Steve. He has become the face of Apple since he returned in 1996. From the start of Apple in a garage with Steve Wozniak, to the beginning of a new era with the introduction of the iPhone in 2007, and now at the end of that era in 2011, Steve Jobs has been one of the most interesting and beloved men in technology. Whether you hate him or love him, you cannot argue with the simple fact that he defined and shaped technology industries over his 35-year run.