Steve Jobs resigns as Apple CEO

Via Wall Street Journal, news that Apple CEO Steve Jobs is stepping down.

PRESS RELEASE: Letter from Steve Jobs

August 24, 2011–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.

Apple confirms that COO Tim Cook will take the CEO position at Jobs' recommendation. During past periods of medical leave for Jobs, Cook has filled in; that he would eventually replace Jobs does not come as a surprise.

Current after-hours trading data (Bloomberg's live coverage is here) shows the stock plummeting.

Jobs co-founded Apple in 1976 with Steve Wozniak and Ronald Wayne, then parted ways with the company in 1986. He returned in 1997, and formally took the CEO helm in 2000, leading Apple to its most profitable period in history. Under his leadership, Apple became a company that, in the words Jobs once used to lure John Sculley away from Pepsi-Cola in 1983, really did "change the world."

(Image: BoingBoingWWDC2010_IMG_0304, a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial (2.0) image from deanputney's photostream)

[Video Link: the 1984 ad.]