Apple shares dipped in after-hours trading as the legendary Steve Jobs officially resigned.
Steve has stepped down from his position as Apple CEO without specifying a reason. COO Tim Cook will take over his duties.
However, Steve will now become Chairman, so he is not leaving Apple completely.
“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,” he said in succinct letter.
Steve’s reign at Apple was well over a decade long, but the beloved visionary has been plagued by health problems for several years, taking multiple medical leaves (though always returning and never ceding his CEO title).
While the suddenness of the move may shock some, most shouldn’t be surprised, as this was an increasingly inevitable occurrence and shouldn’t affect Apple’s ability to make great products.
UPDATE: This is Tim Cook’s email to Apple employees regarding him becoming the new CEO.
I am looking forward to the amazing opportunity of serving as CEO of the most innovative company in the world. Joining Apple was the best decision I’ve ever made and it’s been the privilege of a lifetime to work for Apple and Steve for over 13 years. I share Steve’s optimism for Apple’s bright future.
Steve has been an incredible leader and mentor to me, as well as to the entire executive team and our amazing employees. We are really looking forward to Steve’s ongoing guidance and inspiration as our Chairman.
I want you to be confident that Apple is not going to change. I cherish and celebrate Apple’s unique principles and values. Steve built a company and culture that is unlike any other in the world and we are going to stay true to that—it is in our DNA. We are going to continue to make the best products in the world that delight our customers and make our employees incredibly proud of what they do.
I love Apple and I am looking forward to diving into my new role. All of the incredible support from the Board, the executive team and many of you has been inspiring. I am confident our best years lie ahead of us and that together we will continue to make Apple the magical place that it is.
UPDATE 2: Steve’s first-ever authorized biography is set to include the CEO’s resgination details. And, miraculously, it will remain on schedule for its November 21st release. Publisher Simon & Schuster and author Walter Isaacson will add a final chapter to the book.