Apple's co-founder Steve Jobs has submitted his resignation letter to the board of directors. Jobs is battling pancreatic cancer, and as he states, "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 has asked to remain as chairman of the board, director and Apple employee if Apple's board of directors sees fit. Jobs was diagnosed with cancer in 2004 and underwent a liver transplant in 2009, so the news was met with a sense of sadness by Apple fans and observers on social media. Microsoft's Director of Programming for Xbox Live Larry Hyrb, known as Major Nelson, tweeted,"Steve Jobs resigns as CEO of #Apple. Thanks for everything Steve. I wish you well." Blogger Manan Kakkar wrote, "Wozniak - out; Gates - out; Jobs - out. _That_ era has truly ended."
For many Apple fans, the company without Jobs does seem like an end of an era. The brand broke into widespread awareness with the iconic Super Bowl ad in 1984. Apple’s products offered ease of use and clean design, bringing new users to technology and revolutionizing the industry beyond computing with digital music and smartphones. Apple set sales records for many of its products and made a mass market for tablet computing with the iPad and iPad2. The fascination with Apple products has resulted in a proliferation of iProducts.
Jobs requested that the company execute its succession plan and name Tim Cook as CEO of Apple. During the period after Jobs was pushed out at Apple (1985-1996) the company struggled to contend in the crowded computer market. When he resumed leadership, the company was able to grow to its present leadership level in consumer electronics. Every time a new product launch is announced, it garners coverage that exceeds even major political announcements.
What the future holds for Apple, or how much will this affect Jobs’ involvement with that future, remains to be seen. There are sure to be some roller coaster days for Apple stock—and perhaps even for Disney where Jobs remains on the board of directors as its largest shareholder after the Pixar sale in 2006—with this news and rumors of an iPhone5 filling the business news. His biography by Walter Isaacson, due in November, is sure to be another in a long string of bestselling products to add to his legacy.
Are you an Apple fan? Do you have a favorite product? And do you think Apple without Jobs can maintain its success? Let us know in the comments section.