NEW YORK — Apple CEO Steve Jobs has resigned and will be replaced by former Chief Operating Officer Tim Cook, the company said late Wednesday. Jobs will stay on as Apple’s chairman.
Apple made no mention of Jobs’ health in its statement about the change, but Jobs alluded to it in the letter of resignation he sent to Apple’s board on Wednesday and later released publicly.
“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,” wrote Jobs, who has been on medical leave since January. Cook has been filling in as the company’s leader.
Apple’s board took pains to praise Jobs, who led a historic turnaround for the once-ailing company. Apple shares were briefly halted in after-hours trading as Apple announced its leadership change. When trading resumed, shares dropped 5 percent.
“Steve’s extraordinary vision and leadership saved Apple and guided it to its position as the world’s most innovative and valuable technology company,” board member Art Levinson said. “In his new role as chairman of the board, Steve will continue to serve Apple with his unique insights, creativity and inspiration.”
In January, Jobs said he would take another medical leave of absence, two years after a six-month sabbatical during which he received a liver transplant. Although it was his third medical leave of absence, he continued to make Apple’s major strategic decisions while Cook took over the day-to-day operations.
Cook has nearly 30 years of experience in the computer industry, serving in leadership roles at IBM, Intelligent Electronics and Compaq before joining Apple in 1998.