Steve Jobs resigns as CEO of Apple

posted at 7:54 pm on August 24, 2011 by Allahpundit

Via MarketWatch, here’s what Apple shares are doing today. See if you can guess when news broke that Jobs was stepping down.

To an Apple fanboy like me, this is like finding out that Yoda’s resigned his position as a Jedi.

Jobs submitted a letter to the Apple board of directors announcing that he would leave as CEO, and the board has appointed long-time lieutenant Tim Cook to replace him. Jobs, however, will remain with Apple as the company’s chairman.

“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,” Jobs said in his letter.

He didn’t say why the day has come but he’s been on medical leave since January and has been dogged by serious illnesses for ages. Pancreatic cancer in 2004, a “hormone imbalance” in early 2009, then a liver transplant later that same year. He came back from all of it but this latest malady presumably was too much. I hope his resignation isn’t a hint of worse news to come.

He’s staying on as chairman of the board, but presumably that’s more a ceremonial role at this point. The new CEO is the guy who’s been running the company for the past seven months — Tim Cook, who joined Apple during its downturn in the 90s and helped turn it into the world’s most valuable corporation. Reuters ran a nifty short profile of him back in February emphasizing his “operations genius” and the contrast in personalities between him and the volcanic Jobs. He’s supremely well regarded and has been the heir apparent for ages so I’m not sure why the share price would nosedive this afternoon. A testament to Yoda’s cult of personality, I guess.

Here’s a quickie timeline from the NYT of Apple with and without Jobs.

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Percentage-wise, right now, the shares are down just a tad.

Schadenfreude on August 24, 2011 at 7:55 PM

If he is sick, hope he does well.

catmman on August 24, 2011 at 7:56 PM

Brilliant businessman and creator of jobs.
May he enjoy his well-deserved rest.

carbon_footprint on August 24, 2011 at 7:56 PM

I’m afraid Mr. Jobs has come to the end of the line.

cynccook on August 24, 2011 at 7:58 PM

A true driver of technology and tools of modern man. Hope he lives on for a while.

tim c on August 24, 2011 at 7:59 PM

Sounds like Jobs is really iSick. Hope he feels iBetter soon.

joejm65 on August 24, 2011 at 8:00 PM

I’m not sure why the share price would nosedive this afternoon.

Cults react poorly to news the leader is stepping down.

jnelchef on August 24, 2011 at 8:00 PM

And the President thinks he’s seen economic headwinds!

Apple without the creative genius of Steve Jobs, a monopolist par excellenance, a marketer like no one else the world has ever seen…well, Apple (and Disney for that matter) will never be the equal of what it has already been.

Thanks Steve. I hope you get full enjoyment from all my money in the time still allotted to you.

MTF on August 24, 2011 at 8:01 PM

Sorry to see him go. I’m a PC guy these days, but my first computer was an Apple II+. I’ll never know how much money that little computer saved me (a long story). I still own it.

trigon on August 24, 2011 at 8:02 PM

Does this mean we might FINALLY get Flash compatibility?

PappyD61 on August 24, 2011 at 8:02 PM

Does this mean we might FINALLY get Flash compatibility?

PappyD61 on August 24, 2011 at 8:02 PM

LOL. No.

joejm65 on August 24, 2011 at 8:03 PM

Cults react poorly to news the leader is stepping down.

jnelchef on August 24, 2011 at 8:00 PM

It is more of the person who has guided Apple in the way of new products.

Hopefully Apple has someone as good as Jobs in defining new products/categories.

ChuckTX on August 24, 2011 at 8:04 PM

He’s the Thomas Edison/ Henry Ford of our time.

PappyD61 on August 24, 2011 at 8:04 PM

The Simpsons had a joke in a 1996 episode where the kid in the record store had never heard of Apple. The gag being that it was a moribund company, and Homer Simpson was showing his age by referencing it.

Steve Jobs returned to Apple that same year. The rest is iHistory

YYZ on August 24, 2011 at 8:04 PM

I bought a bunch of the stock after seeing staplers in Staples with translucent white and blue plastic covers to copy the industrial design of the original gum ball iMac.

Chaa-Ching!

tommylotto on August 24, 2011 at 8:11 PM

Does this mean we might FINALLY get Flash compatibility?

PappyD61 on August 24, 2011 at 8:02 PM

Haha. And the XMac – yay!

OldEnglish on August 24, 2011 at 8:11 PM

Now Obama isn’t the only one without Jobs.

faraway on August 24, 2011 at 8:12 PM

I’ve never been an Apple-head, and I find his mega-control style irritating, but there is no denying that Steve Jobs is one of the greatest

visionaries
inventors
entrepreneurs
CEOs

of our time. It’s a shame to see his career end with such a whimper, but death claims each of us eventually. Here’s to hoping the Apple legacy he leaves behind is even one tenth as impressive and productive as the company he created and ran.

peski on August 24, 2011 at 8:12 PM

I’ve never been an Apple-head, and I find his mega-control style irritating, but there is no denying that Steve Jobs is one of the greatest

visionaries
inventors
entrepreneurs
CEOs

of our time. It’s a shame to see his career end with such a whimper, but death claims each of us eventually. Here’s to hoping the Apple legacy he leaves behind is even one tenth as impressive and productive as the company he created and ran.

peski on August 24, 2011 at 8:12 PM

Steve Jobs is a lot like Thomas Edison…

People don’t care about the real story. Just what sounds good.

tetriskid on August 24, 2011 at 8:13 PM

He’s the Thomas Edison/ Henry Ford of our time.

PappyD61 on August 24, 2011 at 8:04 PM

He got me to pay $3000 for a computer with 48 kilobytes of RAM.

Good times.

trigon on August 24, 2011 at 8:13 PM

Reuters ran a nifty short profile of him back in February emphasizing his “operations genius” and the contrast in personalities between him and the volcanic Jobs. He’s supremely well regarded and has been the heir apparent for ages so I’m not sure why the share price would nosedive this afternoon.

Knowing how to run a company is not the same thing as being an industrial design genius.

Realist on August 24, 2011 at 8:15 PM

Not really a fan of Apple, I like to tinker with/build my own, which Apple doesn’t approve of. Still, Jobs is an entrepreneur, creating wealth and jobs. Best of luck to him.

rbj on August 24, 2011 at 8:15 PM

Jobs is quite simply a genius. So sad to see one of America’s great inventors is so sick. Fuc*in cancer. I hate it.

Rational Thought on August 24, 2011 at 8:16 PM

iResign

Kini on August 24, 2011 at 8:18 PM

The Reality Distortion Field has left the Company.

ajacksonian on August 24, 2011 at 8:21 PM

I turned on my laptop to charge up my Ipod and this was the headline.

dddave on August 24, 2011 at 8:22 PM

He got me to pay $3000 for a computer with 48 kilobytes of RAM.

Good times.

trigon on August 24, 2011 at 8:13 PM

Ha! Right there with ya, buddy. We were cutting edge!

Rational Thought on August 24, 2011 at 8:23 PM

Still have my original iMac G3 sitting in my office, though I’ve long since upgraded to a MacBook Pro.

I’m keeping it as a museum piece/conversation starter/giant paper weight.

I adore Apple products.

The Ugly American on August 24, 2011 at 8:25 PM

I don’t do Apple, never have. I don’t like their expensive, proprietary technology.

I wish him well.

Common Sense on August 24, 2011 at 8:28 PM

Funny story. One of my friends back about 1980 was a technician for Mountain Computer (long since gone). Mountain built some add-on boards for the Apple II’s, like a clock board and a music synthesizer board. So, he had advance knowledge about the new model Apple IIe’s that were going to come out. The computer was supposed to be a really big secret, though. I don’t think even the computer magazines knew much about it.

We went up to the big computer show in San Francisco at the Civic Center. Apple had a booth, of course, and they were doing their best to hype their new ‘secret’ computer. They had a case for one of them covered with a velvet cover and then tied up with chrome plated chains. We walked up and said, “So, you’ve got one of the new IIe’s under there, huh?” The Apple Rep’s mouth actually dropped open and he kept asking us, “How do you guys know that? No, really, how do you guys know that?”

Of course, we didn’t tell him.

trigon on August 24, 2011 at 8:30 PM

Good timing. I think Google/Android/Cloud is fixin to put the hurt on Apple.

esnap on August 24, 2011 at 8:31 PM

BTW, if you guess based on chart alone you’ll be off by some 15, 20 minutes. Trading on Apple shares was halted from around 6:30 to 6:55 p.m. precisely because of the announcement (they do the same thing with earnings reports, I think).

novakyu on August 24, 2011 at 8:32 PM

The Ugly American on August 24, 2011 at 8:25 PM

Mini, eMac, G3, LCII, IIGS, IIe (64k) – all still working. :)

OldEnglish on August 24, 2011 at 8:32 PM

The last Apple I used was an Apple IIe

faraway on August 24, 2011 at 8:33 PM

For five years they made me use a mac. I hated every day of it.

That said, God bring health to his body.

CurtZHP on August 24, 2011 at 8:35 PM

The Ugly American on August 24, 2011 at 8:25 PM

I actually still have two II+’s and a IIe. As near as I know they all still work.

I’m kind of getting a jones to go play Wizardry.

trigon on August 24, 2011 at 8:37 PM

Mr.Jobs partner in the early days was Steve Wozniac (spelling?). What ever happened to him?

countrybumpkin on August 24, 2011 at 8:43 PM

My first computer was a little all in one Apple Macintosh. I played about 40,000 games of RISK on that little machine, because it wasn’t good for much else. Cost me $800.

Bishop on August 24, 2011 at 8:44 PM

Apple stock is $376 a share. In 2003 it was $7 a share. Oh how I wish I had a time machine.

SoulGlo on August 24, 2011 at 8:47 PM

Steve Jobs is the ultimate definition of an American capitalist. Has got to be one of the most creative geniuses, certainly of our time, and a geek who knows marketing almost better than his main strengths. His devices, like those of the Wright brothers, and Edison, and Ford, etc., have in their own way given a concrete meaning to the very concept of freedom.

If he had been born in any other country, Apple would still be just the name of a fruit or of the Beatles production company. If the next Jobs is being born here today, I’m not so sure how it would go. Twenty years ago or more, that thought would not have entered my head. And for that I’m sad.

Good luck to Steve, and God bless him.

TXUS on August 24, 2011 at 8:48 PM

I am not a Mac fangirl, but I will say a prayer for Steve Jobs’ health.

Philly on August 24, 2011 at 8:50 PM

Sad news. Mr. Jobs is a very talented fellow. I fear the worst, but will hope for the best for him.

Good luck to him and his family.

AZCoyote on August 24, 2011 at 8:54 PM

Log Out Steve Jobs… ⌘Q

Sad… Wish him the best.

texasentrepreneur on August 24, 2011 at 8:55 PM

Does this mean we might FINALLY get Flash compatibility?

PappyD61 on August 24, 2011 at 8:02 PM

The ONE reason I haven’t bought an iPad. I got another tablet in the mail and I can’t wait to go xda-developers website and homebrew it. ;)

Geeky girl (PPF) will make it faster, meaner and I can’t wait to play with it.

ProudPalinFan on August 24, 2011 at 8:55 PM

My first computer was a little all in one Apple Macintosh. I played about 40,000 games of RISK on that little machine, because it wasn’t good for much else. Cost me $800.

Bishop on August 24, 2011 at 8:44 PM

That’s the one where I learned to type!

ProudPalinFan on August 24, 2011 at 8:57 PM

I feel bad for him. My Dad had the same thing he had and I would assume his time is becoming short. The last time I saw Jobs, he had the same look about him that my Dad did when he was losing his battle with it.

ArmyAunt on August 24, 2011 at 8:58 PM

I hope Mr. Jobs is OK. He is an innovator and a driver of progress in an otherwise stagnant and decaying economy.

Allahpundit, I hope your cat is well. This isn’t the end of the world.

Or is it?

hillbillyjim on August 24, 2011 at 9:01 PM

God bless you Mr. Jobs. Here’s hoping that the “one more thing” for you is time with your loved ones.

Sent from my iPad via my Reality Distortion Field wireless network

Logic on August 24, 2011 at 9:02 PM

Everyone else who has a marketable idea seems to automatically say: “Let’s see where we can make it the most inexpensively.”

Jobs always said: “What can we do to make this a better product; one that people will want no matter the price point?”

Well, he didn’t exactly say that, but he lives it.

And no, I’m no Apple fanboy; but I respect what the man has built.

hillbillyjim on August 24, 2011 at 9:05 PM

Jobs is a freak…an alien….a confused and flawed being.

That’s why I have a Mac rather than a silly Dell.

Bless Jobs…but you have to admit he’s a lot more weird than Bill Gates.

Even more of a louse than that pimply Facebook, lying freak, scumbag and thief…

Zimmeerbergzipperheadasswipe…ahhh…umm….suckerberg.

Twana on August 24, 2011 at 9:06 PM

Jobs is a freak…an alien…a nutbag and a real fruit courtesy of San Fran Freako.

Even freakier than Gates…or that pimply face suckerberg of facebook.

They have no ability to relate to real humans.

Thanks Jobs….for saving me from Dell, Gates and MIcrosuck!

Twana on August 24, 2011 at 9:09 PM

Does this mean we might FINALLY get Flash compatibility?

PappyD61 on August 24, 2011 at 8:02 PM

Flash sucks.

jawkneemusic on August 24, 2011 at 9:09 PM

It’s sad news as it’s pretty obvious his health has not been good. Love him or hate him (and even a lot of “fanboys” have a love/hate thing going on sometimes) he has changed the world of computers and electronic gadgets.

There may be a little transition but it’s not like when he was ousted way back when, totally different circumstances. He’s been back long enough and grown the company to such an extent, instilled an attitude at the company. Tim Cook is a *very* capable guy, and has handled stuff in Steve’s absence very well – he’s got the respect of the company and the user base. You can bet that with his every move he’ll be saying to himself WWSJD….

Paradox Drive on August 24, 2011 at 9:09 PM

My Dad also “recovered” from pancreatic cancer. And it killed him several years later when it came back with a vengeance.

I truly hope that is not the case here.

GarandFan on August 24, 2011 at 9:12 PM

He got me to pay $3000 for a computer with 48 kilobytes of RAM.

Good times.

trigon on August 24, 2011 at 8:13 PM

Between ‘subsidized’ iPhones and other Apple devices, I’ve spent more money on Apple products over the past 5 years than every technology related product or service combined from its competitors. And the funny thing is, I still consider myself a PC user and prefer Windows.

Apple may continue to thrive but it’s hard to imagine what kind of brilliant innovation and change the world will miss without Jobs at the helm.

bayam on August 24, 2011 at 9:30 PM

Flash sucks.

jawkneemusic on August 24, 2011 at 9:09 PM

So does Microsoft – yet it abounds.

OldEnglish on August 24, 2011 at 9:30 PM

One of the few who can honestly say he changed the world.

rickyricardo on August 24, 2011 at 9:35 PM

Godspeed Steve. You truly changed the world and hired a lot of people and took great care of them. I wish your family well and pray for you.

mimi1220 on August 24, 2011 at 9:36 PM

sorry AP. this guy has done a great job at Apple. I’m not a fanboy, but I’m an admirer.

ted c on August 24, 2011 at 9:41 PM

Still have my old Mac 512, waiting to turn into a Macquarium.

Love all the innovations they’ve made over the years, except for the dark days during the clone years.

connectthedots on August 24, 2011 at 9:46 PM

Now the Zune can take over.

slickwillie2001 on August 24, 2011 at 9:48 PM

I hope Steve Jobs’ can regain his health.

Some of the venom directed at Jobs is pure silliness. The man had and has enormous impact on personal computers and personal electronics where much of that preceded the Macintosh series. Look back to 1976 or so when Steve Wozniak and several friends built a little gadget (Apple I) to show off at the computer club and one of the kids realized marketing potential for it. Eventually the Apple II was designed and developed to be a friendly, reasonably affordable device which created a venue for thousands of little mom and pop computer stores, helped revolutionize small business accounting through something called VisiCalc and all other sorts of software from games to bulletin board systems and inspired IBM to get to it and compete on that level. Bill Gates? Remember him? When Microsoft was a tiny company in Albuquerque helping develop AppleSoft Basic? That may have influenced the computer industry somehow. Don’t just think of the early Macintosh think of how Apple wasn’t doing so well until Jobs came back bringing along the ideas from his NEXT computer ideas knowing that UNIX was the way to go hence the great market gains realized when that technology went into the OS X system. The iPod, iPhone, iPad etc. successes are merely recent achievements for the fellow.

Regardless of his politics, personal life, personality or whatever… Steve Jobs has inspired and employed thousands upon thousands of people developing friendlier, accessible technology which some too easily take for granted because that easy to use technology is now ubiquitous. Steve Jobs has played an essential role in that guidance. In many ways he is the Henry Ford of personal computing. He has seen the utility of technology appliances and made those accessible and affordable. I wish him the best of health.

viking01 on August 24, 2011 at 9:50 PM

Knowing how to run a company is not the same thing as being an industrial design genius.

Realist on August 24, 2011 at 8:15 PM

Jonathan Ive frowns at your shenanigans.

TC@LeatherPenguin on August 24, 2011 at 9:53 PM

Hope Jobs comes through, like he’s done before. I hate and despise cancer. Prayers to him and his family.

ProudPalinFan on August 24, 2011 at 9:54 PM

Not really a fan of Apple, I like to tinker with/build my own, which Apple doesn’t approve of. Still, Jobs is an entrepreneur, creating wealth and jobs. Best of luck to him.

rbj on August 24, 2011 at 8:15 PM

Pretty much where I am. Best wishes Mr. Jobs.

Missy on August 24, 2011 at 10:08 PM

This means He’s IN!

Jobs/Gates ’12!!!!

BDavis on August 24, 2011 at 10:08 PM

He was and is an inspiration to my generation. All the best to him! If you want to see a great documentary about his younger years (and about capitalism) see Something Ventured.

PattyJ on August 24, 2011 at 10:13 PM

I was working for Apple when I started hanging around here. It’s a pretty nice place to work–at least until it drives you nuts. Sad to see this happen. I hope everything is OK.

Sekhmet on August 24, 2011 at 10:25 PM

Have owned shares for the last few years. Sad, but every shareholder knew the deal.
This had been expected- he has not been able to gain weight for the last few years and looked extremely frail at a Cupertino city council meeting in June. Sounds like he got the bad news from his doctors- such a shame.
Cook and chief developer Johnathan Ive will do fine the next couple of years but then who knows?

jjshaka on August 24, 2011 at 10:47 PM

Take care, Steve. Thank you for making a company focused on stuff that just worked for so many years, for being everything that pirate Gates and Microsloth Winblows never could be. Your story is an inspiration for young entrepreneurs and your machines are examples of quality.

Uncle Sams Nephew on August 24, 2011 at 10:51 PM

I’ve been an Apple guy my entire life. In cleaning out my garage last month, I went through some old receipts from tax records from the 80′s and 90′s…..I was utterly appalled by what I had coughed up over the years for 20MB hard drives, Mac Plus’, vxII’s and 9600′s etc….and obscure Mac software.

rickyricardo on August 24, 2011 at 10:52 PM

Prayers going out to Jobs and his family.

Ward Cleaver on August 24, 2011 at 10:52 PM

rickyricardo on August 24, 2011 at 10:52 PM

I learned a long time ago to not count the cost – and never, ever tell the wife! :)

OldEnglish on August 24, 2011 at 11:03 PM

jobs creator.

maineconservative on August 24, 2011 at 11:42 PM

“Out.” Heh.

boko fittleworth on August 24, 2011 at 11:43 PM

Prayers for Steve Jobs and his Family.

May he experience Healing for his body, mind and soul.

bluefox on August 25, 2011 at 12:04 AM

For anyone that uses Facebook, someone on cnet posted this:

http://www.facebook.com/pages/Join-in-Praying-for-Steve-Jobs-to-Get-Better-Click-to-Show-You-Care/177400045632309?ref=pb

bluefox on August 25, 2011 at 12:09 AM

Percentage-wise, right now, the shares are down just a tad.

Schadenfreude on August 24, 2011 at 7:55 PM

After-hours trading was halted after the announcement. There’s going to be a bloodbath in the AM as the lemmings run off the cliff.

swash_plate on August 25, 2011 at 12:11 AM

I will give credit to the man for what he did. He took overpriced tech and sold it to the masses and created a cult like following for the products. He is a heck of a salesman. But that is about it.

Wolftech on August 25, 2011 at 12:11 AM

Best wishes to Steve and family. As for Apple, Steve’s spirit and influence will persist throughout that organization down to the individual contributors for a long time to come. Not only did he create great products, he created an exceptional company based on a cult of excellence. Sterling achievements in a cut-throat industry. Well done, sir.

Kenosha Kid on August 25, 2011 at 1:53 AM

He took overpriced tech and sold it to the masses

Other companies are actually having a hard time with undercutting the price of the iPad and MacBook Air.

The Mac Pro, on the other hand….

yelnats on August 25, 2011 at 2:04 AM

Setting sside the Apple financial situation which I’m sure will bounce back up, I feel very sorry for this man. Facing medical challenges is difficult for anyone. Having to face them in a spotlight has to be even more challenging. I wish him God Speed and strength to his family and friends.

IlonaE on August 25, 2011 at 6:58 AM

Allah –

As to Cook taking over the company, I have 2 words “Jeff Emelt”…

Leadership greatness cannot be replicated, nor replaced – even if hand picked.

While not a huge Apple fan – JObs genius is in his ability to not only promote, market and build up a launch – but his staunch approach to innovation, price be damned. Most CEO’s at that level look at margins, earnings, operational costs , etc. first – then ram a square peg into a hole…

Cook does have a fiscally sound, operational background – which would be great for Dell, Acer, etc – but Apple… I would be shorting over the next 5 years IMHO.

Odie1941 on August 25, 2011 at 8:34 AM

Immelt.

Odie1941 on August 25, 2011 at 9:16 AM

My gut says this isn’t about his health this time. Above all else, Steve is one of the greatest salesmen of all time. He came back to Apple with NEXTstep and turned it into OS X. He’s polished and repeated it for over a decade (it is, even, the basis of iOS).

In 2007 he introduces a legitimately revolutionary phone, then spent 4.5 years selling the shit out of the same phone, but with MMS (it’s teriffic) Copy and paste, magic! … The iPhone 5 is an IPhone 4, with GSM and CDMA radios to pad the margin with more efficient production. Oh, it can access the cloud (as long as the cloud has access to iTunes). The iPad is a big hit, among people that also own a Macbook Pro, Macbook Air, iPhone and iPod Nano. Steve created a product, for which there isn’t a market and created demand within his own market.

As far as pitchmen go, Steve is the best- he could sell the Chevy Volt, for $65k to 15,000 people and dell of to them again in 18 mos. However, I don’t think he has a post-i idea up his sleeve and he is walking away while he is still a winner. As cynical as this sounds, I hope I’m right. He has dedicated the last decade to turning around a terrible company that had fired him and did it while battling multiple, serious medical problems. I hope he is healthy and can enjoy spending the money earned however and whereever he can imagine.

JCred on August 25, 2011 at 9:50 AM

yelnats on August 25, 2011 at 2:04 AM

Cant speak to the MacBook Air, but there are several Android Tablets that are priced $100+ less that are as good if not better than the iPad.

Wolftech on August 25, 2011 at 10:10 AM

He got me to pay $3000 for a computer with 48 kilobytes of RAM.

Good times.

trigon on August 24, 2011 at 8:13 PM

We “make friends with compulsive upgraders” types are very grateful to you techies for bearing all our R&D costs. / cheapo

inviolet on August 25, 2011 at 12:46 PM

iResign

Kini on August 24, 2011 at 8:18 PM

Simple, but beautiful and worth repeating. :)

Best to you, Mr. Jobs. And thank you very much for my iPods (2) and my iPhones (2).

tickleddragon on August 25, 2011 at 1:38 PM

Great read by Steve Jobs.

Schadenfreude on August 26, 2011 at 1:49 AM