Steve Jobs, founder of Apple, has resigned as CEO from the computer and technology firm. Jobs will be replaced by Apples Chief Operating Officer Tim Cook.
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.
Mr Jobs, who underwent a liver transplant following pancreatic cancer, said he could no longer meet his chief executive's duties and expectations. The 55-year-old has been on medical leave for an undisclosed condition since 17 January.
The Silicon Valley legend will become chairman of the firm, reported the BBC.
Analysts said the move was not unexpected, and would have little impact on the day-to-day running of the company.
"Steve is [still] going to be able to provide the input he would do as a chief executive," said Colin Gillis at BGC Financial.
"But Tim has been de facto chief executive for some time and the company has been hugely successful. The vision and the roadmap is intact."
Nor will customers see any real difference, analysts said.
"At the end of the day, consumers don't buy products from Apple because they're from Steve Jobs, they buy them because they meet their needs and they're good products, and they'll continue to do that," Michael Gartenberg from Gartner told the BBC.
Meanwhile, Nasdaq-100 Index futures declined after Jobs announced his resignation from Apple Inc. (AAPL), the world’s second-largest company by market value.
Futures on the index, which gets 66 percent of its value from computer-related companies such as Apple, fell 0.9 percent to 2,119.25 at 10:23 a.m. in Tokyo. Standard & Poor’s 500 Index futures pared their loss to 0.2 percent from 0.6 percent. Apple shares dropped 5.1 percent to $357.10.
Under Jobs, Apple became the second-most valuable company in the world, after Exxon Mobil Corp., by introducing devices that revolutionized the computer, mobile phone and digital music industries. In July, the company reported its third-quarter profit more than doubled, lifted by record sales of iPhones and iPad tablets. This month, Apple briefly surpassed Exxon Mobil as the world's most valuable company.
At the same time, shares in Samsung, the world's biggest technology firm by revenue, rose 2.4 percent after rising as much as 4.2 percent. The stock topped the list of foreign investors' net buying of South Korean stocks on Thursday.
The stock was also lifted by news that Apple chief executive Steve Jobs had resigned. Some analysts said the departure of the visionary CEO could lead to an easing of legal disputes between Apple and Samsung and raised hopes that Samsung might be able to close the gap with the U.S. firm.