After the markets closed, a letter from Steve Jobs was released Wednesday afternoon, in which he said he’s immediately resigning as CEO of Apple Inc., but will remain Chairman of the Board and an Apple employee. As expected, COO Tim Cook is assuming the CEO position full time; he had served as interim CEO during Jobs’ extended sick leave. While the news is saddening to users of Apple’s products, I wasn’t surprised to hear of this decision. Some might even suggest that Jobs’ illness has grown worse in recent months, but that information hasn’t been made public. I would also hope that this isn’t the reason why publication of Jobs’ authorized biography was moved up to later this year. In the meantime, since Jobs will remain with Apple, no doubt he’ll continue to be involved in strategic decisions, particularly new products. Indeed, his resignation letter states: “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.” At the same time, I do expect that Apple’s stock price will take a dive for a while until the market has a chance to assess the meaning of this decision. But it will probably go back up again soon, since no other tech company seems able to compete with Apple head on. In the meantime, it’s unfortunate that some of the articles about Jobs are reading more like eulogies than profiles. Let’s hope we can look at his career with a more sensible perspective, considering it’s not actually over.
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