Legendary tech pioneer Steve Jobs has resigned as Apple's CEO and Tim Cook, previously Apple's COO, has been named the company's new CEO.
Apple's board has followed Jobs' recommendation and elected him chairman of the board. They have also named Cook a member of the board.
Jobs has had health problems in recent years, though in his letter to the board he made no direct reference to the issue.
"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," Jobs wrote in a copy of the letter he sent to the board that was posted by the Wall Street Journal. "Unfortunately, that day has come. I hereby resign as CEO of Apple."
The letter also noted: "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."
In a statement, Art Levinson, chairman of Genentech, on behalf of Apple's Board, noted that "Steve's extraordinary vision and leadership saved Apple and guided it to its position as the world's most innovative and valuable technology company. Steve has made countless contributions to Apple's success, and he has attracted and inspired Apple's immensely creative employees and world class executive team. In his new role as Chairman of the Board, Steve will continue to serve Apple with his unique insights, creativity and inspiration."
"The Board has complete confidence that Tim is the right person to be our next CEO," added Levinson. "Tim's 13 years of service to Apple have been marked by outstanding performance, and he has demonstrated remarkable talent and sound judgment in everything he does."
A release issued by Apple notes that "as COO, Cook was previously responsible for all of the company's worldwide sales and operations, including end-to-end management of Apple's supply chain, sales activities, and service and support in all markets and countries. He also headed Apple's Macintosh division and played a key role in the continued development of strategic reseller and supplier relationships, ensuring flexibility in response to an increasingly demanding marketplace."