UPDATED 17:31 EST / AUGUST 24 2011

End of An Era: Steve Jobs Resigns As Apple CEO – Tim Cook Steps in

Steve Jobs and Apple computer announced today that he is stepping down as CEO of Apple Computer. Here is Steve Jobs’ personal letter to his fans and friends.

Apple Computer, the company Jobs with longtime friend Steve Wozniak changed the world of personal computing forever, laying the groundwork for Apple to become the innovative leader in the industry, and one of the most recognizable and successful brands of all time – while old companies like HP have steadily lost their mojo.

Jobs tenure at Apple is certainly storied. He was one fired by the company’s board and investor Venrock, only to return a decade later as CEO in an effort to resurrect an organization which was left in ruin by poor leadership and failed products.  Steve Jobs brought back his vision and experience back to Apple, and led the biggest comeback in the history of modern industry.

As Steve Jobs now steps down, he leaves Apple in the hands of Tim Cook, who was previously the company’s  previously Chief Operating Officer. Jobs was named Chairman of the Board, and Cook will join the Board, effective immediately.

“Steve’s extraordinary vision and leadership saved Apple and guided it to its position as the world’s most innovative and valuable technology company,” said Art Levinson, Chairman of Genentech, on behalf of Apple’s Board. “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.”

Apple designs Macs, the best personal computers in the world, along with OS X, iLife, iWork and professional software. Apple leads the digital music revolution with its iPods and iTunes online store. Apple has reinvented the mobile phone with its revolutionary iPhone and App Store, and has recently introduced iPad 2 which is defining the future of mobile media and computing devices.

Apple is the gold standard.  While HP struggles to figure out how to compete and execute Apple is flying high.  What a contrast.  Steve turned his company into the best and brighest tech computer company in the world.  That was his dream.  He took a computer and made it fashionable.

One thing that I am thinking about is that maybe HP might consider puttingSteve on their board and start selling Apple hardware and own the enterprise together.  For the folks not old enough to remember both Steve Woz and Steve Jobs worked at HP.  It was at HP where Bill Hewlett and Dave Packard allowed Woz to experiment and use HP parts to build the first prototype.

[Disclosure: Many of my friends work at Apple and Steve and his wife Laurene were angel investors in my last company PodTech a failed podcasting startup born out of the class of 2005 venture backed podcasting companies.  Those companies included my company PodTech,  Evan William’s Odeo, Adam Curry’s PodShow, and Murgesh Navar, Podbridge.  Ironically all of those companies failed because of the disruptive nature of Apple and iTunes. – JF]

Update:

AllThingsD one of my favorite tech blogs has a great essay from Walt Mossberg on Steve Jobs.  http://allthingsd.com/20110824/jobs-leave-a-legacy-of-changed-industries/

I don’t want to call Walt and old timer because I’m an old timer by today’s standards but Walt has been close to Apple for two decades.  He’s been up close and personal with Apple and Jobs.  He nails it in this essay and his video commentary.

 


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