Steve Jobs resigned as the CEO of Apple Inc. on Wednesday, in a long expected move after he began a dramatic fight with cancer. He has been replaced by Tim Cook, who was previously Apple's Chief Operating Officer.
"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," the 55-year-old legendary co-founder of the company said in a statement.
"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."
Apple’s Board of Directors quickly named Cook as the new CEO, saying that "he has demonstrated remarkable talent and sound judgment in everything he does."
Jobs has been elected Chairman of the Board.
Cook temporarily ran the company in 2004, while Jobs was receiving treatment for a cancerous tumor in his pancreas, and again in January 2011, after Jobs took a leave of absence to "focus on [his] health."
Jobs returned to the company in March to help launch the iPad 2.
No reason was given for Job's resignation, but his health problems, including a lengthy medical leave for a liver transplant in 2009 and his increasingly gaunt appearances at public events, fueled speculation he would have to give up the everyday running of the company he co-founded in 1976.
"I believe Apple’s brightest and most innovative days are ahead of it," he said. "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."