The man who is as much of a symbol of Apple as its bitten fruit logo announced today that he is stepping down from his post as CEO.
Steve Jobs, who was treated for a form of pancreatic cancer in 2004 and underwent a liver transplant in 2009, remains quiet about his visibly ailing health, but has been on medical leave from Apple since January.
In February, The National Enquirer reported Jobs was being treated at Stanford Cancer Center in Palo, Alto, California. One of the Enquirer’s “oncology consultants” who turned out to be a breathing specialist, described a photo of Jobs as looking “terminal” at the time.
While those rumors were not confirmed, Jobs' thinning frame and gray pallor did not go unnoticed at public appearances like the iPad2 launch and the iCloud keynote earlier this summer. It has been reported that despite taking medical leave to look after his health, Jobs has maintained regular check-ins to Apple headquarters, staying true to his micromanaging style.
The co-founder of Apple, well known for his innovative tech ideas and propensity for black turtlenecks, has undoubtedly left his mark on a company that he built from the ground up; reinventing the wheel (again) several times along the way. However, in a resignation letter to staff, Jobs said despite his departure, he believes that Apple's best days are still ahead of it and will continue his involvement as chairman of the board.
“I have always said that 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 said, “Unfortunately, that day has come.”
Apple’s chief operating officer Tim Cook has been at the helm of the day-to-day operations during Jobs’ absence, and has been named his successor.
According to Reuters, immediately after the news broke, Apple stock fell over 6.6 percent to $351 in after hours trading.