Thursday, August 25, 2011

Steve Jobs Resigns - The End of an Era

Loved by many, hated by some, Steve Jobs is one of the most mediatic figures in the technological arena in the past decades. And now, he finally steps down from the company he founded in 1976 with Steve Wozniak and Ronald Wayne (this one, someone that will certainly regret having left the company when he did). Yes, Steve has stepped down from CEO at Apple.

In its letter to the board and the Apple community, Jobs thanks everyone - including the best friends he made at Apple - and recommends Tim Cook as his successor.

But, as we can see in the updated Board of Directors, Steve will still be closely linked to Apple in his new role as Chairman of the Board. (And sources say he'll still be actively involved in the development of "new stuff").

It's just that, this way, he'll be able to keep playing is role as a visionary without having to worry about the daily management tasks a CEO has to deal with. In that sense, nothing will really change at Apple, as this is exactly what's been happening for some time now, ever since Steve's health became an issue, and Tim Cook took over running the operations - but without the "official title" of CEO that he'll now get.

With a very long tradition of inovative devices, from the Macs to the iMacs, MacBook Airs, and not to mention the now almost forgotten iPod; Steve Jobs will certainly be remembered as the father of the iPhone and the iPad.
The first one, a smartphone that shook up the market, in a time where the telecommunication giants would laugh about the tought of a computer company trying to meddle its way into "their" market.
The second one, the first real-life, working, affordable tablet that will change the way people interact with information and computers - a change we're still only experiencing it first effects, but which are certain to become increasingly noticeable in the future.

If changing the world was in Job's "to do" list, I think we can agree that task can certainly be marked as "done".

What will come next for Apple?

Though no one will ever be able to replace the "visionary", Apple will keep chugging along as it has done in the past couple of years - not forgetting that Jobs already played a minor CEO role due to his health condition, and Cook was actually the man keeping things running.

With Apple becoming the most valuable company in the world (having more "cash" the the Government of the USA and the 30 biggest European Banks), Steve steps down in just the right moment, completely satisfied of having done his job. Let's just hope the company won't go downhill from here on.

Here's Steve's letter, for posterity:

To the Apple Board of Directors and the Apple Community:

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. 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.

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.

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.

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