Steve Jobs, pioneering co-founder of Apple, announced he will retire as the CEO of the company, apparently for unspecified health issues.
In a letter Jobs wrote: "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."
Jobs has suffered from ongoing health concerns since he was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in 2004. He has been on medical leave from Apple since January 2011, but still made appearances at Apple product launch events – most recently the iCloud launch in June 2011.
Jobs is regarded as a primary architect of home computing. He drove development of the groundbreaking Macintosh computer, which launched in 1984 as the first successful PC with a graphical user interface (its predecessor, the Apple Lisa, had a GUI but did not sell well).
Since 2000, Jobs has overseen the launch of some of the most successful and iconic consumer products in history: the iPod, which changed how consumers listen to music and changed the music industry itself; the first mass-market smartphone, the iPhone; and the first tablet computer, the iPad.
Jobs intends to stay as chairman of the board and an Apple director. He recommended Apple follow its succession plan and name Tim Cook – currently Apple COO – to the CEO position.
He wrote, "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."
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