Steve Jobs Steps Down: What Next? [Open Thread]

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.


That’s the email Apple founder and former CEO, Steve Jobs, sent the staff earlier today; the following is a statement released by Apple shortly thereafter:

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.

A full transcript can be found here, via Engadget.

Jobs’ health has been a matter of media speculation for the last several months; in his few recent public appearances, Jobs was noticeably gaunt. The move is unanimously speculated (though unconfirmed) to be in response to Jobs’ battle with pancreatic cancer.

The Wall Street Journal reports that, “People familiar with the situation have said that Mr. Jobs continues to be active at Apple and is closely involved in the company’s product strategy. Apple watchers don’t expect that to change even after Mr. Cook takes over,” though one has to wonder how long it will be before Jobs reduces his role further.

This week we heard rumors of an “absolutely different” product on the horizon–though those rumors are admittedly from an only “sometimes reliable” source. With Jobs’ lessened presence in the company, a possible new product line-up, and Tim Cook in the stead, what happens next?

Weigh in, Geeks: What’s your prediction for the near future of Apple?

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