Apple announces Steve Jobs resigning

Apple CEO Steve Jobs resigned Wednesday and will be replaced by COO Tim Cook, the firm said Wednesday.

Jobs, 56, told the board in a letter that he is no longer able to meet his duties as CEO. Jobs was previously diagnosed with a form of pancreatic cancer and underwent a liver transplant in 2009. Cook ran the firm that year while Jobs took time to recover. 

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Jobs is widely considered the premier technology executive in the world, a visionary whose influence has been compared to everyone from Henry Ford to Bill Gates. Under his stewardship, Apple has helped define the personal computer, the digital music player, the smartphone and the tablet computer.

He helped co-found Apple with Steve Wozniak in 1976 and re-joined the firm in 1996 as CEO, helping it recover from a rough period to become the most valuable company in the world earlier this month, according to stock market valuation.

Steve’s extraordinary vision and leadership saved Apple and guided it to its position as the world’s most innovative and valuable technology company,”  Art Levinson, chairman of Genentech, said on behalf of Apple’s board. 

“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.”

Apple’s stock was down more than 5 percent in after-market trading as investors expressed their doubt of anyone being able to duplicate Jobs’s amazing track record of success. Apple is the leading producer of tablet computers, the owner of the second-leading smartphone platform and among the top laptop makers.