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Steve Jobs Resigns as CEO of Apple (yahoo.com)
1667 points by taylorbuley 1979 days ago | hide | past | web | 305 comments | favorite

Apple's going to be fine. Steve's most extraordinary work isn't the Mac, the iPhone or the iPad. It's rebuilding Apple in his image. It was creating organizational culture and habits that mimic his weird brain, like their aggressive software prototyping to prove that things work well and feel good.

Fuck, I'll miss him, though. I'll miss the way he got up there each and every time like he was selling you your own personal Jesus in a box. Not out of hucksterism, but because he really was that excited to share what he and his people had been working on. Excited to do things better. Excited to solve problems in a way that was far more tasteful, more satisfying, than anything anyone had bothered to try before. Maybe he'll still do announcements as his health allows – but maybe that would send a weird message.

He's a man who was lucky enough to find out exactly what he did best – and to seize upon it with every cell in his body.

I'm a better person for his example. The resurrection of Apple was one of the most enjoyable things I followed in my childhood. No matter how you feel about his approach, this is a guy who loves his work with an intensity that couldn't be faked and won't be soon matched.

Apple's going to be fine.

One half of Apple is execution. I believe that Jobs has infused the company with a culture based on his favored principles, and it's reasonable to think this culture is sticky.

The other half of Apple is big strategic decisions. Do the iPod. Do the iPhone. Do the iPad. I don't know anyone else with a track record like that. I don't know that it's trainable. Until the next smash product line that's not from his lips to Apple's ears, I don't know that Apple is going to be fine.

> The other half of Apple is big strategic decisions. Do the iPod. Do the iPhone. Do the iPad.

It's interesting, though, because to hear Apple's brass tell it, the crucial decisions haven't been "do this" so much as they have been "don't do this, don't do that."

Apple is huge on focus, and they credit that focus with their success more than anything else. Focus seems to be baked into their culture as much as anything else at this point.

A mark of a good leader is being able to build a team that can function even when that leader is absent. So far, Steve Jobs has, for all his eccentricities, succeeded in every other measure of leadership – to an exceptional degree. I'd be pretty shocked if his talents couldn't include the final part of the equation.

In the short-term, I'm confident that they can function well absent their leader. Long-term may be a different story. I don't think the company will "follow" Cook the way they follow Jobs.

In order to lead like Jobs, Cook will have to make some very bold decisions. The first time one of those fizzles, the resulting fear will be much greater than it would have been, had Jobs been at the helm. Should he have a streak of fizzles, watch out.

Apple has a very bumpy ride ahead, I do believe. I really hope they do well, though, because I enjoy their products.

No, actually. My recommendation to Tim Cook is to not lead like Jobs. There is only one Steve Jobs, and the world knows it. Tim Cook will need to evolve his own leadership style, and the company will need to trust Jobs that he has passed the baton onto the right person.

There's no point trying to replace Jobs, because that's impossible. What's possible is for Cook to become someone different, someone, dare I say it, even better than Jobs (ie less of an ass or a douchebag, but just as exacting when it comes to high product standards with the global business acumen when it comes to supply chain management) - do you see it? Tim Cook now has a chance to make magic happen - He's worked so hard over the last few decades just for a chance to stand in that CEO position - and now that he has it - he better make the best of it.

My prediction is that Apple will radically change in the next few years - it has to - in order to say goodbye to Jobs, and welcome the new king - Tim Cook.

In the short-term, I'm confident that they can function well absent their leader. Long-term may be a different story.

Apple should do quite nicely for 5 years. After that, it's a big question mark. My bet is that past 5 years, it'll be "never quite as good" as now.

I think you've hit on one of the key leadership traits of Jobs right there - the ability to say, "don't do this, don't do that." Especially when there are entire industries that may be urging him to do something against his vision.

That's trainable. What's not trainable is knowing what to say "no" and "yes" to. Steve developed this instinct over a long time. He made a lot more blunders when he was younger, and learned from them.

Totally agree. And that comes not just from experience, making lots of mistakes and the ability to learn from those mistakes - but also from an ability to be idealistically realistic and see patterns throughout and across industries.

Another key trait of a good leader, IMHO, is the ability to train others to do the same. Time will tell if Steve Jobs pulled this off. (You see this in the restaurant industry - the truely great chefs spawn other great chefs.)

> [The] crucial decisions haven't been "do this" so much as they have been "don't do this, don't do that."

Miles Davis' players often commented that he never told them what to play, but he'd frequently tell them what not to play. Much more effective for building anything great.

>the crucial decisions haven't been "do this" so much as they have been "don't do this, don't do that."

"It’s incredibly rare that I’ve actually regretted saying no, but I dread my yes’s all the time." -DHH

"The other half of Apple is big strategic decisions. Do the iPod. Do the iPhone. Do the iPad."

True... add saying 'no' to that when it's too early... Don't ship a phone yet. Don't ship a tablet computer yet. Steve knows when to say no. I'm sure they could have shipped some kind of phone years earlier and some kind of tablet years earlier and there were probably people inside Apple who were cursing him for waiting at the time. Kudos to Jobs for waiting until the exactly the right time and until the right feature set and performance characteristics were viable.

> Don't ship a tablet computer yet.

How quickly we forget the Apple Newton.

Part of Jobs' legacy is also how well the company was able to bury and move on from missteps. For every company like Nintendo that recovers from a Virtual Boy, there's plenty of CueCats and click-of-death Zip drives.

> How quickly we forget the Apple Newton.

Jobs had left Apple when Newton was released.

There isn't going to be another Steve Jobs. How many leaders inside of Apple (or outside, for that matter) started a company in their garage, then turned that company into one of the world's largest and most successful enterprises? He is one in a million. Possibly even one in a billion.

This means that post-Steve Apple will be fundamentally different -- but it can still be successful. The best organizations spawn generations of great leaders, each with different styles and different visions. Rather than attempting to replace Steve with Steve Lite, the company should chart a new legacy within the culture and guiding principles that Steve built.

An admittedly simplistic and imperfect analogy here, but bear with me: the United States prospered long after the Founding Fathers left the scene, in large part because they established powerful and enduring principles for their successors. And every now and then, a truly great, Non-Founder leader emerged to reshape the country for a new era. Lincoln, for instance. Does anyone fault Lincoln for not being Thomas Jefferson?

If only Lincoln had been Thomas Jefferson! We'd be doing so much better as a country right now. :(

Not to derail this, but there is a lot of idolatry surrounding Lincoln that he doesn't deserve. He was just a Politician; like all the rest.

The other half is more like: "Do the iPod, do the iPhone, do the iPad, do the next great thing Apple can do execute well", but "Don't do the PDA, Don't do the netbook, Don't do the seemingly "next" thing."

The Don't do's are as important, as difficult to foresee, and as difficult to hold the urge to execute as the Do's. This is one of the key talents of Jobs that is not recognized as much as it should.

I'm sure Apple will be around for some time to come. However, I fear they may lose that edge in creating disruptive innovations and become a company (albeit still a profitable one) of sustaining innovations.

History has seemed to show indicate that it takes quite a bold leader, or leadership team, to make the tough trade-offs and take the seemingly insane risks to create disruptions in an industry.

Tim Cook seems capable enough of running Apple. But will he continue the tradition of risky bets that Jobs' has made? And does he have the capability of coming up with such visions - or fostering a corporate culture of doing so?

I'm not entirely sure. But I hope I'm wrong.

I think Cook is fine.

This is his Commencement Address at Auburn University this spring: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xEAXuHvzjao. Kinda reminds me of Steve's Commencement Address at Stanford (2005).

Even if he has the same personal quality, the fact that he is not Jobs means he is less powerful, and that he won't be allowed to take the same risks.

Yes, quite right, I haven't thought of that. Jobs was like the God himself, he could do whatever he wished and he didn't have to answer to anybody (for 99.99% of times). No other executive in Apple or elsewhere has this privilege (except in startups!).

Steve has instilled a culture of innovation and creativity at Apple.

The board and the senior management team are all top-notch innovators and leaders that Steve hand-picked.

I would add do Unix (OSX). yet I do think they are fine, for a few years at least. The new stuff is flying off the shelf, and they simply need to execute now.

That one was actually a pretty easy call.

NeXT was bought because Apple had fucked the dog on their next-generation operating system strategy. NeXTStep gave them a solid new platform upon which to build Mac OS, and the rest is history.

Easy in retrospect. I doubt you could have claimed this when they (NeXT) made the decision to go with BSD

NeXT was founded in 1985 for the purpose of creating a good workstation for the higher education market. By then, SunOS 2.0 was out, Ultrix was out, and 4.3BSD was under development. It wasn't even until mid-1986 that NeXT decided to make their own OS, and that was around the time that 4.3BSD and AIX were released. With Apple's technology off-limits, I'd say NeXT was following the herd when they decided to build off BSD.

Especially when you also saw BeOS in the running. I was happy when they chose NeXT but I always wanted a BeBox :)

They should have bought Be. pouts

The other half of Apple is big strategic decisions. Do the iPod. Do the iPhone. Do the iPad.

Maybe, but a lot of this is just a matter of picking the biggest new trend in consumer electronics and entering that market.

mp3 players are becoming popular? Great, let's make a better one!

Internet-enabled fancy phones are becoming popular? Great, let's do that too!

People like iPhones? Let's make a big one!

And what's next? I don't know, but it'll plug into your TV.

Knowing when the time's right is key - everyone else made shitty stuff, some because the components just weren't ready, some because they didn't know how to make anything better (still true for many MP3 players).

1999 Can we sell this Tablet? NO

2002 Can we sell this Tablet? NO

2004 Can we sell this Tablet? NO

2006 Can we sell this Tablet? NO

2008 Can we sell this Tablet? NO

2010 Can we sell this Tablet? YES

Very true. And, I think when they were saying NO, they were also thinking about WHY they can't sell a tablet at the time and tried to solve the problems.

2000: Can we sell this tablet (or phone)? - NO, because hardware isn't good enough and even if it were, why would anybody buy this, if they can't watch movies or listen to their music without too much hassle? Let's build a music (& movie) store, so that when the hardware is ready, we are ready too.

2005: Can we sell this tablet (or phone)? - No, the hardware is good enough now, but we need great software too. Let's build a great mobile OS (from scratch) and leave the legacy behind. And give the 3rd party developers the SDK and tools to build great apps for our device.

2010: Can we sell this tablet? - YES, the software is great now, just like hardware. Order 15M iPads to Foxconn and ship the damn thing!

Perhaps I am taking your post too literally, but I think this is an example of the mythos that Apple generates.

I don't believe for a second that Jobs had the iPad in mind in 2000.

They probably just brainstorm, try different stuff internally, see what works and see if they can make a product out of it that meets their high expectations. Jobs was no doubt an important part of this process but it is not impossible for the culture and process to outlive the person who helped create them.

I would not be surprised if Jobs was speaking honestly when he talked down tablets in 2008.

I don't believe for a second that Jobs had the iPad in mind in 2000.

Bill Gates certainly had something like it in mind in 2000. I have an example of such a device in my living room. (tc1100 - Mine dates from 2001) The "raw" functionality (for a technically savvy person like me) far exceeds the typical use of the iPad. It even has the same screen resolution. Still, I don't do anything on the iPad that I didn't do on the tc1100, and do everything on the iPad -- the whole gestalt is just more pleasurable to use.

I would not be surprised if Jobs was speaking honestly when he talked down tablets in 2008.

No, he was lying ;)

Watch his D8 talk (With Walt Mosberg), it's available in iTunes (Podcasts -> Apple Podcasts). He (Jobs) says that they began working on a multitouch tablet in the early 2000's, but around 2005 decided first ship a phone (When I saw the rubber band thing, I said: My God, we can make a phone out of it!). When that got successful, he put the tablet off the shelf and the rest is history.

Again, watch the D8 talk. It's awesome.

Maybe, but a lot of this is just a matter of picking the biggest new trend in consumer electronics and entering that market

I think Microsoft is a splendid example of how this strategy can fail. Zune? Mobile Phones? Tablets?

In your zeal to denigrate Apple you've missed the point, or perhaps you thought you were posting about Microsoft?

The iPod's success was down to the whole package, excellent product design, good (but not excellent) performance and iTunes.

Ditto the iPhone, a well designed, brilliantly conceived package together with the App Store. The whole thing, all of it, "just worked".

Saying the iPad is just a big iPhone is juvenile and speaks volumes about your analytical abilities. Apple created a successful tablet when others who had tried had not. Oh, and there was no tablet trend before the iPad, Apple created that market too.

If you are correct, and 1/2 of Apple's success is execution, then what about the vision half?

Things will be fine for a while, maybe a few years. But then someone important at Apple, who everyone likes, will come up with an idea.. that sucks. They will tell other important likeable people about their idea and those other people will say they like the idea, because that's what important likeable people do.

Some people will know that the idea sucks, but they won't say so because if they did then nobody would like them. Why should they stick their neck out just to shoot down an idea? For the sake of the company? Pfft, no way. After all, it's not their company. They love working there, but it's not like they built the company from scratch in their garage or something. If they don't get along with people at work, what's the point?

And besides, Apple is so successful that it can absorb a sucky idea or two. Or three. Right?

Saying no is a big part of what makes Apple great and Steve was the guy who could say it. I don't know how he did it. I mean, eventually he could do it because he was Steve Jobs but I don't know how he did it in the first place. Who can do it now? Who would want to? It's irrational.

Great post! Even the top-level commenter doesn't seem to grasp that early, rapid prototyping only works when someone is around to say "no." Since his return, that's been Steve Jobs -- full stop.

Who can replace that? AFAICT, no one at Apple can do what he does^H^H^H^Hdid. Sure, they can continue to do what he asked them to do, but the CEO job is basically unfilled.

No one in their right mind thinks Tim Cook is a replacement for Steve Jobs.

Maybe Apple survives with lower level people saying yes or no. Personally, IMO, the golden age is over. It was great while it lasted.

Apple's going to be fine.

Jobs brought back Apple from the brink in 1996. Depending on who you talk to, they were months or weeks away from bankruptcy.

Fifteen years later, its flirted with being the most valuable company in the world.

Cook is the only choice. He's so good at not being Tim Cook, Apple is the focus. Barring Steve having failing health, this is a masterful transition.

Not out of hucksterism, but because he really was that excited to share what he and his people had been working on.

I always viewed his pitches as amazing one-man performances, and buying whatever he was selling was just part of the cost of admission. Plus you ended up with a cool take home gift out of the exchange.

It never felt cheap, but often worked in areas that others would just turn into hopeless kitsch, yet somehow he kept it tasteful, meaningful and relevant. An absolute virtuoso of the sales performance.

For the record this doesn't necessarily mean he will stop giving presentations. Gates continued to do his Comdex speech after stepping down as CEO (and remaining as Chairman)

The last WWDC kind of makes me skeptical on this. He let his lieutenants do almost all of the segments he'd normally take on himself. He needs to send a message that Apple's got this – they can do it on their own.

Still, as long as he can stand and talk, I have a hard time believing he'd miss a product launch.

I'd wager that he won't be presenting the next one, but he will come out at the last minute and present the "one more thing".

Not to be morbid here, but it is likely questionable whether Steve Jobs will be alive for many more presentations.

The key to Apple and Tim Cook doing well is not asking "What would Steve do?", IMO. Trying to 'be' Steve or emulate him is not going to help. If the company and Tim Cook can continue to build a new unique character, which maintaining the foundation built by Steve, they will be fine.

Apple is not going to be fine and to think otherwise is deluding yourself. Apple has about a year worth of Steve awesomeness built up before it starts to show cracks, before the Steve clones start to leave Apple for Facebook, Google or The Next Big Thing. However you summed it up well. Fuck I'll miss him. Seriously.

Apple will continue to make quality products but I doubt it will keep the ability to market them as well.

They lose their vision, and in this rare instance, this word actually means something. It meant they could release a totally new product and have an immediate business success. They just lost that. The iPhone 5 will be fine, the iPad 3 will be fine. The next "big thing" will fail.

I won't lie : I am relieved that this happen. In Job's "vision" there was a lot of things I didn't like in terms of lockdown, of control of consuming habits, in its relationship with developers seen as allies when living in Cueprtino but has spawns of hell when independent.

So long Steve, and thanks for the fish. As a human I wholeheartedly hope you will overcome your medical problems, as a developer I sincerely hope that this means the darker parts of your visions become further from reality.

> this is a guy who loves his work with an intensity that couldn't be faked and won't be soon matched.

This is one of the reasons I don't believe Apple will achieve the same heights without Steve.

For instance, a Picasso and its reproduction may look the same, but the original has a story behind it. One is almost entering into a relationship with a piece of art. This is why we'd put up with any idiosyncracies that Apples have for so long.

Apple without a story becomes Apple Corp. Sony fell by the wayside in the same manner, when the founder left, the company simply did things the old way rather than asking why.

I think the biggest thing is that everyone in Apple has a question they can ask themselves, "What would Steve Jobs do?". And if they can honestly answer the question and take decisions based on that, Apple with its lead and its teams and its products will stay ahead for a while to come.

I've seen a car with the license place "WWSJD" pull into their Cupertino headquarters before. I hope there's more people like that there.

I'd like to think SJ would fire anyone who drove up in a car with that license plate, on the grounds that he's running a computer manufacturer and not a personality cult. But I'd probably be wrong.

Yeah, just like asking "What would Jesus do?" works for a lot of other people, right?

"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."

From the WSJ blog: http://blogs.wsj.com/deals/2011/08/24/steve-jobs-resigns-as-...

EDIT: Now posted on Apple.com: http://www.apple.com/pr/library/2011/08/24Letter-from-Steve-...

This makes me sad to think that Steve has made this decision on a daily basis - should I carry on at Apple today? And one morning, probably this week, he decided that he couldn't.

This hints it's probably about health reasons, which is the saddest part.

Probably also the reason why the book is scheduled to be released sooner? [come on, which author ever beats a writing-deadline by 3+ months?]

I think that probably has more to do with hitting bookshelves in time for the lucrative holiday season.

Why in the world would he care about lucre? He's a dying billionaire who remade the technology world in his own vision. Twice.

The author and the publisher are primary stakeholders in the success of the book, not Jobs.

Hinting is rather unnecessary. Why else would he leave?

Sure, everyone knows that he's been having health problems, but he could have made this decision just because "it was the right time" not because his health problems had worsened. Like he could have gone on, but felt that everything was in place for a smooth transition.

However, "I could no longer meet my duties and expectations as Apple’s CEO" is not just that.

That is what almost everyone says in these notes. "could no longer meet my duties" could easily mean "because I want to go on vacations with my wife and kids every day of the week for the rest of my life".

No, most say that they want to spend more time with family.

"Could no longer meet my duties" + pancreatic cancer = a strong chance that the doctors gave him a number of how long he had left to live, and it wasn't it years.

(That doesn't mean that Jobs can't beat the odds, of course!)

That would hardly qualify as "Unfortunately"

I 'd prefer that he would leave to "build a new pixar" or sth.

Because he's 56 years old and wants to start living a well deserved retirement?

He's already on leave. So it isn't like there's a great strain on his health now. I would think no more than there will be when he remains on as chairman of the board. Which is the real point.

If health were forcing him to step down he wouldn't be staying on as Chairman. There are significant duties to being Chairman of the Board. You have to appear in public, you have to go to official functions, and so on. You can't hide a serious illness and still be chairman of the board.

Mark my words: This is all about Tim Cook (Which, if I might toot my own horn, I predicted here: http://tomstechblog.com/post/Ie28099m-Not-Sure-Steve-Jobs-Is...)

I think health is the only reason that would force Steve Jobs to quit, he likes what he's doing.

Being a Chairman of the board is a message to stockholders: "Don't panic, I'm still available", if he stepped down without an orderly transition Apple stock would probably really take a beating.

The chairman of the board is fairly invisible from a public point of view.

He's actually been on a leave of absence so he could focus on his health. This is after being diagnosed with pancreatic cancer (whose 5 year survival rate is sub-20%-- 6% if you count all stages). And toss a liver transplant on top of all of that.

Of course it's about his health.

I wish you were right, but Steve Jobs is clearly not a well man, and he seems to have been getting worse for some time.

On the offchance that he did stage a miraculous recovery and decide "Well shit, now I'm all better I think I'm gonna go buy a large tropical island!" he would have mentioned his miraculous recovery in his letter, since his health problems are well known.

    Apple Computer Inc
    the Apple II
    the Apple //e
    the Apple //c
    the Apple //GS
    the Mac
    Mac OS
    the Mac II
    the NeXT Cube
    Mac OS X
    the iMac
    the Titanium PowerBook
    the iPod
    the iTunes Music Store
    the iPod Touch
    the iPhone
    the iPad
    the App Store
These things have been utterly inspirational and important to me from the time I first discovered computers for myself at age seven, to today. Without them I would not be who I am today, doing what I'm doing today.

Thanks Steve.

(And if you're wondering what Steve Jobs had to do with the Apple //c, //GS, and Mac II, he was the one who brought in Frog Design to design Apple hardware throughout the 80s, and their work was marvelous, just as Jony Ive's work is marvelous today)

And that's just Apple. Lest we forget, he changed the music industry, the film industry, the telecommunications industry (and maybe the gaming industry, see Nintendo's struggle vs the iPod and the iPhone as premier mobile gaming devices, but I think this is still up in the air)

Steve is truly, truly an American legend.

He's definitely changed the gaming industry. Don't look at the platform, look at the developers. The nature of the iOS platform is giving indie developers some serious visibility that many might not otherwise have.

I would add the Macbook Air to the list.

And all iPod variants.

Objective-C wasn't created at NeXT.

Lame. The language is almost trivial; what matters are the frameworks that go with it. Those were created at NeXT, and Steve Jobs was a big reason that happened.

Those frameworks (with all the updates that have been made over the years) are what run on Mac OS X and iOS today.

The language is almost trivial; what matters are the frameworks that go with it.

Again, it's the execution! There are certainly better languages out there. However, Apple manages the Objective-C "ecosystem" in much the same way that it manages the iTunes "ecosystem" -- with a relatively high level of quality and usability. (Yes, programmers bitch about stuff in iOS, but we always do in any language/ecosystem. What matters is how wisely the maintainers respond.)

Many of us on HN aspire to the success that Steve's had. We'd love to be him, to build something amazing like Apple. But I bet he'd give anything to have the good health and indeterminate life expectancy that we have tonight. I'll go to sleep thinking how lucky i am. And I'm going for a run tomorrow, because all the success in the world is for nowt if you lose your health.

Thank you for that.

Well said.

I don't know why, but I feel a little sad right now. Like being witness to the end of an era.

You're sad because you are sensing that there's no replacement for The Steve, either inside Apple or outside.

And you're right.

Leaving a void for the next generation to fill. I'm looking forward to it.

Now that is a winner's attitude.

Every farewell is an opportunity for a new hello.

I'm sad too. He is a once-an-epoch leader. Think what the world would be like without him. Amazing that a business leader can be so important and foundational to the world.

This is getting to be a bit much....he was an impressive CEO. Important and foundational to the world.

I am very very saddened too!...i wonder if we will see another such great artist and visionary in our lifetimes!

Feeling exactly the same.

It makes perfect sense as part of the succession planning for Apple. This way, when Steve (very sadly) resigns "permanently" from any and all jobs, it will just be business as usual and not take down the Apple stock by 30% or something equally ridiculous.

Still, quite a shock.

AAPL is still going to tank.

Not for very long. There's no real reason for it to do so. This was entirely predictable. Sure, a bunch of people are going to short, but they'll be sorry they did.

I truly, sincerely hope you're right. I've always seen Jobs as a visionary leader, but I'm uncertain he's been similarly effective at grooming a leadership team (or individual) with the same vision. Cult of personality and all that.

Part of Apple's success, IMHO, has been Jobs' ability to cut through bureaucracy, egos, corporate politics and industry politics to execute on a pristine vision. Perhaps it's my lack of faith in middle managers, but unless there is a clear mandate from leadership, details & priorities can morph down the chain of command. Visionary products can be diluted by others making what seem like perfectly sound trade-offs. It's the minimization of that dilution, setting of crystal-clear priorities, and making the hard trade-off decisions that has made Jobs such an effective leader at Apple.

That, and his ability to look several steps ahead of an industry - and arguably to create new industries - that has given rise to so many of Apple's disruptive innovations. Without him, I have a bad feeling Apple will become better at creating sustaining innovations than disruptive ones.

Of course, I don't work there and perhaps there are many others who can make such tough decisions and dream up industry-changing visions. I sincerely hope so. For the growth of the company, I sincerely hope so.

Not tomorrow, that's for sure.

Every half-witted investor is already lining up to buy AAPL shares that will of course drop tomorrow in price as quarter-witted investors will be dumping them because of the Jobs' news. This will ramp up the demand and not let the price slide.

In the short term, probably yes. But maybe folks have been putting that "discount factor" all along since January. But they have a pretty solid line up ahead (iphone5, sprint-iphone, ipad3, a new product line... and lots of others to come). Plus the iphone/ipad revenues are still growing - so that will only get better in the next few quarters. Very likely, AAPL the stock will move on higher.

Agreed. If it does tank, I'll be lining up to buy shares. Throughout all the turbulence of the markets lately, AAPL has been holding up well.

i'm inclined to believe that the probability of jobs resigning, especially after his medical leave in january, was already priced into the stock.

this would imply the market prices steve's value to the company > the 5% drop we saw after hours, since the 5% drop should reflect the incremental change of P(x) = 1. i'm not saying the stock won't take a huge hit tomorrow, but my bet is that it recovers in the near-to-medium term.

i am also not saying that the market is right - i wholeheartedly believe the company and its management can execute on steve's vision and has been for some time without daily guidance.

Making tomorrow a buying opportunity.

Maybe buy some long calls.

AAPL didn't tank.

I wonder why they didn't make this announcement on a Friday afternoon when the markets had already closed.

Because they dont care. If the stockmarket would be everything to them they would do so. But Apple is sitting on so much liquidity that they dont go crazy if there stock drops by 5%.

And the company is in a perfect shape there is nothing wrong with it the same goes for the future.

And the company is in a perfect shape there is nothing wrong with it the same goes for the future.

Of course, Andy Grove would call this the most perilous time imaginable. There have never been so many things that can go wrong.

Worst case, Cook and the executive team fail in the opposite direction as they did before, letting the company stagnate while endlessly arguing "WWSD?" among themselves.

Bloomberg west is already 40 minutes over time discussing Jobs' departure. Given the current market position of Apple, this comes at a bad time for the US economy in general i guess.

This is really sad. I'm just glad he got to enjoy the glory of seeing a company he started in his parent's garage become - if only for a moment - the most valuable enterprise on Earth.

I mean wow, what a ride.

He changed how normal people viewed technology.

That's much more important than the volatile numbers made up by Wall Street.

He's still alive, you know.

This is the first time I have personally felt sad when a CEO has quit his company.

I will be sad when Mr. Page and Brin retire as well.

true, but hopefully that will be under better circumstances.

Me too. I am not a big apple fan (I stay away from most of their products for reasons I will not go into here), but this marks the end of an era.

I can't think of any other public company CEO departure that would even come close to this feeling.

It pains me to admit it, but I'm relatively relieved. Sure, the stock price will take a beating, but I have to believe that Apple, the company, will remain strong under Tim Cook's leadership.

Why am I relieved? Because, although AAPL is still quite high, I think that investors have been weary of the stock due to the uncertainty of Jobs' health and future. Make no mistake, we'll have a roller coaster for quite a while, but I strongly suspect that the next few product cycles will demonstrate that Apple is still a game-changer even in a world where Jobs is not at the helm.

That being said, I'll miss him. He's a true visionary and such high-profile leaders only come along once in a great while.

AAPL is trading at 14.xx P/E. It's low for a company with such an astonishing growth rate. To add some perspective, AMZN's P/E is hovering at 85.xx.

AAPL on one had is a Wallstreet darling and on the other a rebel. They don't listen to Wallstreet analysts or investors and are constantly punished for it in their stock price (really it should be much higher but it's not). Instead of producing cheaper laptops to increase market share they just make more featurepacked ones at the same price. Instead of going after the enterprise market they just do basic enterprise sales and implement some enterprise features. Other PC manufacturers got out of the PC business because there is no money to be made there and they double down on it.

Instead of following trends like many other companies they completely buck them. And this gets them painted as unpredictable. And this is why there PE is so low. Because they are constantly growing but the analysts are convinced this is their peak and it only goes downhill from here.

I have to insert one mild troll here: you seem to be writing in the voice of an Apple investor, yet from context you seem more like a user or developer. Why is the value of AAPL a universal good? Seems like it's quite high enough already.

Not a troll... a good question. The answer is I am all of those. The high value of AAPL is not a common good (although it's obviously good for me), but I was referring more to the constant fear in the markets of the eminent instability of the stock. There are many who believe that Apple IS Steve Jobs. I disagree, but it will be nice to see them come out of his shadow. And Apple will be a much easier stock to judge from an investment standpoint when that happens.

Hmm can you expand on why you think Apple isn't Steve? There are surely many great people at Apple. But Steve maintained an unwavering, fanatical commitment to product. That's the secret sauce. With him gone how will that continue? With a company that size, surely politics and other bullshit will eventually creep in and win out in arguments over product.

A plausible explanation is because Steve created an enduring culture at Apple, one which strongly set Apple apart. Not only does this permeate from the upper management down to the rank and file, but Apple also has the benefit of seeing how well it did without that culture.

Steve Jobs along with Bill Gates and others define the personal computing era. I grew up seeing these people trail-blazed and built up the technology world we know today. It's sad to see Jobs is stepping down, most likely due to health reason. It's like the representation of our computing generation is fading away.

I don't know why but the dialogue from Blade Runner suddenly comes to mind, "I've seen things you people wouldn't believe. Attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion. I watched C-beams glitter in the dark near the Tannhauser gate. All those moments will be lost in time... like tears in rain..."

Jobs preparing for his very first TV appearance in 1978.

It's funny how very nervous he is. Guess he learned to get over that...


Wow. Even though everyone saw this one coming, I dont think anyone expected it to happen so soon. It will be interesting to see how the market reacts tomorrow, I imagine it wont be pretty.

As the COO, Cook did great job lining up and executing the production line. Most of the creative work should already be in the pipeline for the 2012, 2013 releases. We'll see what happens after then.

Apple will probably be fine for the next decade. The main concern is if Apple can continue to create disruptive products.

From Jobs' own mouth, it was his idea for the iPad a decade ago and from that sprung the iPhone.

The great thing about Apple is that it doen't create disruptive products, but invents new markets altogether.

Smart phones existed before the iPhone; Apple/Jobs just made them orders of magnitude better. Tablets have existed before the iPad; Apple/Jobs just made the first one the market fell in love with.

What new markets have they created?

Now, don't get me wrong... I love Apple. I have a Mac and an iPhone and Cinema displays. I'm jealous of my friends with iPads. Etc. I just don't see any brand new markets.

I would actually disagree. How many first-year undergrads did you see with a Blackberry or a Windows Mobile device in the pre-iPhone smartphone market? How many middle-aged couples on airplanes did you see with a Fujitsu tablet before the iPad? There were small business and enterprise smartphone and tablet markets before Apple entered them, but there sure weren't consumer markets for these categories.

> How many first-year undergrads did you see with a Blackberry or a Windows Mobile device in the pre-iPhone smartphone market?

Danger's Sidekick line was popular with those less enterprisey demographics and predated the iPhone by quite a while.

How about iTunes? The App store? The iPad? I can go build some shit product and ship it first, but without a reliable customer base, there is no market. So yes, I think it is fair to say Apple has created new markets. Prior to 2007 the Motorola Razr was the most popular phone on the market. Enough said.

There was an existing market for MP3 players, smart phones and tablet PC's. Apple didn't create them. It expanded them and introduced the products to the masses.

"It expanded them and introduced the products to the masses."

And how is this not creating new markets? I think you are confusing markets with ideas. IBM wasn't the first to come up with the idea of the computer, but it certainly created new markets for it. Absent actually producing the product that is sold in the market, an idea (or a poorly implemented version of it) isn't much good.

Semantics. I would classify them as new market segments.

How about the mouse driven desktop computer market?

I just don't see any brand new markets.

Most everyone else didn't either a few years ago. Then came iPod, iTunes Music Store, iPhone, iPad. It all seems kinda obvious now, but nobody else did it. That's vision and leadership, and the world needs more of it.

Not to be pessimistic... but skeptical on this MBA guy

I'm preparing a presentation for the HN Meetup in London tomorrow and I used Apple as a 'forthcoming' example of Succession and its impact on equity/ share value. Guess I better reword that bit now, and again when the markets open tomorrow.

There's a HN meetup in London today?

It's difficult to imagine this could be for any reason other than his illness, but I'd like to hope against hope.

Agreed, in fact I suspect that the 'chairman' position may also just be something to keep the stock from nose-diving and that it may not last long. I just have a feeling that Jobs wouldn't step back until he really really had to, and that it may be a sign of things being worse than he will let on right now.

The biggest thing Jobs brought to the computing industry is humanity. The understanding that in the end, humans come first.

The second thing is he taught that you don't have to check every box in order to be successful.

He stripped computing back to its roots in science fiction, and built devices that were originally imagined, taking away feature after feature until something is understood.

I'm sad about this in the same way I'm bummed when a great athlete retires. We've witness one of the greatest turnarounds in history, and though I'm confident that Apple will remain strong, it sucks to see this happen.

That said, when the market dips, buy, buy, buy.

I generally agree on buying when there's a dip. Except if the dip is due to a drop in the fundamental ability of said company to execute. A reasonable person could bet that while there may be no near/medium term ability in their ability to execute, that there will be a medium/long term drop. That old saw about A picks A, B picks C, C picks D, etc. There will likely be a decay.

I can only feel a bit of sadness not just from his resignation, but from the health circumstances that are likely behind this.

I have to take my hat off to Mr. Jobs. Though there is much I disagree with him on (and personally, I'm not much of an Apple fan or consumer), he's one of the most amazing, talented and driven people I've ever seen.

He's brought a unique and masterful skill to the art of selling, vertical integration, acquisitions and consumer electronics. And I mean art. Vertical integration was never something I thought I'd appreciate on an aesthetic level until I saw the level that Jobs has raised that form to time and again. The NeXT computer production line was divine.

I think he's learned tremendously from what happened to Apple the last time he left and has spent extraordinary effort to ensure a smooth and capable team takes over. I can only guess that this might be happening after seeing the capability that the current team has executed with these past few months.

I want Apple in the fight, they continuously raise the bar in the industry and literally make it great to be a consumer, even if you don't buy their stuff yourself.

Kudos to Jobs for a job well done, and I wish him the best in health.

And Tim Cook is his successor, it's confirmed:

> Steve Jobs Resigns as CEO of Apple

> Tim Cook Named CEO and Jobs Elected Chairman of the Board

> CUPERTINO, California—August 24, 2011—Apple’s Board of Directors today announced that Steve Jobs has resigned as Chief Executive Officer, and the Board has named Tim Cook, previously Apple’s Chief Operating Officer, as the company’s new CEO. Jobs has been elected Chairman of the Board and Cook will join the Board, effective immediately.


Sad day..I think I must have watched his stanford commencement speech at least a dozen times.


This announcement only makes more poignant what he said in that speech:

"Remembering that I'll be dead soon is the most important tool I've ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life. Because almost everything -- all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure -- these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important. Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart."

Thank you for reminding me of this quote. Truly epic. http://spking.com/steve/

"Remembering that I'll be dead soon is the most important tool I've ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life. Because almost everything -- all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure -- these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important. Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart..."

"... and go out right after launching a bunch of bullshit patent suits."

And the greatest second act in (business) history draws to a close. He's changed the world. And he made Apple the most valuable company in the world. That's quite some achievement for a terminally ill man.

“The problem is I’m older now, I’m 40 years old, and this stuff doesn’t change the world. It really doesn’t. I’m sorry, it’s true. Having children really changes your view on these things. We’re born, we live for a brief instant, and we die. It’s been happening for a long time. Technology is not changing it much — if at all."

--Steve Jobs

In the sense that the building blocks of the world are the same, yes. But it's changed my world - I haven't lost anyone's phone number for years. I take pictures of things. I go running more. I interact with distant friends. And I type faster than ever. I have access to the vast amounts of information in my pocket any time. That's amazing. And my 83 year old neighbour understands that she can touch things to see more information about them. That's amazing.

Apple will be fine for the next 5 years. The iPhone, iPad, MacBooks, iMacs, etc. will carry them and their revenue. They probably have a few new products ready to release within a year as well, maybe TV or something else. The next 5 years I don't see them stalling. The iPhone and iPad have too much momentum. But the big question is from year 6 to 10. Apple needs a product leader, someone who will lead the whole company to rally around the latest and greatest new apple product. Hopefully Tim Cook can fit into that role, with help from Ive, Schiller, and others. Another hopeful note is the leadership institute Jobs has set up inside Apple with ex-business school profs archiving all of Jobs exploits and training then next generation of leaders. However, I think really nobody really knows what Apple will be like from year 6 to 10. But I'll be rooting for Apple and hope they continue to make revolutionary products.

Considering where Apple is today, especially in context of its epic journey across the past fifteen years, it almost seems like this would have been time regardless of any concerns about Steve's health. He helmed a company that started one revolution through several more, an eclipsing second act largely unlike anything else in the history of business. You need a one-in-a-million CEO to do that. 

Apple doesn't need that where it is now. Its struggles are just memories today. It still needs an incredibly smart CEO that can keep the company on the right path, which it has in Tim Cook, but the era in which Jobs was critical as CEO is over. Whether he's chairman of the board or executive visionary-in-residence, it'll be a more appropriate position for Apple's founder in this new decade. 

This doesn't mark the end of Apple's ascendancy, just the very end of the turnaround. The dawn is over. This is Apple greeting the day.

Can people stop talking about the effect of the stock? I get it- many of us own AAPL. This is one of the greatest entrepreneurs and CEOs ever stepping down. Let's focus on that.

Steve will now be Chairman of the Board, to answer some questions from other comments. It's hard to see how this does not at least hint at some more bad health news, although I too hope that it does not mean this. Here's Steve's letter to the Board:


How so? He was already on leave. Being on leave doesn't put a big strain on your health because you're not having to go in to the office. So how would health issues force him to step down?

I guess maybe if he was so sick he physically couldn't go into the office but he's remaining chairman so that can't be the case.

The difference between going on leave and resigning is that it's expected that you will come back from leave. Sometimes health problems have a chance of getting better, and sometimes that chance goes away.

One of the most iconic leader of our times. I will miss his keynotes. They were simply joy to watch.

The famous advert "Here's to the crazy ones..misfits.." totally applies to his career. I'm sure if AAPL ever recreates the same ad, he deserves his spot in there.

Wow. I very much hope that this not for illness reasons, and instead he simply decided that now was the time to make the changeover.

I think the days of Apple having a rock star CEO are over. I genuinely believe that a big part of Apple's success is down to Tim Cook, and I think the company is in good hands. But I doubt he'll ever take to the stage or become the face of Apple. That's no bad thing, but Apple has become a sort of entertainment, a movie almost, that people love to watch. I think those days are over and a new era of "mysterious CEO" is about to be ushered in. If anything, Apple is about to get a lot more secretive.

I was really hoping that such succession news would be delivered by the man himself, if and when it happened. But I presume that's not going to happen.

All the best to Steve and his family.

What a roller coaster Steve Jobs' life (and his stewardship of Apple) has been. But, all in all, great job. Amazing job. Cheers to Steve.

A sad day. Fortunately, he'll continue to inspire the world of technology and entrepreneurs for decades to come. Thanks Steve!

Huge news. One can expect an overwhelming wave of punditry about this move, but it'll be interesting to read their official press release and what his role will be moving forward.

Surely he'll still be the arbiter of taste until he's dead?

The Edison of our generation. Sad to see Jobs go and hopefully his health has not gotten worse. The greatest turnaround of a company ever – Steve will leave a long legacy.

Steve Wozniak, John Carmack, Linus Torvalds: yes. Steve Jobs: no.

Maybe the Ray Kroc of his generation?

None of those three are anything like Edison, who was an inventor and shrewd businessman. Jobs is way closer to the mark in my opinion.

I think he is far greater than a Ray Kroc. Jobs' vision has really shaped modern technology for the consumer more than anyone else. One could easily argue that the vision is far more than anything else. As is said, imagination is more important than knowledge.

Here comes the inventor hipsters.

Edison? Please...that's a bit much.

Edison personally created the majority of his inventions. Jobs has an entire company/team behind him. And Jonathan Ives is a big help when it comes to the sleek design of Apple products.

I don't believe he did. Edison ran a sizeable R&D lab. Look up Menlo Park.

Edison personally created the majority of his inventions.

Citation needed.

From what I know of Edison he was skilled at teamwork, business and PR. Which would make him more like Jobs.

Citiation needed

Edison actually took credit for many inventions created by people who worked for him.

Perhaps not Edison - I expect he'll be known soon for his own way of doing things. If you've ever run a technology (or any, I suppose) company it's extremely hard to ship useful AND beautiful AND working products and beyond that offer incredible support. I admire Jobs for his vision and his passion at making it happen and he's been an inspiration to me.

I wonder how long http://www.apple.com/pr/ will take to update for this.

Apparently about 20 minutes.

Steve's letter is on the site now.

I wonder how that delay reflects on the Apple org chart. Do the people behind /pr/ have advance notice of big announcements? Does Steve send his letter to them at the same time he sends it the Wall Street Journal?

I'm pretty sure Apple's PR department is in charge of sending Steve's letter to the Wall Street Journal.

Probably. It just kind of reminded me of that thing where the original iPhone hardware people supposedly had no idea what the software would look like, and vice versa.

This article is pretty vague on the details of 'why' he resigned. Does anyone have more information?

All the best to Steve and his family..

To put it bluntly, he's dying. His health hasn't been good in a while[1], and he's probably resigning to a) spend time with family before he goes, and b) to limit the damage to the company when he does.

[1] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Steve_Jobs#Health_concerns

It's still pretty vague. He had the surgery to remove the tumor. Then an unknown hormone problem? They a liver transplant?

What is he dying from exactly? Does anyone know?

It's vague cause that's the way he wants it.

That's private. It doesn't really concern us. All we need to know is that his health issues are taking their toll and he recognizes that.

Neuroendocrine Tumor/Islet Cell Carcinoma

deleted, since: http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=2922792 said roughly the same thing and 6 minutes earlier.

Considering that was their declared succession plan, it'd be hard for him to miss.

IIRC, Apple never declared a succession plan. http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/02/25/us-apple-vote-idUS...

Everyone already knew it was most likely going to be Tim Cook. He's been pegged the successor for a few years at the very least.

It's not Gruber who predicted this. Every single journalist, analyst, and Apple fan boy predicted the same.

Not every one (http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=2134181 ). I hope all goes well for Steve.

Interesting (to me, anyway) that the pundit I referred to in the above linked topic (Bob Cringely) still doesn't think Cook is the replacement: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=2923808

Not me, I was convinced jony I've was the man for the job.

Apple is now worse then Microsoft ever was. Because they're more snaky in putting the thumbscrews on the customers. The true face of Apple is an ugly one. I'm not saying Google or Facebook or Microsoft don't focus on making money on the expense of the customers and on the expense of the freedom of the internet. But I really fail to understand why some of you guys seem to see Steve Jobs as a hero. Are you aware that the direction Steve Jobs and all the big companies are heading to is to force people to buy an app for 5 dollars to write a comment on Hackker News? And as an extra premium they sell your private data to allow other companies rise the prices to the max.

To me Apple has reached a new all time low as they sued Samsung with photoshoped pictures as if Apple had invented the tablet. They made the first great one, but they did not invent it.

EDIT: Typo

End of an era definitely. No-one can deny that Jobs has had one of the the most successful turnaround careers ever.

Though I believe the company will be fine, this kind of feels like the end of an era. It's sad, as well, because it sounds very much like his reasons for stepping down are health-related, which can't be good.

He's survived and built amazing things in the face of great illness, when a lot of people would have given up. Sure, he had more financial resources than most to put into that battle against cancer, but a large part of it still comes down to determination and will. It would have been easy, several years ago, to say "I'm too tired to do this anymore" when you've fought cancer and don't need the paycheck. Someone like that doesn't step away from something they love unless they feel they absolutely have to.

I just hope Steve and his family are given the respect and privacy they will no doubt need and desire in the weeks and months ahead.

As sad as this is, I really am looking forward to see how the company evolves the culture that he's created.

I think there's a bit of contradiction in all of the hand-wringing about whether or not Apple needs Steve to survive. Given that his health has been in question for several years, and speculation about what will happen if he has to leave, and given that he is a visionary, masterful auteur who guides Apple's strategy so successfully, don't we trust him to have accounted for all of this and developed a succession plan that continues Apple's success?

If there was really a dearth of innovators, of executors, of strategists at Apple when he leaves, wouldn't he have worked to solve that problem? Great CEOs are hirers and developers of great talent. I suspect Jobs has done as good of a job setting up what happens after today as he has everything else.

Thanks for all you've done, Steve.

John Gruber wrote that Steve Cook should succeed him last month. http://daringfireball.net/2011/07/succeeding_steve_jobs

Edit: Yup, I meant Tim Cook... Doh!

Perhaps you mean Tim Cook? Steve Cook is the famous computer scientist who proved that SAT is NP-Complete.

> John Gruber wrote that Steve Cook should succeed him last month. http://daringfireball.net/2011/07/succeeding_steve_jobs

You mean, Tim Cook. Freudian slip, I understand.

You mean Tim Cook.

I assume you meant "Tim Cook" (the COO).

CEO or not, this guy is capable of giving you some serious advice that can change your life. Such quality products must come from people with good intentions towards change.

When I first read the title I thought it was a joke. I was thinking how can a joke be voted number 1 on HN. Reading through the other titles however made it real. Well, I guess nothing lasts forever, and following Bill Gates, it is now Steve Jobs' time to step down as the CEO.

The other week I was imagining how would Steve Jobs' office look like in the new headquarters they are planning to build. I guess that doesn't hold anymore. Well, we'll just move on.

Clearly, he was just as bummed about webOS as everyone else.

I can always tell how big the media thinks a story is by how many unusual places I see it reported. As I type this, "Apple's Steve Jobs steps down" is in the headlines box on ESPN.com right between the little league world series and a story about Tom Brady. I think that's a small but fitting tribute to a man whose ideas and leadership have reached people and places beyond what any of us could've imagined even 10 years ago.

The end of an era for Apple. However, this is hardly unexpected. He has been very ill for a while now. Time for him to focus on himself and his family.

Oh no!! This means his illness is now quite severe. There can be no replacement to him.

A lot of people say it's hard working for him (my friends at Apple totally dread meeting him by accident), he's egotistical, parks at a handicapped spot, etc. etc. To those people, I give the following, attributed to Judy Garland: ""They say it's hard to work with Judy Garland...do you have any idea how hard it is to BE Judy Garland?"


A lot of people say it's hard working for him (my friends at Apple totally dread meeting him by accident), he's egotistical, parks at a handicapped spot

If pancreatic cancer doesn't get you a handicapped spot, I'd sure hate to have what it does take...

Sorry, but what? A handicapped spot is for people who, for example, have difficulties walking, or need space to leave the car (wheelchairs). In what way exactly does pancreatic cancer prevents one from using a regular parking spot?

Besides which, cancer is an illness. Not a handicap.

It's fine if you like Steve Jobs or whatever - I agree he was, in some aspects, an important person (though not in positive sense, but that's just my humble opinion). But this pathological apologizing of his faults is plain and simply ridiculous.

From http://dmv.ca.gov/pubs/brochures/fast_facts/ffvr07.htm :

"You may qualify for a DPplacard or DPplates if you have impaired mobility due to having lost use of one or more lower extremities, or both hands, or have a diagnosed disease that substantially impairs or interferes with mobility, or one who is severely disabled to be unable to move without the aid of an assistive devise."

So yes, illnesses can cause one to become disabled.

Remember that just because the market is closed, things still happen, and you can keep an eye on the after hours price.

Edit: as pointed out below, after/pre-hoursm

After hours trading is over too. http://finance.yahoo.com/q?s=aapl The best indicator will probably be pre-trading-hours tomorrow.

I am wrong. It is still trading after-hours. It's down about 6%. http://finance.yahoo.com/q?s=aapl

It's wise to do this now, in a controlled manner. All the same, it's going to be interesting to see what happens with Apple in the long run.

Apple just confirmed Cook will replace Jobs as CEO.

Well, yeah, it's in the article.

"I strongly recommend that we execute our succession plan and name Tim Cook as CEO of Apple" != "Tim Cook is the CEO of Apple"

Indeed, I should have said it was strongly insinuated in the article.

From the WSJ on Tim Cook: "people who know him don't consider him to be a visionary". I'd be shocked to hear that Jobs hasn't been grooming his replacement. Cook can keep Apple running for another couple of years, and I expect to see someone else come up as CEO from within the ranks who shares Steve's vision and ability to focus on what makes Apple successful.

Do visionaries "rise in the ranks"? Did Steve?

Good point. I guess I'm just hopeful the empire doesn't collapse, or if it does we don't lose sight of what a good tech company can be capable of producing (in terms of hard/software at least, itunes notwithstanding).

Without my Mac I would not have learned how to code. I would not have been able to find employment in Web Development, something I enjoy so much.

Without my many iPods over the years I would not be as huge a music fan as I am now. I may not have learned how to play guitar, something I enjoy so much.

I would be completely lost without my iPhone. It makes me the smartest person in the room.

Thanks Steve.

This is about timing. AAPL became the most valuable company in the world recently. The best way to quit is when you're on top.

No, the best way to quit is when you're not dying.


The whole resurgence of Apple and the amazing products they've been making are enough, but I'm truly impressed with Apple's early years. The Apple ][ was such a standard in schools, and the first Macs were so unique (admitedly, I like the C64 and Amiga a bit more...). Woz rocks, too.

Believe it or not, things can still happen for the better. This change could continue the trend of success through new ideas. Had this not happened I would have said that the peak if the product lifecycle was upon Apple anyway. Hope this makes sense, typin on train from iPhone.

Very tough time for Apple ahead

"Death is very likely the single best invention of Life. It is Life's change agent. It clears out the old to make way for the new" - Standford Commencement speech 2005

So "the old" are Gates, Jobs,... (born circa 1950s) and "the new" will be Brin, Page, Zuckerberg...

I'm surprised there isn't enough mention of Jonathan Ive in commentary about the future of decision making at Apple. I think he's got a lot of Steve's aesthetic senses, and also has some of the same unquestioned authority/credibility that Steve does.

I really, and I mean REALLY, hope that his biography coming out on November 21 this year and his resignation today have nothing to do with his health.

In any way, thank you very much Steve, I guess you can leave your company quite happy and satisfied. :)

For some reason this news is reminding me of the O Fortuna song.


It is passing of an era and things will not be same at Apple or in the tech industry after this.

Aww, I was kind of hoping Steve Jobs would do something insanely huge and visionary (in the way that only he can, it seems) with that massive stockpile of cash Apple has.

Looks like it'll come out in dividends or some such run of the mill fashion.

He was the biggest public figure behind Apple, though as an Ind. Design student I'll be just as bummed when Johnny Ive steps down. I hope Steve still shows up at the annual Apple Christmas con's, he's such a great presenter.

Nothing has changed in the short term, though lets hope that in the long term his successors can keep innovating as much as Apple has under Jobs.

Most importantly though, I hope that Steve recovers soon from whatever might be ailing him.

Somewhat sad times..

If you read all the news you would think that the guy just passed away. Good heavens! no. He's only 55. I think we'll see more from him, only different than it used to be. It's life, ever changing...Thanks Steve!

I don't like the closedness of iPhone and iPads, I prefer the more open platforms, like Android. But I deeply regret Steve Jobs leaving, he is a visionary, he did a lot of things for which he has my respect.

It's really hard to know what to say. Jobs' resignation definitely marks the end of an era, and implies that his health is getting worse, but we all knew that this day was going to come eventually.

He took Apple from nearly bankruptcy to become one of the biggest, if not the biggest company in the world. He never stopped changing the world, but best of all, he retired on his own terms.

Well, his health is probably forcing him, so it might not be his own terms, but what he accomplished is still the benchmark for anyone else.

Is there a good book out there dealing with how steve jobs actually evolved from birth to the production of the Macintosh ? That´s the part of his life that interests me most.

"Jobs’s greatest creation isn’t any Apple product. It is Apple itself."

Source: John Gruber, Daring Fireball blog http://shar.es/HUYIU

There's a page "leaving card" to thank Steve Jobs for his work as CEO: http://www.plumpl.com/stevejobs

This is really sad, but with his official biography set to be released, and now this, the writing is on the wall. I certainly hope he recovers, though.

I wonder if there was maybe some foresight in him having an official biography approved shortly before he stepped down as CEO.

It's always tough when the former CEO is chairman of the board. Has the feeling that daddy is looking over your shoulders...

I wonder if this has been timed specifically prior to a major product release (iPhone 5) to help combat any stock drop.

I hope Steve would still show up at WWDC :)

I have to admit I feel like his letter was more like Lou Gehrig than Michael Jordan. I wish him the absolute best.

Truly the end of an epoch in computing, assuming his influence fades quickly in a much reduced role at Apple.

Sad to see him leave. Even sadder to see him so unwell. Latest pics of him are gut wrenching.

I hope we may still see him around, doing those great presentations. He is a genius on that.

So much for the AAPL is going to tank and time to short comments. The change is a blip....

This is really sad. His health is failing or he won't resign. It's an end of an era. :(

The showman, the leader, the visionary. Get well soon, Steve. We will miss you.

Wow there are 9 duplicate stories on HN right now.

Doesn't HN have a duplicate submission filter?

That's what upvoting is for. Let the people decide what is most interesting.

Why downvote my question? It's a valid attempt to understand how HN filters duplicate stories.

The dupes are also representative of the Internet at large. When a large story breaks, tonnes of people rush out to be "the one" who broke it on their news site.

Sad day. He will be missed. I wish -- and hope -- he will get better.

Why didn't he wait for the iPhone announcement?

Looks like some people are trying to capitalize on this: http://www.byestevejobs.com

During the time I've read HN I haven't once seen posts get this poetic and sentimental. I wonder what's it like on the Apple side of things.

  >Apple designs Macs, the best personal computers in the world...
Not exactly objective reporting is it?

It's a press release. The paragraph in question appears to be in all of Apple's releases.

San Franciscans are probably wandering the streets wondering if they're going to get their iPhone5 before Christmas.

Sad, awful feeling in the gut.

I hope he gets well soon


Apple just lost their greatest salesman. Luckily their products are so nice they go along way to selling themselves.

Hm...but the salesman was able to do his job year after year only because of the awesome products. Rule #1 of marketing: Start with a gread product.

I hope Apple will survive this. I don't want to develop for windows.

I have no fear for apple's survival at least in the near 5+ years. Things will change but the talent that builds the products is still there. The coders, the designers ... all that needs to happen is for the culture created by Jobs to stick.

As for developing on Windows, there's Linux. It's good stuff too.

This is ridiculous. Do you honestly think the company will fall to pieces because there's a new CEO, one who has been at the company since 1998 and has worked closely with Steve Jobs? Is Apple's success entirely down to Jobs? What about all the talented engineers and designers who actually design the products and software?

A lot of companies have armies of talented engineers and designers but their products still suck compared to Apple because they don't have what Apple has: an uncompromising singular vision and putting design first.

Other companies with plenty of design talent are also afflicted with small-minded management who are only concerned about their pet deal of the moment, obsessing over mimicking their competitors, and too quick to throw away entire product lines that don't hit homeruns on the first release.

Dear Steve: Get well, Maestro.

You do recall what happened to Apple the last time Jobs left?

I think Apple will be fine, but those doubting do have a valid case to make.

I believe the first time Jobs "left", it was due to management thinking they knew better.

This time around, I'm hoping management was taking notes while Jobs was there.

> What about all the talented engineers and designers who actually design the products and software?

What about all the talented engineers and designers at Microsoft, HP and co? Without a strong lead talent is worthless. (Either that or Apple has a monopoly for smart people and other companies hire only idiots?)

Agree. Look at how Microsoft performed while Bill Gates was CEO, and after. Although I don't rate Bill G as nearly as much of a visionary as Steve, leadership and vision of technical companies matter.

Great unbiased journalism: "Apple designs Macs, the best personal computers in the world, along with OS X, iLife, iWork and professional software."

That's not journalism -- that's straight from Apple's press release, which is the whole article.

It's a press release, see the top: "Press Release Source: Apple On Wednesday August 24, 2011, 6:35 pm"

so is it eerily quiet on the streets of SF right now ?

Yes. But it's because everyone is at Burning Man.

Good. (Downvotes please)

Cross site poll: What do you think will happen to Apple now that Steve Jobs has resigned? http://www.wepolls.com/p/2073012

<blockquote> Apple designs Macs, the best personal computers in the world, along with OS X, iLife, iWork and professional software. Apple leads the digital music revolution with its iPods and iTunes online store. Apple has reinvented the mobile phone with its revolutionary iPhone and App Store, and has recently introduced iPad 2 which is defining the future of mobile media and computing devices. </blockquote>

I just wanted to highlight this segment as a perfect example of media neutrality.

It's part of every press release issued by Apple.

Time to short AAPL.

Hmm..the time to do that would've been earlier today (before trading closed). If you do tomorrow, the pre-trading hours, the floor traders (and options traders and hence probably the institutional clients) would've an advantage of half-an-hour before us retail investors. So the opening price itself will be low enough. From then on, it would just be the crowd/herd movement. As Buffet said, "the stock market is a popularity voting contest in the short term, but a weighing machine in the long term".

As Buffet said, "the stock market is a popularity voting contest in the short term, but a weighing machine in the long term".

I like that quote. I'm going to eat it.

Do you recommend reading "The intelligent investor"?

Very highly.

Don't worry people, I'll be stepping in as CEO soon.

Tim Cook has reportedly been given the nod, but I'm still sort of hoping that somewhere Zuck is updating his resume

Nice one centurion. Like it. Like it.

"Apple designs Macs, the best personal computers in the world, along with OS X, iLife, iWork and professional software. Apple leads the digital music revolution with its iPods and iTunes online store. Apple has reinvented the mobile phone with its revolutionary iPhone and App Store, and has recently introduced iPad 2 which is defining the future of mobile media and computing devices. "

yeah mmm okay, this article is biased.

This isn't an article, it's a press release.

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