Steve Jobs resigns as Apple CEO
COO Tim Cook will take over the reigns; Jobs will remain on board as chairman
Apple's CEO and the mastermind behind the iPhone, iPad and other gadgets that turned Apple into a household name, Steve Jobs, has resigned as the company's CEO, saying he can no longer handle the job.
The move appears to be related to the unspecified health issues that forced him to take indefinite leave from his position in January this year, and raises fears for his health.
Jobs will hand over the reins to Apple's chief operating officer, Tim Cook.
"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," said Jobs in a letter announcing his resignation.
Jobs will stay on at the company in the position of chairman.
There are concerns in the market that without Jobs, the electronics giant may no longer be a creative force to be reckoned with beyond 2012 and Apple's stock fell as much as 7% on the news of Jobs' departure.
Apple co-lead director Art Levinson praised Jobs' ‘extraordinary vision and leadership' and ‘countless contributions to Apple's success' in a statement on behalf of the Apple board, however, the statement did not mention Jobs' health.
Jobs has been battling pancreatic cancer over the last several years and his health has been of great concern to Apple fans, the company board and investors.
The news caused an immediate effect in Asia, where the company's major parts suppliers and rivals are based, with shares in Samsung electronics, Apple's top chip supplier and major rival in the smartphone and tablet market, rose 3% in early trade.
Part of that rise is to do with the patent ruling in a court battle with Apple in the Netherlands.
Sony, which was overtaken by Apple in the personal music and tablet space, saw shares rise 1%.