STEVE JOBS RESIGNS AS CEO OF APPLE / APPLE TURNS TO TIM COOK AS NEW CEO


CANADA, AUGUST 26, 2011 (COMPUTERWORLD) Aug 24, 2011 6:55 pm  By Edward N. Albro, PCWorld Jobs will stay on as chairman of the board. Apple chooses chief operating officer Tim Cook as his successor. 

Apple board of directors and “the Apple community,” Jobs indicated that he “could no longer meet [his] duties and expectations as Apple’s CEO.”

The Apple board quickly elected Jobs chairman and accepted his recommendation to name chief operating officer Tim Cook as his successor. The company didn't reveal why Jobs felt he could no longer fulfill his obligations as CEO, but the obvious reason is his poor health. Jobs has been on medical leave since January of this year.

Jobs rarely makes the details of his medical conditions public. After he was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in 2003, he had the tumor successfully removed, and returned to work. But the tumor had apparently spread to his liver undetected. In 2009, doctors had to remove his liver and replace it with a transplant, during which Jobs took a six-month sabbatical. He caused quite a stir when he took a medical leave from his position at Apple in January of this year, for undisclosed reasons.

Some doctors speculated that the cause for Jobs’s absence was either a recurrence of his pancreatic cancer or a complication with his liver transplant. Jobs turned 56 in February.

Investors have traditionally speculated that the presence of Jobs is intertwined with the price of Apple stock. However, the reaction to Jobs's departure was muted in after-hours trading: Apple stock fell 7 percent.

Cook is well esteemed in the Apple community. During Jobs’s six-month sabbatical in 2009, Cook oversaw a 60 percent increase in the price of Apple shares, after which the board of directors awarded him a $5 million bonus for outstanding performance.

Cook has been a relatively outspoken COO, hinting at one time that Apple products were too expensive, and criticizing Android tablets.

Here’s the full text of Jobs’s letter.

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.

Steve

Apple board members were quick to praise Jobs's tenure as CEO.

"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 and an Apple board member, said in a statement.

He said that the board had full confidence in Cook, who has led the company during both of Jobs's leaves of absence. As Apple's chairman, Jobs will continue to serve Apple "with his unique insights, creativity and inspiration," Levinson said.

Jobs is "an icon and what he's done with Apple is something probably unprecedented in business," says IDC analyst Al Hilwa. "It will be a case study in business-school books for decades." Nancy Gohring of the IDG News Service and Megan Geuss contributed to this report.

Apple Turns To Tim Cook To Replace Jobs COO Tim Cook to take over in the wake of Job's resignation. By Lex Friedman, Macworld Aug 24, 2011 8:43 pm

[PHOTO - Tim Cook, Apple's New CEO

Apple's newest CEO has a tough act to follow. But in turning to chief operating officer Tim Cook to replace Steve Jobs in the wake of the latter's resignation Wednesday, Apple's board of directors has chosen a familiar face with a proven track record with the company.

Cook is no stranger to the spotlight. He's handled the day-to-day CEO duties at Apple since Jobs took a medical leave of absence in January. That marked the third time Cook has overseen the company-he was also interim CEO in 2004 as Jobs underwent treatment for pancreatic cancer and again for the first half of 2009 as Jobs dealt with more health issues.

And now he's the official CEO. Jobs's resignation letter refers to an already-in-place succession plan, which was rumored to exist back in July.

Wired once described Tim Cook as "[a] quiet, soft-spoken, low-key executive," and "the yin to Jobs's yang." He's 50 years old, holds a degree in industrial engineering from Auburn University, and an MBA from Duke University.

Background Cook left Compaq in 1998 to join Apple as its senior vice president of operations, and steadily rose through the ranks until he was awarded his current title of chief operating officer in 2005. He's credited with reinventing Apple's approach to inventory supply chains, keeping in-demand products in stock, and managing the carefully-timed release of new ones. Prior to Compaq, he worked at IBM and Intelligent Electronics.

During Jobs's six-month leave in 2009, Apple's stock under Cook's leadership rose 67 percent, according to CNN. In fact, Apple's board of directors-in a move nominated by Steve Jobs himself-rewarded Cook with a $22 million bonus for his work in Jobs's absence; that works out to about $3.6 million each month he filled in for his boss.

While Cook's work ethic and detail-oriented mind are frequently lauded, some analysts have questioned whether-despite his undergraduate design degree and years at Apple-he has the design chops that Jobs brings to the table. "Tim Cook's the guy who makes the trains run on time," said Roger Kay of Endpoint Technology Associates in a 2009 interview. "He's not the creative genius... Even though in some sense he is an excellent manager and is the backstop for Steve ... that's not going to do anything except make the trains run on time. That's not going to decide what the train should look like in five years."

CNN, however, quotes Gartner analyst Carolina Milanesi as saying, "There is a lot of respect for Tim Cook internally at Apple and externally, and he has proved to be able to drive the company well."

The Apple Team Of course, as Macworld has explained in the past, Apple isn't run by Steve Jobs and a team of lackeys. While Jobs's contributions are obviously huge, Cook provided some insight into the company's operations when asked about Jobs's health on an earnings call in January 2009:

There is an extraordinary breadth and depth and tenure among the Apple executive team. And these executives lead over 35,000 employees that I would call all "wicked smart." And that's in all areas of the company, from engineering, to marketing, to operations, sales, and all the rest.

And the values of our company are extremely well-entrenched. You know, we believe we're on the face of the Earth to make great products, and that's not changing. We're constantly focusing on innovating. We believe in the simple, not the complex. We believe that we need to own and control the primary technologies behind the products that we make, and participate only in markets where we can make a significant contribution. We believe in saying no to thousands of projects, so that we can really focus on the few that are truly important and meaningful to us. We believe in deep collaboration and cross-pollinization of our groups, which allows us to innovate in a way others cannot. And frankly, we don't settle for anything less than excellence in every group in the company, and we have the self-honesty to admit where we're wrong, and the courage to change.

And I think regardless of who is in what job, those values are so embedded in this company that Apple will do extremely well.

Cook's public profile as an Apple senior executive has continued to rise in recent years-likely by some combination of coincidence and design. Few top-level executives at Apple emerge from Jobs's shadow, but Cook has done so repeatedly in the past year. It was Cook (along with senior vice president of Mac hardware Bob Mansfield) who joined Jobs on stage during the July 2010 press conference on iPhone 4 antenna issues, Cook who kicked off October's Back to the Mac event, and Cook who delivered the news in January that the iPhone 4 would come to Verizon. Add these to Cook's regular appearances on quarterly earnings calls with Wall Street analysts, and you have an executive who's played an increasingly important part in Apple's public relations efforts.

More recently, Cook spoke publicly about Android, iPad 2, and Japan, and again in July after Apple's latest record financial earnings report.

Cook's drive for excellence at Apple is perhaps no better reflected than in this choice tidbit from aprofile on him in Fortune :

... [Cook] convened a meeting with his team, and the discussion turned to a particular problem in Asia. "This is really bad," Cook told the group. "Someone should be in China driving this." Thirty minutes into that meeting Cook looked at Sabih Khan, a key operations executive, and abruptly asked, without a trace of emotion, "Why are you still here?"

Khan, who remains one of Cook's top lieutenants to this day, immediately stood up, drove to San Francisco International Airport, and, without a change of clothes, booked a flight to China with no return date, according to people familiar with the episode. The story is vintage Cook: demanding and unemotional. This story includes updated reporting from an earlier Macworld profile of Tim Cook.


Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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