Steve Jobs Resigns: New CEO Tim Cook Tells Staff Apple Won’t Change

New Apple CEO Tim Cook got right to work reassuring employees that the company “is not going to change.”

New Apple CEO Tim Cook (left), whose career at Apple has spanned more than 13 years, sent a message to the company to assure the troops that 'Apple is not going to change' and that Jobs will continue to be involved as chairman of the company. Photo: Dan Farber/Flickr

In an email to Apple staff, the day after Steve Jobs stepped down as CEO, Tim Cook told the company and its employees that he is ‘confident our best year’s lie ahead of us.’

“The board has complete confidence that Tim is the right person to be our next CEO,” Art Levinson, chairman of Genentech, said in a statement on behalf of Apple’s board.

Steve Jobs resigned as Apple chief executive last night, telling the board that his health problems meant that he “could no longer meet my duties and expectations as CEO.”

Jobs had been on medical leave since the beginning of this year. He was treated for pancreatic cancer in 2004 and in 2009 underwent a liver transplant.

Each time Steve Jobs has taken medical leave, Tim Cook, then Apple’s chief operating officer, has acted as CEO. Last night he took over the role permanently. Steve Jobs becomes Apple’s chairman.

In his email, Mr Cook, whose career at Apple has spanned more than 13 years, said: “I want you to be confident that Apple is not going to change. I cherish and celebrate Apple’s unique principles and values.”

He comtinued: “Steve built a company and culture that is unlike any other in the world and we are going to stay true to that — it is in our DNA.”

“We are going to continue to make the best products in the world that delight our customers and make our employees incredibly proud of what they do.”

He also paid tribute to Jobs: “Steve has been an incredible leader and mentor to me, as well as to the entire executive team and our amazing employees. We are really looking forward to Steve’s ongoing guidance and inspiration as our Chairman.”

50-year-old Tim Cook joined Apple in 1998 as a senior vice president of worldwide operations and was promoted to chief operating officer in 2004.

Before joining Apple, Cook briefly served as an executive at Compaq and spent 12 years at IBM, where he ran manufacturing and operations for the company’s PC business. Cook earned a bachelor’s degree in industrial engineering from Auburn University and an MBA from Duke.

As Apple’s chief operating officer, a role he had since 2007, Cook was largely responsible for creating Apple’s tightly knit chain of suppliers and has worked to lower the price of Apple hardware over the years. Jeff Williams, who previously served as Apple’s senior vice president of operations, replaces Cook as COO.

Cook’s profile has grown steadily in the last few years. He has served as Jobs’ right-hand man at shareholder events and has completely handled earnings calls with analysts for last few years. Recently, he has played a more prominent role at product launches.

While Jobs was on medical leave from January 2009 to June 2009, Apple delivered two back-to-back blow-out quarters, as well as an updated iPhone OS, and new iPhone 3GS hardware.

Under Cook, Apple also put the finishing touches on the company’s new iPods, MacBooks, and Mac OS, which were released shortly after Jobs’ return to the helm in late June.

Cook was first called on to fill in for Jobs in 2004, running the company’s day-to-day operations for a few months while Jobs recovered from surgery to remove a cancerous tumor in his pancreas and when Jobs had a liver transplant in 2009.

The topic of executive succession came up earlier this year when Jobs left on his third medical leave. A shareholder proposal called on the company to disclose a succession plan, and Apple’s board of directors was reportedly talking with outside headhunters.

Jobs stepped down Thursday night from the helm of the company, causing investors to momentarily flinch. In recent trading, Apple shares were down 1.6 percent to $370.14. [via The Telegraph (UK), NY Post and Mashable]

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