∞ Steve Jobs resigns, Tim Cook appointed new Apple CEO

Apple’s Board of Directors on Wednesday announced that Steve Jobs has resigned as CEO. The board has named Tim Cook, Apple’s Chief Operating Officer, as the new CEO.

[ad#Google Adsense 300×250 in story]Jobs will remain involved with Apple – he’s Chairman of the Board, and Cook joins him as a board member.

“The Board has complete confidence that Tim is the right person to be our next CEO,” said Art Levinson, on behalf of Apple’s Board of Directors. “Tim’s 13 years of service to Apple have been marked by outstanding performance, and he has demonstrated remarkable talent and sound judgment in everything he does.”

In his role as COO, Cook has been responsible for Apple’s worldwide sales and operations along with management of Apple’s supply chain. While Jobs has held the spotlight ever since his return for his personality and vision, much of the credit for Apple’s extraordinary profitability and streamlined operation during those years can be attributed to Cook’s leadership.

Levinson says that Jobs’ vision and leadership “saved Apple” and made it the world’s most valuable technology company.

“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,” said Levinson.

Who would succeed Jobs has been a question of open speculation for years, ever since Jobs first temporarily stepped aside from daily operations for health reasons. The company has been reluctant to discuss its succession plan for Jobs’ CEO slot even at shareholder’s meetings. Now the cat’s out of the bag – Apple’s statement revealed that in his resignation letter, Jobs “strongly recommended that the Board implement its succession plan and name Tim Cook as CEO.”