Last night, Steve Jobs shocked the tech industry with the announcement that he was stepping down as CEO because he could no longer fulfill his duties as CEO. Jobs did not elaborate on his situation but he did take the time to recommend that Apple name COO Tim Cook as the new Chief Executive. Apple obliged, naming Cook the company's new CEO effective immediately.
As is always the case whenever Steve Jobs is photographed looking anything less than the picture of health, talk soon turned to how the company would survive without its founding father. Though Jobs was fired in 1985, he returned in 1996 and was soon CEO of the company he had founded. What followed was Apple's 'return to profitability,' which is largely credited to Jobs, and many now fear that the company will flounder without Steve's leadership skills. The worry is that Steve brought the fish but not the fishing rods when he returned in 1996 and that Apple cannot continue to be successful without him.
All of this will no doubt leave newly-appointed CEO Tim Cook with something to prove and on this, his first day as CEO of Apple, Cook has sent out an email to all Apple staff assuring them that Steve's departure will not change the company. Ars Technica received a copy of the email (and was able to verify its authenticity). Check it out below:
I am looking forward to the amazing opportunity of serving as CEO of the most innovative company in the world. Joining Apple was the best decision I've ever made and it's been the privilege of a lifetime to work for Apple and Steve for over 13 years. I share Steve's optimism for Apple's bright future.
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.
I want you to be confident that Apple is not going to change. I cherish and celebrate Apple's unique principles and values. 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.
I love Apple and I am looking forward to diving into my new role. All of the incredible support from the Board, the executive team and many of you has been inspiring. I am confident our best years lie ahead of us and that together we will continue to make Apple the magical place that it is.
Do you think Apple will be alright without Steve? Let us know in the comments below!