Citing that he is “no longer up to the job as CEO,” Apple co-founder Steve Jobs has resigned from the company he helped to build starting in 1976.

“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,” Jobs said in a statement.

Jobs has had a string of health issues over the last few years, taking three indefinite medical leaves. In August of 2004, he underwent surgery for a rare form of pancreatic cancer. In January 2009, he was found to be suffering from a hormone imbalance. And in April of that year, he underwent liver transplant surgery.

Despite all that, he has helped turn Apple into the one of the most successful companies in the world, as it recently became the world’s most valuable company with a market capitalization of over $330 billion.

One of the leaders of innovation in the tech world, Apple has led the computer, legal digital music, smartphone and tablet computer industries. It all started with the introduction of the Apple II in the late 70’s. Future generations of Mac computers and operating systems would pave the way for the computer industry today. The advent of the iPod and iTunes music store changed the digital music industry in the early 2000′s. The iPhone remains one of the most popular smartphones in that industry. And the iPad has grabbed a huge chunk of the tablet computer market.

Jobs, who co-founded Apple with Steve Wozniak, was seen by many as brash yet brilliant. He quickly became one of the tech industry’s biggest “celebrities” and is considered by many Apple-addicts as a true innovator in the tech world.

While the move may have been surprising to many, it was expected at some point because of Jobs’ ongoing health problems. Now the question is what will happen with Apple next and how this will affect future products and innovations with the Cupertino-based company.

Jobs’ right-hand man Tim Cook, who had previously served as Apple’s chief operating officer, will take over as Apple CEO. The 50-year-old Cook has been with the company since 1998.

Click here for a statement from Apple one from Steve Jobs.



Additional Links

HuffingtonPost: The Legacy of Steve Jobs

From Daring Fireball: A great variety of links about Steve Jobs

Walt Mossberg: Steve Jobs’ Legacy

Om Malik: Steve Jobs and the Sound of Silence



Photo Credit: Matt Buchanan, via Wikimedia Commons