Steve Jobs resigns as CEO of Apple, becomes Chairman of the Board, Tim Cook becomes new CEO

Apple has just announced that Steve Jobs has resigned as CEO, and will now take over as Chairman of the Board. Tim Cook, formerly COO, will replace Jobs as CEO and also join the board as a director.

“Steve’s extraordinary vision and leadership saved Apple and guided it to its position as the world’s most innovative and valuable technology company,” said Art Levinson, Chairman of Genentech, on behalf of Apple's Board. “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.”

“The Board has complete confidence that Tim is the right person to be our next CEO,” added Levinson. “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.”

Steve Jobs' letter to the board, after the break.

[Apple PR, Apple PR]

August 24, 2011–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.

UPDATE: The Wall Street Journal's Yukari Iwatani Kane, who's sources are uncannily accurate, added that Jobs will remain involved going forward. [WSJ]

People familiar with the situation have said that Mr. Jobs continues to be active at Apple and is closely involved in the company's product strategy.