Today, Steve Jobs, a legend in the tech world, has made the decision to retire as CEO of Apple and finish his days as Chairman of the Board. I had always known this day would come but it’s still not easy now that it’s here. Here is the letter he wrote the world about his transition:
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.
I have mixed emotions going on right now about today’s announcement. I have always been vocal about Steve being my idol and inspiration and here he is hanging up his boots for health reasons no doubt. It’s a happy day for him but is the world better off without him leading the charge of innovation and design?
I should be happy that he is focusing on himself and his family. He deserves it. I should be happy that he, having accomplished incredible things, has decided to move to the next step in his life. Him leaving is just sad. We are all growing up. He just seems timeless; like he will never get old. We are all getting older and nothing can stop that.
The things I will always remember about Steve are the following.
- He was adopted, born into a less fortunate family
- He dropped out of college after his first semester
- He created the first personal computer (PC)
- He was 21 when he founded Apple and became a millionaire
- When the company went public at 25 years of age, he was worth $217 million after the first day of trading
- He recruited John Sculley from Pepsi Co to Apple by telling him, “Do you want to sell sugar water for the rest of your life, or do you want to come with me and change the world?”
- He was fired from the company he started at 30
- He sold all of his shares but 1
- He used the money he had to buy an animation studio from George Lucas which he rebranded as Pixar. He bought it for $10 million.
- He also started NeXT computer which created technology that resulted in the world wide web.
- He sold NeXT computer to Apple (his old company he created) for $429 million 11 years later
- He instantly became Apple’s CEO and started the company down a path of profitability
- After titles like Toy Story, Finding Nemo and The Incredibles, Steve Jobs sold Pixar to Disney for an all stock transaction worth $7.4 billion. This acquisition made him the single largest shareholder for Disney giving him control of 7% of the stock. Even the Disney family only had 1% of the stock.
- He created iTunes and the iPod
- He created Mac OS X, and the MacBook line
- He created the iPhone
- He created the iPad
- As of 8/2011 Apple has over $75 billion in cash on hand
- His new mobile operating system will be the death of the SMS
- His creation of iOS5 & iCloud will change the way we back up and share information
I just think about what he was able to accomplish and he wasn’t born into opportunity. He created it all. His vision for the world became our reality. And as I sit here, writing on a MacBook, with my iPhone4 next to me, listening to his Stanford commencement speech I just wonder what the world would be like without what he created. What would the world be like without Steve Jobs?
That’s a testament to what a legend he is. Because he was born, he changed the world. Because he dreamt of a world without possibilities and never gave up on that dream, we get to benefit. Most people would be lucky to accomplish just one bullet point above that is his technology legacy.
I remember the story of how whenever he met one of his employees at Apple he would ask them, “What are you doing to make Apple great?” Depending on their answer he would fire them on the spot. He believed so much that he was changing the world. And he was. Would he fire me? Am I doing my part in the world and in my life?
He is my idol, my inspiration, and I hope he still has a few more bullet points left. I for one will always dream big and use his life as something to model after.
Thank you for everything, Steve Jobs.