Say It Ain’t So Steve!?

Steve Jobs resigned as CEO of Apple Inc today. Apple’s Board of Directors made the announcement earlier today and thus marked the end of one of the greatest executive leaders of our time.

Its not every day that anyone can resign from your job on top. Steve did not just lead Apple to the top of his industry. He left with his company being the most valued corporation in the world. More valuable than IBM, Exxon Mobile, Google, and its long term competitor Microsoft. Apple achieved this level of success because they followed Steve Job’s leadership.

Steve Jobs did not leave the company completely as he has taken the role of Chairman of the Board and we can assume that his leadership will at least continue in some manner from that position. His replacement is Tim Cook, previously the COO of Apple and the individual Apple turned to over the past few years during each of Steve Jobs leave of absences.

Apple - Press Info - Apple Leadership - Steve Jobs.jpgLike so many other decisions made by Apple, its clear that Steve drove the decision for his replacement and prepared Tim for the continue leadership Apple customers around the world have become accustom too. The Board is also confident in his capabilities. Apple’s board even released the statement below regarding their confidence in Time:

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

Reaction on Wall Street

Investors do not appear to be as confident in the short term stability or reaction to the news of Steve’s departure. After hour trading of Apple stock is down 5% or $19.08 a share at the time of publication.

This type of investor reaction is expected and not much different than the way the stock price faired when Steve Jobs left Apple temporarily for health reasons. This fall, Apple plans on releasing iOS 5 and potentially a new iPhone and iPad. The success of those products will help project the longer term value of Apple.

The Legacy of Steve Jobs

Steve Jobs legacy reaches back to the early days of Apple when he with his friend founded the company and brought personal computers to the world. His is well known for being a perfectionist to a level that pushed Apple employees to develop better, smarter, easier to use, and visually stunning products. He helped revolutionize the Personal Computer industry, the music industry, the cell phone industry, and has been able to lead a company that is creating a tablet industry today.

Steve has always been an amazing public speaker and visionary. His stage presence will be missed by loyal Apple fans and we can only hope that the company he helped build to a level of greatness many never thought possible, will continue to create amazing products that are loved by so many individuals around the world.