Apple's Steve Jobs Resigns

Steve Jobs is resigning as CEO of Apple. Jobs has engineered Apple's transformation of our relationship with our computers, phones and music. Jobs has been on medical leave from the day-to-day running of the company. The company said that Jobs will be replaced by Tim Cook, Apple's chief operating officer. For more on this story, Melissa Block talks to NPR's Laura Sydell.

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MELISSA BLOCK, host: Today, Apple announced that Steve Jobs is stepping down as CEO effective immediately. Jobs has engineered Apple's transformation of our relationship with our computers, phones and music. He's been ill with pancreatic cancer and on leave from the day-to-day running of the company. Joining us now from San Francisco is NPR's Laura Sydell. And, Laura, there's been much speculation about Steve Jobs' health for some time now. Today comes his resignation letter. It's short, but it's quite poignant.

LAURA SYDELL: Well, particularly, he basically said that, you know, I've always said if there came a day when I could no longer meet my duties, I would step down. And unfortunately, that day is here. So in a way, it is very sad to read him put it that way.

BLOCK: Yeah. And Steve Jobs is being replaced by Apple's chief operating officer, Tim Cook. Jobs will remain, though, as chairman. How do you think this changes, if it does, the running of the company, of Apple?

SYDELL: Well, a CEO is much more involved in the day-to-day operations. And on the board, he's going to be less involved. And I think this is an indication that he's not in good health, and he can't be as involved in the day-to-day running of the operations. And this is a big deal because Steve Jobs is a very hands-on CEO. And many people credit him with taking this company from near bankruptcy when he returned to it, and now making it - it is one of the most valuable companies in the world. And he's an extremely fussy guy. He is - if you talk to people inside of Apple, they will tell you that if he nixes something, it doesn't go. His hands are on everything. So I really do wonder what it's going to be like.

Tim Cook is a handpicked successor, so many people say there's a team there and that Tim Cook and the other people there have been trained by Jobs, and they will continue to run the company the way he has run it. But, you know, in some ways, there's probably only one Steve Jobs.

BLOCK: Yeah. At the same time, Tim Cook did take over as interim CEO for Steve Jobs while he was out on medical leave, right? Is there much daylight, do you think, between them on how they would run the company?

SYDELL: Probably not. In many ways, you know, other than - you know, there's a level of fussiness that people talk about with Steve Jobs that I just can't imagine that as many people would even have the kind of chutzpah that Steve Jobs has to make a change at the last minute on something, no matter how much it costs. He's known for things like that. So it's hard to imagine. Plus, he has been the face of Apple. Everybody knows who he is. And Tim Cook, it's like, who's that?

BLOCK: Laura, any sense of how investors might react to this news?

SYDELL: Now, that is the billion-dollar question, perhaps. I think - I imagine many investors will be thinking, in fact, that without Steve Jobs, they're not really sure how things are going to go forward. On the other hand, they have some strong, strong products. They are so popular. So maybe it won't really affect things as strongly initially.

BLOCK: OK. Laura, thank you.

SYDELL: You're welcome.

BLOCK: That's NPR's Laura Sydell with the news that Steve Jobs has resigned as the CEO of Apple.

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