Today marks a year since Steve Jobs, the visionary genius who made Apple the gem of the tech industry, resigned as CEO. Almost three weeks after the company put out the press release, Jobs died at his home in Palo Alto, California, from complications caused by his battle with a rare form of pancreatic cancer.
On August 24, 2011, Apple’s board of directors issued a press release to inform that “Steve Jobs has resigned as Chief Executive Officer, and the Board has named Tim Cook, previously Apple’s Chief Operating Officer, as the company’s new CEO.”
As Walter Isaacson was putting the finishing touches on his biography-to-come, Jobs had been elected Chairman of the Board.
“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,” said Levinson.
“In his new role as Chairman of the Board, Steve will continue to serve Apple with his unique insights, creativity and inspiration.”
Few knew at the time that the pancreatic cancer Jobs had battled for years would ultimately claim his life only weeks later.
A year after losing its undisputed leader, Apple is still doing great. Financially. But it might not last for long.
As detailed in a recent Personal Thoughts entry on our Mac news section, some parts of Apple are not what they used to be
Would things have been different with Steve still at the helm? Clearly, yes. Would they have been better than they are now? No one can ever know for sure. The company was far from perfect even when Jobs was running the whole shebang.
Still, everything Apple did back then was regarded as sheer genius.
Such as the time when the Cupertino giant managed to deflect attention from the cellular reception problems in the iPhone 4 and still make record sales on their elusive smartphone.
No other company could have pulled off such a stunt, flourishing through what had become a PR fiasco. And it was all Steve Jobs.