A shocker out of Silicon Valley -- Steve Jobs abruptly resigned as CEO of Apple Wednesday afternoon.
In a brief resignation letter, Jobs said:
"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."
This immediately spurred speculation about Jobs's health. The 55-year-old Jobs has been on medical leave since January 17 for an undisclosed ailment. He underwent surgery for pancreatic cancer in 2004, and has looked frail and gaunt at Apple events ever since.
His last public appearance was a surprise one, to unveil the iPad 2 in March.
Jobs will be replaced by COO Tim Cook. As to what kind of effect this will have on Apple's high-flying stock, BGC financial analyst Colin Gillis said, "I will say to investors: don't panic and remain calm, it's the right thing to do. Steve will be chairman and Cook is CEO."
Jobs co-founded Apple Computer in a garage in the mid-1970s. He headed the company until he was forced out in 1985. But he returned in 1997, during which time he rescued the then-struggling firm and revolutionized the electronics world with such devices as the iMac, iPod, iPhone and iPad.