Steve Jobs - AppleIn probably one of the most remembered resignations in the Tech industry, Steve Jobs left the company he co-founded after a power struggle with Apple’s president and CEO, John Sculley, in 1985. According to Walter Isaacson’s biography, the two clashed over products vs. profit (SUGAR WATER). Jobs returned to the company a decade later. Pancreatic cancer led him to permanently -- and much more gracefully -- resign in August 2011, choosing Tim Cook as his successor. “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,” he wrote in his resignation letter. He died on Oct.r 5, 2011.
Eric Schmidt - GoogleEric Schmidt resigned as CEO of Google in January 2011 after ten years of the company, helping transform the search engine into the tech giant it is today. In his resignation letter, Schmidt said he stepped down to “simplify our management structure and speed up decision making.” Part of the reason why he was hired was to provide more “mature” leadership, The Huffington Post reported, and joked about the resignation on Twitter. “Day-to-day adult supervision no longer needed!” he tweeted. Larry Page took over as Google CEO in April 2011, while Schmidt is still involved with Google operations as an “Executive Editor.”
Jerry Yang - YahooJerry Yang announced he was resigning from the Yahoo board on Jan. 16, 17 years after he co-founded the search engine and media giant. The New York Times reported Yahoo didn’t give an explanation for Yang’s abrupt departure, but the board struggled over strategic direction. His resignation also comes just two weeks after Yahoo appointed Scott Thompson to be its new CEO, who vowed to lead the company to the heights it once enjoyed in the 1990s. Shareholders also blasted Yang for turning down a $45 million or so takeover by Microsoft. He left his position as CEO and was replaced by Carol Bartz, but remained on the board. Bartz, however, didn't last long at the company (see next slide.)
Carol Bartz - YahooFormer Yahoo CEO Carol Bartz left with a bang. After she was reportedly fired over the phone, she sent a mass e-mail to Yahoo employees announcing her resignation on her iPad. According to Fortune, Bartz wasn’t the “turnaround chief that the Yahoo board had wanted” when they first recruited her in January 2009. The irascible tech leader is known for her explosive tongue. At a TechCrunch panel discussion in New York City in May 2010, she told TechCrunch Editor to “F--- Off.” In her first interview after the resignation, she told Fortune that the Yahoo board “f---ed me over.”
Randi Zuckerberg - FacebookRandi Zuckerberg, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s sister, joined her little brother’s billionaire empire as marketing director. She led Facebook’s journalistic operations at the Democratic and Republican National Convention in 2008 and came up with the idea for Facebook Live, the social network’s video channel. To combat cyber-bullying she insisted anonymity online “has to go away.” She also picked up a reputation as karaoke singer extraordinaire by singing at company functions, The New York Times wrote in an October profile. She quit her job in August to start her own social media consulting business, R to Z Media. Michael Jackson’s estate hired her to host an online show about the pop idol’s Facebook page. “Every article written about me now refers to me as Randi Zuckerberg, Mark’s sister,” she told the Times. “Maybe one day that won’t be what people say about me.”
David Eun - AOLDavid Eun was forced to leave AOL as its head of content in February 2001 due to major restructuring in the aftermath of AOL’s acquisition of The Huffington Post. “Ultimately there isn’t a role that matches what I am seeking to do,” he wrote in his resignation letter. As President of AOL Media and Studios, he led the company’s many digital content operations and was tasked with making AOL a premier content destination on the web. But his responsibilities became less defined as Arianna Huffington took on the reins of AOL’s editorial operations. Eun went on to become Executive Vice president of Samsung in December. He’ll always be remembered, however, for a video memo he released to the tune of Taio Cruz.
Jerry Yang's abrupt departure from Yahoo's board may have surprised many in the tech world, but the digital world has had its fair share of dramatic resignations. From Steve Jobs to Eric Schmidt, click through the gallery above to see some of the most high profile and memorable industry shake-ups.