In a somewhat stunning move, Apple chief executive Steve Jobs resigned last night saying he could no longer fulfill his duties as head of the famous tech company.
Jobs, a visionary who shaped the tech industry for the past 35 years, didn't cite specific reasons as to why he's quitting. However, it's well known his health is not in tip top condition. Jobs was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in 2003. He treated the cancer and apparently was fine until 2009, when he had to take a leave of absence because his health issues were more complex than originally thought.
In 2009, he had a successful liver transplant and returned to work in June of that year. All appeared to be fine until January of this year when once again took a leave of absence leaving Tim Cook, Apple's chief operating officer in charge.
In his most recent appearances, including at June's Worldwide Developer Conference, Jobs looked thinner and less healthy than he had in previous years. Naturally, Jobs nor anyone involved with Apple would comment on his health, leaving everything up to speculation.
The lasting impact of Jobs is nothing short of revolutionary. He has helped shaped the tech industry for years to come and in the process turned Apple into the most successful company (market capitalization wise) in the world today. While there is a lot of uncertainty surrounding the future of the company (Jobs will stay on as Chairman of the Board), but it's appropriate to hear what many of his adversaries and partners are saying about Jobs in the wake of his departure.
Here are a few quotes about the man, the myth, the legend, Steve Jobs:
Steve Jobs is the greatest business leader of our time. He'll be remembered for 100 years. To think that I knew somebody who became the most important person in the world. It's actually -- it's kind of stunning. Steve Wozniak, Co-Founder of Apple
Steve Jobs is the most successful CEO in the U.S. of the last 25 years. He uniquely combined an artist's touch and an engineer's vision to build an extraordinary company, one of the greatest American leaders in history. - Eric Schmidt, CEO of Google
Steve Jobs is a visionary in the computer industry. We look forward to both Steve and his team having a positive impact on our industry for many years to come. - Stephen Elop, CEO of Nokia
His brilliance has been well-documented, but what gets forgotten is the bravery with which he's confronted his illness. For him to achieve this much success under these circumstances doubles his legacy. - Howard Stringer, CEO and Chairman of Sony
Steve Jobs is one of California's greatest innovators. Very few achieved his impact over the last 50 years and probably the next 100 years. Arnold Schwarzenegger, actor and former Governor of California
Most mere mortals cannot understand a person like Steve Jobs. He's the greatest CEO in the history of man. He's just got a different operating system. Former Apple employee Guy Kawasaki