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Tim Cook takes over as Steve Jobs resigns as Apple CEO

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Steve Jobs, the visionary co-founder of Apple Inc. and driving force behind a string of products that revolutionized the consumer-electronics industry, stepped down as chief executive on Wednesday.

But the move wasn't a completely unexpected one.

His departure from the CEO post had been widely anticipated ever since Jobs took an extended medical leave earlier this year to attend to undisclosed health reasons. He underwent surgery for pancreatic cancer seven years ago and had a liver transplant two years ago.

Photos: Steve Jobs and Apple's influence

In his letter of resignation to the company board, 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."

Though widely expected, the announcement threw the future of the technology juggernaut into flux, given Jobs' deep personal association with Apple's most successful innovations, including the Macintosh computer line, the iPod portable music player and the iPhone smart phone.

Though the stock dropped nearly $20 in after-hours trading, some analysts recommended that investors take the news in stride because Jobs' marginal health condition, which has been hanging over Apple and its stock price for years, should not come as a surprise.

"Don't panic, remain calm," said Colin Gillis, an analyst at BGC Partners. "This is not unexpected."

"He clearly has some major health issues going on," Gillis said. But "deteriorating or not deteriorating, chairman is the perfect role for him to continue providing artistic input."

Apple named Tim Cook, the company's well-regarded operations chief who had run the company in Jobs' absence, as chief executive. Jobs assumed the role of chairman of the board.

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-- Walter Hamilton

Photo: Former CEO, and now Chairman of Apple, Steve Jobs (rihgt) and former Chief Operating Officer, now CEO, Tim Cook (left) at Apple headquarters in Cupertino on Aug. 7, 2007. Credit: Monica M. Davey/EPA

 
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