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On Wednesday, Apple (Nasdaq: AAPL ) co-founder Steve Jobs resigned his position as CEO of the company. Trading was halted briefly before the news was announced, and after the announcement the immediate reaction was no real surprise: Apple stock sold down 5% in after-hours trading.
But was this really news? It's not like we weren't aware that his health has been deteriorating. COO Tim Cook stepped up once more to take the reigns as acting CEO at the beginning of 2011 as Jobs took another health-related leave, and it was anyone's guess at the time when he would return. Given Cook's experience with the company, he has led quite effectively during very uncertain times. So it only seemed natural that Jobs strongly recommended Cook to replace him as CEO.
Let's also not forget that Mr. Jobs will hold the position of chairman, so while he won't be as much a part of the day-to-day operations, Apple will still benefit from his vision and innovative spirit. So it came as no real surprise to me the following day that Apple's stock didn't sell off and investors everywhere didn't freak out. The way some of the headlines read it sounded more like an obituary than a CEO stepping down. Competitors like Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT ) and Google (Nasdaq: GOOG ) better not let their guard down; Apple is still as great as ever.
Of course, we hate to see this news as it's another sign that Mr. Jobs' health isn't getting any better. I am firmly convinced that he will always be remembered as one of the greatest innovators and CEOs of all time. On Wednesday evening I spoke with John Phillips on his radio show at 790 KABC Talk Radio in Los Angeles about the news. Simply click here to listen to our conversation.