Steve Job: I QUIT
Health fear as Apple's Jobs steps down at 55
APPLE boss Steve Jobs sensationally RESIGNEDas the company's chief executive last night.
The computer genius, 55, has been on medical leave since January 17 for an undisclosed condition.
The announcement will raise inevitable speculation about his long-term health.
Jobs wrote in his resignation letter: "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."
But the super-boffin, who co-founded the tech giant in a garage in 1976, will remain as chairman.
Jobs battled pancreatic cancer in 2004 and had a liver transplant in 2007.
Apple quickly announced his successor would be Tim Cook, the company's Chief Operating Officer.
Jobs added in his letter: "I believe Apple's brightest and most innovative days are ahead of it. And I look forward to watching and contributing to its success in a new role.
"I have made some of the best friends of my life at Apple, and I thank you all for the many years of being able to work alongside you."
Jobs also oversaw the firm's renaissance with the iPod, iPhone and iPad.
Industry analyst Ashok Kumar said Jobs' timing of his resignation was worrying for the firm's future.
He said: "It's just ahead of the iPhone 5 release. The fact he is stepping down now is not a good sign."
From The Forbes
In March the Apple founder made a surprise appearance at the unveiling of his iPad 2, after taking medical leave in January. Insanely creative Apple chief transforms a multibillion-dollar industry every few years. First, personal computers with Apple II, Macintosh; then film with Pixar; music (iTunes), mobile (iPhone). Now iPad is treated as messiah tablet, savior for publishing industry. Apple still
According to the Forbes as at March 2011 he is in the 110 Forbes billionaires (34th in US) and 17th most powerfull people. His net worth is USD 8.3 billion