Apple's legendary co-founder and top ideas man Steve Jobs resigned as chief executive Wednesday, the company said, in a long-expected move after he began a dramatic fight with cancer.
In a written statement, Apple announced that Chief Operating Officer Tim Cook will take over as CEO but Jobs will stay on as chairman of the board.
Jobs, who survived pancreatic cancer, has been on medical leave since January due to an undisclosed health issue.
"Steve's extraordinary vision and leadership saved Apple and guided it to its position as the world's most innovative and valuable technology company," board member Art Levinson said in a statement.
"The board has complete confidence that Tim is the right person to be our next CEO," Levinson added.
No reason was given for Jobs' resignation, but his health problems, including a lengthy medical leave for a liver transplant in 2009 and his increasingly gaunt appearances at public events, fueled speculation he would have to give up the everyday running of the company that he co-founded in 1976.
Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2011