It was a year ago, 24 August of 2011.
Steve Jobs wrote this now famous letter to the Board of Apple:
To the Apple Board of Directors and the Apple Community:
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.
I hereby resign as CEO of Apple. I would like to serve, if the Board sees fit, as Chairman of the Board, director and Apple employee.
As far as my successor goes, I strongly recommend that we execute our succession plan and name Tim Cook as CEO of Apple.
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.
A year has gone. Three sentences strike me when reading this today:
- “If there ever came a day (…), I would be the first to let you know”
- “I strongly recommend that we execute our succession plan and name Tim Cook as CEO of Apple”
- “I believe Apple’s brightest and most innovative days are ahead of it”
So many times we realise how difficult it is to be an example in stepping down after identifying and growing a successor.
Leadership succession is yet another area where Steve Jobs has reshaped existing paradigms, for the better.
This deserves to be remembered.