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”
Here’s an excellent “Progress Report”, one year later, by Fortune’s @adamlashinsky.
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.