Steve Jobs' announcement is sparse with words, as always.
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.
Even though Jobs will still play a vital role at Apple, it's obvious this is the end of an era - and what an era. Apple was pretty much dead when Jobs took over, but under his leadership, the company grew from Silicon Valley's laughing stock to the world's largest technology company. The iPod, iPhone, iPad - all major success stories that turned the company into the behemoth it is today.
It will be interesting to see what happens to Apple next. The company has always been more or less equated to Steve Jobs, and with him stepping down from the prime spot, many have predicted the company will have a far harder time than it had under his leadership. While the world obviously won't come crashing down just because he stepped down from the CEO position, long-term effects might still be negative.