Steve Jobs has stepped down from the position of CEO of Apple.
The decision was announced yesterday in an open letter released 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," Jobs writes. "Unfortunately, that day has come."
Jobs named current COO Tim Cook as his successor, and requested that he be allowed to remain, "Chairman of the Board, director and Apple employee."
Cook joined Apple in 1998, and was appointed to COO in 2005. He has been influential in streamlining the company's production processes and supply chain, closing factories and warehouses worldwide to significantly increase its profit margins.
"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," Jobs continues.
"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."
Since Jobs' return to Apple in 1998 he has been instrumental in its rapid growth, presiding over innovations like the iPod, the iPhone and the App Store, and kick-starting the burgeoning tablet market with the iPad.