Originally published: September 1, 2011
Last updated: September 1, 2011 - 2:43pm
Steven P. Jobs, whose insistent vision that he knew what consumers wanted made Apple one of the world’s most valuable and influential companies, is stepping down as chief executive.
Jobs, 56, has been on medical leave since January, his third such absence. He underwent surgery for pancreatic cancer in 2004, and received a liver transplant in 2009. But as recently as a few weeks ago, Mr. Jobs was negotiating business issues with another Silicon Valley executive. Jobs will become chairman, a position that did not exist before. Apple named Tim Cook, its chief operating officer, to succeed Mr. Jobs as chief executive. Rarely has a major company and industry been so dominated by a single individual, and so successful. His influence has gone far beyond the iconic personal computers that were Apple’s principal product for its first 20 years. In the last decade, Apple has redefined the music business through the iPod, the cellphone business through the iPhone and the entertainment and media world through the iPad. Again and again, Mr. Jobs has gambled that he knew what the customer would want, and again and again he has been right.
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