From San Francisco to Seoul to Sydney, fans of Apple paid tribute to Steve Jobs after he resigned as CEO on Wednesday, calling him an icon for the entire technology industry, not just the company he co-founded.
The outpouring on blogs and Twitter began minutes after Jobs, who has been on medical leave since January, announced he would leave the chief executive’s post, but carry on as chairman of Apple.
Jobs made his resignation known in a letter, which read: “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,” Jobs wrote. “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,” he added. “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.”
The letter was signed “Steve.”
In Asia, home to legions of Jobs fans as well as scores of rip-offs of the products he helped design, customers poured out tributes.
“I make phone calls every day with my iPhone3, send Weibo messages by iPhone4, jog to podcasts downloaded from iTunes, listen to music on my iPod, use applications from the App Store and surf the net with my Mac — never before has a company been entwined so deeply into my life,” said Wang Lifen in a tribute to Jobs on Chinese microblogging site Weibo.
In Australia, at Apple’s flagship two-story glass-fronted store in downtown Sydney a musician played inside, using an Apple device that connected an electric guitar to a Mac computer.
Google chairman Eric Schmidt wrote: “Steve Jobs is the most successful CEO in the US of the last 25 years. He uniquely combined an artist’s touch and an engineer’s vision to build an extraordinary company ... One of the greatest American leaders in history.”