Jobs has been battling a rare form of pancreatic cancer and already had a liver transplant. He has been out on medical leave since January, but late yesterday announced he would be stepping down as CEO of Apple. In his letter to the board, he strongly endorsed Tim Cook, who has served as acting CEO in Jobs' absence. The board quickly voted Cook in as CEO. Most recently Cook was COO of Apple, and has been the architect of the company's intricate supply chain that has been responsible for high-quality materials and production capabilities. A detailed succession plan which included Cook has been in place since Jobs first began experiencing serious medical problems back in 2004, which Cook stepped in as interim CEO for Jobs for the first time.
Although Cook is the clear choice of Jobs and the board, and is highly skilled, it will be difficult for anyone to fill the shoes of Jobs - a visionary leader and creative genius behind the stunning success of the iPod and iPad. Apple shares are down 5% in after-hours trading. I own Apple shares for clients and will hold what I own.