Steve Jobs resigns as Apple CEO

Cupertino, Calif. -- Apple announced late Wednesday that its CEO Steve Jobs has resigned his post, effectively immediately, to be succeeded by current COO Tim Cook.

Jobs, the visionary whose contributions created the world’s most innovative technology company, is battling pancreatic cancer and has received a liver transplant. Concerns about his health led to his decision to resign.

"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," Jobs, 56, wrote in a letter to the Apple Board of Directors and "the Apple Community."

Jobs has been elected Apple’s chairman of the board, and Cook will join the board, effectively immediately.

Jobs submitted his resignation to the board on Wednesday evening and strongly recommended that the board implement its succession plan and name Tim Cook as CEO.

As COO, Cook was previously responsible for all of the company’s worldwide sales and operations. He also headed Apple’s Macintosh division.

The financial impact of Jobs’ announcement was felt almost immediately as shares of Apple plummeted in the minutes following his announcement.