Apple Loses CEO Steve Jobs, Its No. 1 Employee

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So, Steve Jobs has stepped down as CEO of Apple so he can take care of himself as he struggles with health issues — the full dimensions of which have not been disclosed — that have worried shareholders and Apple-lovers. He’s leaving behind a zillion contented Apple users around the globe, an army of employees who have given him a 97 percent approval rating (the third-highest CEO) on Glasdoor.com, and a boatload of business execs who are disappointed to see him disappear.

But as Apple cofounder Steve Wozniak points out, Jobs needs some time for himself: “I mean, just your time, everybody wants you day and night, that’s what I mean by sacrifices,” Wozniak said, according to The Unofficial Apple Weblog. “It takes so much out of anyone to be under just constant pressure and demands like that. Steve needs now to just have some ‘Steve time.’ He deserves it.”

Jobs plans to stay on in the newly created role of chairman. In an era where CEOs serve routinely as villains, it’s rather amazing to witness the emotional outpouring.[more]

Steve Perlman, the creator of Apple’s original QuickTime player and the current CEO of OnLive, said the world owes a debt to Jobs, according to VentureBeat. “He has spearheaded so many of the tech and design paradigms that today we take for granted. Steve is one of the most influential and inspirational people of our era, and his direct leadership of Apple will be missed.”

Jobs, of course, left Apple for a few years, reinventing Pixar while he was at it, and then returned to Apple and turned that company around to make it the powerhouse it is today.

“Although we don’t personally know each other, I want to say thank you for being an inspiration to countless entrepreneurs such as myself to go out and “Think different,” said Nathan Lands, CEO and founder of Gamify, according to VentureBeat. “Your story is an amazing and inspirational one, and the inspired beauty and soul you infused into every product is something I think will go down in history. Wishing you health and happiness.”

Wozniak also said that Jobs will “go down in history as the most important technical leader ever,” Bloomberg News reports.

However you slice it, Jobs is leaving behind an emotional bunch. GigiOm could barely look at Twitter because of the tears flowing there. “Through the mist in my eyes, I am having a tough time focusing on the screen of this computer,” GigaOm writes. “I cannot hear the sounds of the street or the ring of my phone. The second hand on my watch moves slowly, ever so slowly. I want to wake up and find it was all a nightmare.”

C’mon. New Apple CEO Tim Cook isn’t going to be that bad! The one thing Cook can really learn from Jobs, the site notes, is patience: “Today, we are living in a world that’s about taking short-term decisions: CEOs who pray at the altar of the devil called quarterly earnings, companies that react to rivals, politicians who are only worried about the coming election cycle and leaders who are in for the near-term gain,” the site opines. But Jobs was always patient. “If Apple and Steve’s incredible comeback teaches us something, it’s that when you are right and the world doesn’t see it that way, you just have to be patient and wait for the world to change its mind.”

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