It was ten years ago today (August 24, 2011) that the late Steve Jobs resigned as CEO of the company he helped found and build and officially named Tim Cook as Apple’s new leader. Jobs passed away two short months later, leaving Cook to lead the company on his own.
It was a bit of a turbulent time for Apple, as no one was certain exactly what would happen to the company post-Jobs. How would Cook handle his new position? Would he continue to walk the path his predecessor had the company heading down, or would he take the Cupertino firm down a new path?
The day after his elevation to CEO, Cook wrote his first official letter as CEO, addressing employees at Apple and ensuring them that Apple “is not going to change.” The full text of the letter can be read below:
I am looking forward to the amazing opportunity of serving as CEO of the most innovative company in the world. Joining Apple was the best decision I’ve ever made and it’s been the privilege of a lifetime to work for Apple and Steve for over 13 years. I share Steve’s optimism for Apple’s bright future.
Steve has been an incredible leader and mentor to me, as well as to the entire executive team and our amazing employees. We are really looking forward to Steve’s ongoing guidance and inspiration as our Chairman.
I want you to be confident that Apple is not going to change. I cherish and celebrate Apple’s unique principles and values. Steve built a company and culture that is unlike any other in the world and we are going to stay true to that—it is in our DNA. We are going to continue to make the best products in the world that delight our customers and make our employees incredibly proud of what they do.
I love Apple and I am looking forward to diving into my new role. All of the incredible support from the Board, the executive team and many of you has been inspiring. I am confident our best years lie ahead of us and that together we will continue to make Apple the magical place that it is.
While the first device that launched under Cook’s reign was the iPhone 4S in 2011, it was actually announced one day before Jobs’ death and Jobs had overseen the development of the handset. The first iPhone developed under Cook was the iPhone 5, released in 2012. The iPhone 5 proved to sport a significant redesign, sporting a thinner body and was the first iPhone with a larger display.
Cook carried on Jobs’ traditional “one more thing” product announcement just two years later, when he unveiled the first Apple Watch. It was the first all new product to be released under Cook’s reign.
Under Cook’s guidance, there have been many decision made that caused observers to wonder if “Stgeve would have done it that way?” However, Cook has proven to be adept at steering Apple through the rough waters of today’s world, and the iPhone maker became the world’s first trillion-dollar company in August 2018.