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Steve Jobs: I resign

In an open letter addressed to Apple's board of directors and the wider Apple community, Steve Jobs has officially removed himself from the position as chief executive officer of the well-known technology company.

Dated August 24, the letter opens: "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."

No official reason was provided for his decision, but Jobs – who has previously battled pancreatic cancer – has been on medical leave for an undisclosed condition since January 17.

His open letter has named current chief operating officer Tim Cook as ready to assume the CEO position on a permanent basis and urges Apple's board of directors to allow this change to become permanent – a move that the board is understood to be currently considering.

The co-founder of the technology firm has been credited with a number of breakthroughs, including being the driving force behind the development of the iPod, iPhone and more recently the iPad, as well as the huge re-branding efforts undertaken by the company since 2001.

In a press release, Apple's board of directors praised the contribution Jobs made to the mobile device company, with Art Levinson, chairman of Genentech, stating that Jobs was responsible for attracting and maintaining the creative employees currently populating their world-class team.

Levinson asserted: "Steve’s extraordinary vision and leadership saved Apple and guided it to its position as the world’s most innovative and valuable technology company.

"In his new role as chairman of the board, Steve will continue to serve Apple with his unique insights, creativity and inspiration."

Jobs expressed his appreciation to friends he had made while working at the well-known technology company, saying "I thank you all for the many years of being able to work alongside you."