As you no doubt know by now, Steve Jobs has resigned from his role as Apple CEO. Jobs will retain an Apple affiliation as Chairman of the Board, but he's no longer going to be involved in day-to-day activities.
Tim Cook, Apple's now former Chief Operating Officer, is the new CEO.
Complete Coverage: Steve Jobs resigns
I've had many tussles with Jobs over the years, but I have never failed to recognize his iconic role as a great American. There is no living American with a more fascinating story or who has directly touched our lives and our futures as much as Jobs.
Thirteen months ago, after the iPhone 4 "bumper" fiasco, I recommended Steve retire from Apple. I wrote, in an open letter, these sentiments:
You have been one the most transformative figures in the history of American business, up there with Thomas Edison, Andrew Carnegie, Henry Ford, and, yes, Bill Gates. You are an iconic American figure. You are an American strategic asset.
I continue to believe this. Steve, like all of us, has always had his flaws. He's got a temper, he's hard on the people who work for him, he's impatient, and he's almost fanatically demanding. But it's these features, these flaws, that -- combined with an amazing internal drive -- have made Apple what it is, today: perhaps America's greatest company.
To be fair, I also have had my share of disagreements with Apple, many of them brought about because of the unique and often unwavering demands of Jobs-the-CEO. But, no matter how you look at it, Apple inspires a level of loyalty, appreciation, and, yes, love, that no other company has been capable of igniting.
Steve, as you also know, has had a challenging illness. Although the abrupt announcement of his resignation made no mention of his condition, it doesn't take an Apple engineer to put two-and-two together. He may have taken a turn for the worse.
And so, as we move on to an era without Steve at the helm, we wish him a long, enjoyable, joy-filled life.
Oh, and one more thing.
Thank you, Steve. For all you've done, for all of us.
See also: Steve Jobs resigns as Apple CEO