Steve Jobs: A Lesson in Communication

There are plenty of excellent articles and blog posts today about the career achievements and legacy of Steve Jobs.  Jobs announced last night that he was resigning as Apple’s CEO. What strikes me about the announcement is not the commentaries written about him by others, but by his own resignation letter.

Here’s his resignation letter as printed in the NYT:

To the Apple Board of Directors and the Apple Community:

I have always said if there ever came a day when I could no longer meet my duties and expectations as Apple’s C.E.O., I would be the first to let you know. Unfortunately, that day has come.

I hereby resign as C.E.O. of Apple. I would like to serve, if the Board sees fit, as Chairman of the Board, director and Apple employee.

As far as my successor goes, I strongly recommend that we execute our succession plan and name Tim Cook as C.E.O. of Apple.

I believe Apple’s brightest and most innovative days are ahead of it. And I look forward to watching and contributing to its success in a new role.

I have made some of the best friends of my life at Apple, and I thank you all for the many years of being able to work alongside you.


Clear. Concise. Classy.

Not many CEOs, certainly few if any with the stature and reputation of Steve Jobs, would be content to leave center stage with so little fanfare and without the spotlight focused directly on his/her accomplishments.

There is a lesson in communication and public relations here — and perhaps what Jobs said and how he said it in his letter of resignation provides some insight into why he was so successful in developing, designing and marketing products that really have influenced our economy and the lives of people around the world.


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