In what is without a doubt one of the saddest news of the history of tech, Apple’s founder Steven P. Jobs resigned from his position as Apple’s CEO in a letter this Wednesday.

Thankfully, the world as we know it might not collapse quite yet as Steve Jobs will be remaining at Apple for now, Apple already decided, as its new Chairman of the Board. The CEO position will be taken over by former COO Tim Cook effective immediately.

This is, of course, dramatic news. Steve Jobs has played an incredible role through his life at Apple, from introducing the first personal computer to the iPhone and iPad. As chairman of the board, he will no longer play an active role in Apple’s daily operations, but only participate in major strategic decisions during a few meetings a year. This will without a doubt have a major, possibly negative, impact on this company we’ve all grown to love so much.

Not to mention, the fact that Steve feels no longer able to be the head of Apple might suggest his health has deteriorated. Yet, we’re all hoping he’s doing just fine, and will make sure the company he founded and changed the world with continues to strive without him. Of course, we might just be in the denial.

Either way, thank you  for making the world a better place Steve, we wish you the best!

Below you’ll find Steve Jobs’ letter of resignation followed by Apple’s official statement on the matter.

Letter from Steve Jobs

CUPERTINO, Calif.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–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 CEO, I would be the first to let you know. Unfortunately, that day has come.

I hereby resign as CEO 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 CEO 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.

Steve

and Apple:

CUPERTINO, Calif.–(BUSINESS WIRE)– Apple’s Board of Directors today announced that Steve Jobs has resigned as Chief Executive Officer, and the Board has named Tim Cook, previously Apple’s Chief Operating Officer, as the company’s new CEO. Jobs has been elected Chairman of the Board and Cook will join the Board, effective immediately.

“Steve’s extraordinary vision and leadership saved Apple and guided it to its position as the world’s most innovative and valuable technology company,” said Art Levinson, Chairman of Genentech, on behalf of Apple’s Board. “Steve has made countless contributions to Apple’s success, and he has attracted and inspired Apple’s immensely creative employees and world class executive team. In his new role as Chairman of the Board, Steve will continue to serve Apple with his unique insights, creativity and inspiration.”

“The Board has complete confidence that Tim is the right person to be our next CEO,” added Levinson. “Tim’s 13 years of service to Apple have been marked by outstanding performance, and he has demonstrated remarkable talent and sound judgment in everything he does.”

Jobs submitted his resignation to the Board today and strongly recommended that the Board implement its succession plan and name Tim Cook as CEO.

As COO, Cook was previously responsible for all of the company’s worldwide sales and operations, including end-to-end management of Apple’s supply chain, sales activities, and service and support in all markets and countries. He also headed Apple’s Macintosh division and played a key role in the continued development of strategic reseller and supplier relationships, ensuring flexibility in response to an increasingly demanding marketplace.

Apple designs Macs, the best personal computers in the world, along with OS X, iLife, iWork and professional software. Apple leads the digital music revolution with its iPods and iTunes online store. Apple has reinvented the mobile phone with its revolutionary iPhone and App Store, and has recently introduced iPad 2 which is defining the future of mobile media and computing devices.

The end.