Apple co-founder Steve Jobs has resigned as Chief Executive of Apple. The company has revealed that current Chief Operating Officer Tim Cook will replace Jobs.

Jobs had been on medical leave since January 17, 2011, as the result of an undiagnosed condition rumoured to be linked to a previous battle with pancreatic cancer, for which he had previously undergone a liver transplant.

Steve Jobs will take the position of Chairman of Apple following his resignation as Chief Executive.

'I have always said if there ever came a day when I could no longer meet my duties and expectations as Apple's chief executive, I would be the first to let you know,' wrote Jobs in a short open letter to Apple's board.

'Unfortunately, that day has come. I hereby resign as chief executive of Apple...I look forward to watching and contributing to its success in a new role.'

The reaction to Jobs' resignation has been met with mixed reactions. While market analysts have described the move as 'unexpected', with BGC Financial's Colin Gillis telling the BBC that 'Tim Cook has been de facto chief executive for some time and the company has been hugely successful', the reaction elsewhere has been more panicked.

Jobs' resignation has erased as much as $52 billion from the company on Standard & Poor's futures trading, according to Bloomberg.

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