"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"

So ends Steve's resignation notice. Apple's press office has followed it up with an official statement, confirming that Steve Jobs has resigned as CEO and been elected chairman of the board. Apple's chief operating officer Tim Cook will replace Jobs as CEO, also joining the board.

Apple's stock faces an inevitable decline in response to the news, so Genentech chairman Steve Levinson has been roped into the press release to reassure investors that the magic hand of Jobs will still be in contact with the company he founded. "In his new role as Chairman of the Board, Steve will continue to serve Apple with his unique insights, creativity and inspiration.”

Of Cook, meanwhile, the press release is thorough in its reassurance.

"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."