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Apple’s Steve Jobs has resigned as CEO of the company, reports the company. Apple’s COO Tim Cook has been named as a replacement and Jobs has been named Chairman of the company’s Board of Directors.

In a publicly released letter, Jobs says that he can no longer meet his duties and expectations as CEO of the company and that he has resigned as the CEO of Apple. In the letter, he also recommended Apple’s COO Tim Cook as a successor, which does not come as a surprise to those of us who have been following the company.

As the company’s interim CEO in recent  months as Jobs has been absent due to health concerns, Cook has been the clear choice to those outside Apple for some time now, and apparently that choice had been made inside Apple as well as Jobs says that this is according to the company’s succession plan.

“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.”

Steve Jobs has been one of the most intense and charismatic executives of any company in recent years and his leadership has propelled Apple to new heights. This is a dramatic announcement and we will have continuing news on the ramifications of Jobs’ move to Chairman and the replacement of his role at CEO by Tim Cook.