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 Jobs  returned to Apple as part of the NeXT acquisition in late 1996.  He became the “de facto chief” in September 1997 after CEO Gil Amelio’s exit from the company in July, and was officially announced as CEO at the 2000 Macworld Expo.