Transcript for ARCHIVAL VIDEO: Steve Jobs Resigns as Apple CEO in 2011
Good evening I'm Terry Moran Steve Jobs once said that people don't know what they want until you show it to them and with incredible. Almost spooky consistency jobs has produced new products to consumers discovered. They really really want one now just hours ago Steve Jobs has resigned as chief executive of apple the company he built. Just a month after apple announced astronomical. Third quarter profits of more than seven. Billion dollars here's ABC's Neal Karlinsky. It was the resignation heard around the world that's because Steve Jobs isn't justice CEO. He's been called one of the great visionaries of our time a man on par with Thomas Edison. For a new generation. The news is pretty shocking I didn't expect that this is gonna come today I mean we know that Steve Jobs has been sick for the last summer months and been on leave. But it came out of nowhere. In a letter to Apple's board of directors jobs writes 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. If you have a cell phone if you listen to music if you use a computer at all Steve Jobs has made it different but in the midst of all that jobs has quietly. In the fight of his life. He beat a rare form of pancreatic cancer in 2004 but came back to work to bring apple to new heights. But after appearing extremely thin at a conference in 2008. There was a new concern about his health. I just wanted to mention this it. Up it was nothing more than a hormone imbalance at first. Then abruptly took a leave about since it was only after an appearance in 2009. That the world learned. He actually needed a liver transplant a fact kept under wraps until after the procedure. I now have the liver of a mid. Twenties. Person. Who died in a car crash. The tech world feared this day was coming even though he'll stay on as chairman of the board the Steve Jobs era is effectively over Apple's chief operating officer Tim Cook will replace jobs as CEO. A brilliant insider who's kept the company on track and successful. During jobs earlier medical leave. But it's just about every analyst on the planet as pointed out before. He's no Steve Jobs. Everybody you talk to it Apple's gonna tell you Steve Jobs is one guy and one of his greatest skills as a talent scout. He's assembled the greatest team in the world blah blah blah. But the truth is that Steve Jobs and they notorious micro manager he is eight overbearing boss with a reputation like nobody you've ever heard of in your life. And he is part of the reason apple is what he is most of the reason Apple's when it today. The reclusive billionaire always let his products on talking his signature black shirt Levi's and new balance conditions were generally only on this only once or twice a year jobs took the stage to announce the company's newest product. I found. The sit down with us in 2007. After announcing Doug there we first iPhone. And while he appeared relaxed at his iron grip on all things apple was playing for us to see he has kept the short and seem to have its PR people on edge. No one bats a thousand you can call the Babe Ruth of Silicon Valley are you worried that you reach a point where there isn't another killer piece of hardware to come out with so while the world. You know again we don't worry about stuff like that we just. Try to build products that we think are really wonderful people might want in and sometimes we're right sometimes wrong. But I. I think we're gonna hit grants this. Welcomes your government's second offense appear ans yes. In a strange and surprise move just a few months ago jobs himself was front and center and of all places the Cupertino City Council pitching the construction of a new world headquarters for its company. Two starched rock local leader race. Steve Jobs founded apple along with Steve Wozniak back in 1976. Where he was best known for the Macintosh computer. But by 1985 he was out after internal conflicts and the company was far from the leader in personal computers. But a little over a decade later he returned with a vengeance just look at Apple's stock from five dollars and 48 cents a share on his 1997. Return. 2378. Dollars today. Enormous wealth built off a string of successes that have changed the world we live in. If you look at jobs and what he's done is only a couple of people on the past hundred years that there can really be analogous to that you've got Walt Disney. Henry Ford and and Steve Jobs and and you know those companies still thrive they don't do the same way they did when their leaders were around but but they still managed to make it. In the cold hard world of technology and and opened an opportunity for the competition to take on apple. But that we'll have to wait because today isn't just to surprise. It's sad sad for the man who's fought with every fiber of his being just to go to work to keep running the company he founded and love so much. He wrote today I believe Apple's brightest and most innovative days are ahead of it. I'm Neal Karlinsky for Nightline in Los Angeles.
This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.