Steve Jobs has announced his departure as CEO of Apple with an emotional letter to colleagues and fans around the world.

The iconic Jobs, who led Apple from near-bankruptcy to become the world's most valuable company, resigned his position at the head of the company on Wednesday evening due to ongoing health issues.

In a letter Jobs published himself, he explained that he could 'no longer meet expectations' as CEO and reinforced his recommendation of new CEO Tim Cook, as part of Apple's 'succession plan.'

'Best days ahead'

Here's the letter in full:

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

Saved Apple

Jobs' departure from the hot-seat drew huge praise from the Apple board who credit him with saving the company and inspiring the creative staff to untold heights.

In the official press release, board member Art Levinson said: "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."

"Steve's extraordinary vision and leadership saved Apple and guided it to its position as the world's most innovative and valuable technology company.

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."

Link: Apple