The one lingering question I had following Jobs’ resignation was about the timing. Normally, Apple is pretty calculated about the timing of such things (see: the news about Jobs’ liver transplant in 2009 — which had happened months prior — breaking after market close on a Friday afternoon… …a day in which Apple also released the iPhone 3GS).
A seemingly random Wednesday afternoon in August appears at first glance to be weird. Yes, it was also after market close, but the market would open the very next day. And yes, Apple is due to unveil the iPhone 5 soon — but it’s still likely weeks away. So why this Wednesday?
Peter Burrows and Josh Tyrangiel for Bloomberg Businessweek appear to answer that:
On the day of the announcement, a person close to Jobs who was not authorized to speak about his health said the outgoing CEO was in Apple’s Cupertino (Calif.) office for the entire workday and attended a regularly scheduled board meeting.
The last part is key. There was a scheduled board meeting. Jobs had to give his resignation letter to the board. He clearly wanted to do that in person. And the board also had to vote on Tim Cook as CEO and Jobs becoming Chairman.
While the initial thoughts on the weird timing may have been about Jobs’ health, various accounts have him no better or worse than in recent months (he was still on medical leave, remember).
It would seem that Jobs just figured now was the right time to formally hand the reins over to Cook — who again, has been leading Apple for months. And there just happened to be a board meeting on August 24, 2011.