The Apple board of directors accepted Steve Jobs' resignation as CEO and named COO Tim Cook to succeed him at the helm of the US computer and software group.
Jobs has been elected chairman of the board, the company said.
Jobs has been ill for years and news of his resignation as CEO didn't come as a surprise.
Apple board member Art Levinson, chairman of Genentech, said Jobs' leadership has turned Apple into "the world's most innovative and valuable technology company."
He added that Jobs, in his role of chairman, "will continue to serve Apple with his unique insights, creativity and inspiration.”
Cook, who has been with Apple for 13 years was recommended by Jobs for the CEO position.
As COO, Cook was previously responsible for Apple's global sales and operations. He also headed Apple’s Macintosh division and stood in for Jobs during a previous bout of illness.