Silicon Valley Saddened by Jobs' 'Inevitable' Resignation

Many locals felt the computer industry icon's health may have been the reason for his departure from Apple.

Saddened at Apple CEO Steven Jobs' resignation , Silicon Valley residents blamed his poor health.

"I would say that it was inevitable that he was going to resign or step down eventually, because of his health condition," said Los Altos resident Rabindra Sahdev, 51, from outside the Apple Store on Palo Alto's University Avenue. "It was almost expected—it was a matter of when."

Jobs' announced his departure from the helm of Apple in a resignation letter on Wednesday, and though he's been on medical leave since January, he didn't indicate that his health was a factor in his decision. The executive suffers from pancreatic cancer and received a liver transplant two years ago.

However, many locals opined that his deteriorating health was a primary reason for his departure, and some worried about the company's stock.

Mountain View restaurateur John Akkaya, 50, who said he served Jobs many years ago, described him as "down to earth." Akkaya was deeply saddened—though not surprised—by Jobs' decision.

"It's a sad story. He was a pioneer—he was really a pioneer in the Silicon Valley," said the owner of on Castro Street, a popular locale for business meetings. "He touched a lot of people's lives and he created a lot of jobs. It's just sad. I wish him well."

Anthony Giacobbe, a self-described "Apple lover," said the stock might take a hit. "No one likes to see management change; it freaks people out."

"His health was in question for a while," said Giacobbe, 29, another Mountain View resident. "I imagine running a company like Apple was stressful."

Not only was Jobs a computer industry pioneer, but he grew up in Silicon Valley. Born in San Francisco and adopted by a Mountain View couple, Jobs and his parents moved to unincorporated Los Altos. He and fellow Homestead High School graduate Steve Wozniak co-founded Apple in Jobs' parents' home. Tech tourists often photograph themselves in front of the Crist Drive home.

Los Altos Chamber of Commerce members, meeting at its monthly mixer, were shocked. Sam Pesner, chairman of the chamber, said he respected Jobs' desire to step down if he felt he could no longer do the job the way he felt it should be done.

"It's either his health ... or it perhaps he's simply done," Pesner said. "He's accomplished a lot, and I congratulate him on everything he's."

Jim Flynn, another chamber member said, "I'm proud that he came from this area. I wish him well. God bless him." 

From the Apple store, similar sentiments continued to be echoed.

"It's very crazy to think about, because (Jobs) has been such a huge name for Apple, and now it's going to forever change," said Palo Alto resident, Lauren Machado, 21.

She said the stock might drop but said the arrival of the new iPhone should help.

"They've been so successful with their new products that I don't think in the end it'll be bad," she said. "There's no one else like them in the industry."

With contributions from Cupertino Patch Editor Anne Ernst, Mountain View Patch Editor Claudia Cruz and Los Altos Patch Editor L.A. Chung

Randy Mont-Reynaud, PhD August 25, 2011 at 01:40 PM
You know, I'm struggling to understand comments, feel sympathy and concern for a company's stock losing ground, when we are confronting a serious deteriorating health situation and loss of the company founder/leader! What has happened to our humanity?
Avni Nijhawan August 25, 2011 at 08:00 PM
Thanks for your comment, Randy. Nearly everyone I spoke with was worried about Jobs' health, sympathized with his situation, and wished him the best.
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