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Apple's share price has dropped over 5 per cent in after hours trading, following the news that Steve Jobs has resigned as CEO.

The company released a statement announcing Jobs's resignation at about 3:30pm Pacific, after the markets had closed in New York, and as of 5pm Pacific, Apple's share price had fallen from 376.18 to 356.61, a drop of 5.20 per cent.

Prior to the announcement, Apple's stock was suspended from trading.

Apple is the world's second most valuable company, after Exxon, and the world's most valuable technology company. But its fortunes have been closely tied to Jobs, who founded Apple and – after a spell outside the company in the late 80s and early 90s – guided the company to heights few thought were possible.

In 2008, Apple shares fell as much as 5.4 per cent after an online rumor said Jobs had suffered a major heart attack. The rumor was not true, but prior to Apple denying the report, the company's share price hit a 17 month low.

Over the previous year, the company's stock price had already dropped 49 per cent, due – at least in part – to questions over the health of Apple's leader. In 2004, Jobs had surgery to treat a rare form of pancreatic cancer, and when he appeared in public in July of 2008, he was significantly thinner than before.

In January 2009, Jobs took a leave of absence from the company, saying he was suffering from a "hormone imbalance". He returned to the job six months later, but then in January of this year, he announced another medical leave.

Despite Jobs's continued health problems over the past three years, Apple's share price has more than tripled. Former Apple COO Tim Cook has taken over the CEO post. He also served as acting CEO while Jobs was on medical leave. ®

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