This year saw a number of high-profile executive departures at leading tech vendors, from the inglorious exit of HP's Léo Apotheker to shakeups at IBM and McAfee as companies found themselves looking for a new face for the brand.
No boardroom shakeup, however, could compare to the situation Apple faced in 2011 when Steve Jobs resigned as chief executive and later passed away after complications from pancreatic cancer.
The year started off on a high note for Apple. The company launched an updated MacBook Air, further slimming down the ultra-portable notebook and adding an Intel Core i7 processor.
Among the biggest releases was the iPad 2, which added mobile broadband connectivity along with a faster processor and more storage. As with previous iOS devices, the iPad 2 was an instant hit with consumers, shifting an estimated 500,000 units in its first weekend on the market.
Apple also released the iPhone 4S, sporting an improved camera and processor along with a firmware update which introduced the Siri voice control platform.
The end of summer saw the delivery of Mac OS X Lion, the first full update to the platform in two years, offering support for the multi-touch gestures seen on the iOS interface.
Apple also turned out a string of record quarters in what was its strongest financial year to date. Along with solid iPad and iPhone sales, Apple's Macintosh computer line saw some of its best numbers ever.
All of these accomplishments, however, were overshadowed by the departure of Steve Jobs. His resignation and untimely death at the age of 56 left Apple without the leadership of its iconic co-founder for the first time in more than a decade.
Jobs' health problems had been no secret. The Apple boss took his second stretch of medical leave in January, and formally announced in August his decision to retire from the company he helped establish in 1976.
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