CEO Resignation Letter (+5 Samples)

In this blog post, we’ll look at five samples of resignation letters for CEOs. Some of the examples included are actual letters written by famous CEOs.

Writing a CEO Resignation Letter

A CEO’s resignation letter isn’t too different from a regular letter of resignation. However, you can keep the following points in mind:

  • Your letter should be timestamped including a departure date
  • State the executive resignation notice period in your contract
  • Explain the reason for resignation
  • Express your gratitude and offer help with the transition
  • End on a positive note
  • Proofread and hand a physical copy to each superior/board member

Sample 1:

“Addie James

5555 Jones Avenue

Pismo Beach, CA 55555

February 18, 2021

The Board of Directors

Orange Media House

555 Juniper Way

Arroyo Grande, CA 55555

Respected board members,

Please accept this letter as formal notification of my resignation from my position as chief executive officer with Orange Media House. My last day will be Friday, Feb. 19.

I am grateful for the valuable experience and the opportunities I received while working at Orange Media House over the past 10 years. It’s been great to work with such talented and helpful colleagues. During my time at Orange Media House, I was able to grow both personally and professionally, which I know will benefit me in my future endeavors.

Please let me know if I can help with the transition process. I’ll do everything possible to complete my duties and train others as needed. I wish you and the staff continued success and hope to stay in touch moving forward.


Addie James”

Sample 2:

The body of the resignation letter by Jan Koum, who served as Whatsapp CEO from 2009-2018:

“It’s been almost a decade since Brian and I started WhatsApp, and it’s been an amazing journey with some of the best people. But it is time for me to move on. I’ve been blessed to work with such an incredibly small team and see how a crazy amount of focus can produce an app used by so many people all over the world.

I’m leaving at a time when people are using WhatsApp in more ways than I could have imagined. The team is stronger than ever and it’ll continue to do amazing things. I’m taking some time off to do things I enjoy outside of technology, such as collecting rare air-cooled Porsches, working on my cars and playing ultimate frisbee. And I’ll still be cheering WhatsApp on – just from the outside.

Thanks to everyone who has made this journey possible.”

Sample 3:

“Dear Board of Directors:

I hereby resign my position as CEO of ABC Industries, Inc. effective upon the appointment of my successor. It has been an honor to lead ABC Industries these past 3 years and to serve the millions of customers who use our software products all over the world. I am proud of what we have accomplished as a team on behalf of our customers and employees as we pursue the interests of the company and bring value to technology users on a global level. I am convinced that ABC will continue to be an increasingly strong force in the technology industry and will bring innovative ideas and create pioneering technologies for our customers worldwide.

It has been my great privilege to work with an exceptionally dedicated and skilled team of executives and managers who lead the most talented group of customer representatives I have ever seen in all of my years in the technology industry. I am exceedingly grateful for all of the long hours and hard work ABC’s employees have put in to boost the company from a small regional technology firm to a global industry and contender for the world’s top seller of advanced technology. These are not accomplishments a CEO makes alone. These are achievements that require a committed team of gifted, tenacious individuals who come together to work relentlessly for a common goal.

As many of you know, one of my passions is the development of alternate energy sources to provide power and fuel for vehicles, homes and industries. I believe in the future of clean energy and greatly desire to be a part of advancing this incredible technology. I am fiercely committed to finding a way to bring affordable, clean energy to every home and business in America. For this reason I have decided to accept the position of CEO with XYZ Clean Energy, a new but groundbreaking company already making great strides in the field.

It has been my pleasure to lead the team at ABC Industries. I could not have asked for a more supportive board of directors and I treasure the friendships I have cultivated with each one of you. Thank you for the opportunity to serve as your CEO these last 3 years.

With gratitude and warm regards,

Allen White (Signature)

Allen L. White”

Sample 4:

“People of Groupon,

After four and a half intense and wonderful years as CEO of Groupon, I’ve decided that I’d like to spend more time with my family. Just kidding – I was fired today. If you’re wondering why… you haven’t been paying attention. From controversial metrics in our S1 to our material weakness to two quarters of missing our own expectations and a stock price that’s hovering around one-quarter of our listing price, the events of the last year and a half speak for themselves. As CEO, I am accountable.

You are doing amazing things at Groupon, and you deserve the outside world to give you a second chance. I’m getting in the way of that. A fresh CEO earns you that chance. The board is aligned behind the strategy we’ve shared over the last few months, and I’ve never seen you working together more effectively as a global company – it’s time to give Groupon a relief valve from the public noise.

For those who are concerned about me, please don’t be — I love Groupon, and I’m terribly proud of what we’ve created. I’m OK with having failed at this part of the journey. If Groupon was Battletoads, it would be like I made it all the way to the Terra Tubes without dying on my first ever play-through. 

I am so lucky to have had the opportunity to take the company this far with all of you. I’ll now take some time to decompress (FYI I’m looking for a good fat camp to lose my Groupon 40, if anyone has a suggestion), and then maybe I’ll figure out how to channel this experience into something productive.

If there’s one piece of wisdom that this simple pilgrim would like to impart upon you: have the courage to start with the customer. My biggest regrets are the moments that I let a lack of data override my intuition on what’s best for our customers. This leadership change gives you some breathing room to break bad habits and deliver sustainable customer happiness – don’t waste the opportunity!

I will miss you terribly.



Sample 5:


 The Apple Board of Directors and the Apple Community

I have always said if there ever came a day when I could no longer meet my duties and expectations as Apple’s CEO, I would be the first to let you know. Unfortunately, that day has come. I hereby resign as CEO of Apple. I would like to serve, if the Board sees fit, as Chairman of the Board, director, and Apple employee. As far as my successor goes, I strongly recommend that we execute our succession plan and name Tim Cook as CEO of Apple. 

I believe Apple’s brightest and most innovative days are ahead of it. And I look forward to watching and contributing to its success in a new role. I have made some of the best friends of my life at Apple, and I thank you all for the many years of being able to work alongside you.


If you like this blog post, please leave your comments and questions below.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do you resign from executive position?

Resigning from an executive position should be done professionally as it is an impactful job role. There should be verbal and written intimation with an appropriate notice period and the resignation letter should be formal.

How do I write a beautiful resignation letter?

A beautiful resignation letter will maintain a polite tone and speak about positive things. It will include a message of gratitude with specific instances. You can also offer your assistance with the transition.

How do you write a short resignation letter?

The most basic resignation letter only requires a salutation, statement of intent, official dates or notice period, and if comfortable, a brief explanation for resignation.


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