Steve Jobs resigned as CEO of Apple on Wednesday, 25 Aug 2011, a company he co-founded in his garage 35 years ago. The company wasted no time in naming its COO (chief operating officer), Tim Cook, as the new CEO but that was not enough to calm the market in after-hours trading when the stock plunged about 5% or $19 bucks to $357 a share. Obviously the man in the black shirt and jeans who introduced iPod, iPhone and iPad was a legendary and is irreplaceable. Steve Jobs was elected board chairman and Cook is becoming a member of its board.
In a letter addressed to Apple’s board and the “Apple community,” Jobs said he “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.” Steve Jobs, 56, has battled a rare form of cancer since 2003, and had been on medical leave at Apple since January.
Apple first disclosed Jobs’ health problems on Aug. 1, 2004, when it said he had undergone successful surgery to treat a rare form of pancreatic cancer, called islet cell neuroendocrine tumor. Later, Jobs underwent a liver transplant at a Tennessee hospital. William Chapman, a specialist at Washington University who has no direct knowledge of Jobs’s case, said the average five-year survival rate for people with Jobs’ condition who receive a liver transplant is about 50%.
So, with Steve Jobs resignation, does that means his health problem has actually turn for the worst and it’s a matter of time before he dies? Otherwise why would he give up on the CEO post from the company he loves so much? Let’s get real – Apple is Steve Jobs, Steve Jobs is Apple, Steve Jobs is innovation and Steve Jobs is visionary. It’s laughable to read from some analysts that you should not sell your Apple stock because Steve Jobs is leaving the CEO post. Obviously these analysts from Barclays Capital, J.P. Morgan, UBS and Deutsche Bank are not moron but rather caught off-guard with the resignation.
The only time (as far as I can remember) when Apple stock plunged about 5% was when Steve Jobs health problem was made known, or when the Dow Jones tumbled more than 500 points, or when the company missed its earnings expectation (did it ever?). Sure, Timothy Cook is an operational genius but that skill is learnable and you can hire consultants to do that (that was why Tim Cook was hired, no?) but you can’t hire someone equipped with innovations skillsets. Wasn’t Steve Jobs who not only save the company from near bankruptcy but drive it to become the world’s most valuable company?
Of course Apple will not collapse overnight and thanks to Steve Jobs’s iProduct pipeline, it will survive for another few years but what next? After iPod, iPhone and iPad, can Tim Cook continue the products trend in the ever-changing market demands? We’re talking about replacing a guy who shepherded Apple from a two-man startup to Silicon Valley darling and actually sent giant IBM Corp. and others scrambling to get their own PCs to market. We’re talking about replacing a guy whose iPad introduction is tearing down PC industry so much so that Hewlett-Packard’s decision to get out of the PC business was partly due to iPad’s success. Heck, even Microsoft Bill Gates copied his Windows (from that boring DOS) from Apple’s operating system. In short, without Steve Jobs, Apple is nothing.
Sure, people have prepared for a world without Steve Jobs ever since his decision to go on medical leave in January. But people being human being, they still hope Steve Jobs’s health would recover and continue driving the company. Now that Steve is leaving for good, will this same bunch of people stay loyal to Apple, without a visionary? The real issue is the long-term impact to Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL, stock) – both in the innovation products and in retaining the senior talents. Of course Tim Cook is a better and calmer, not to mention humble manager than Steve Jobs but still, that doesn’t make Tim Cook an innovative and visionary person.
On the bright side, Steve Jobs is still alive and kicking, monitoring from the board hence the stock’s plunge would be temporarily, hopefully. Steve Jobs will remain on the board of Walt Disney Co. Jobs, Disney’s largest shareholder with a 7.4% stake (138 million Disney shares), joined the board after the media company acquired his Pixar Animation studio for $7 billion in May 2006. The real Apple stock collapse would happen the moment he dies. Meanwhile, Apple’s competitors are celebrating Steve Job’s resignation.
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