So today the news that many have been expecting for a while came, Steve Jobs is resigning as CEO of Apple – although he is remaining as chairman. There was also the predictable nose dive in the Apple share price. But why?
Jobs has been on medical leave since the beginning of the year, indeed it is his third bout of medical leave over the past few years, but Apple has continued to grow. The news has been expected, and yes whilst it is undeniably sad news, it is perhaps more sad on a personal level for Steve and his family than anything else.
Whilst the markets may see Apple as some sort of glorified sole trader, it isn’t. Whilst the company may have been driven by Jobs, to do that he has brought together a strong team, in particular it has been Tim Cook who is credited with the efficiencies in the Apple supply chain, and Jonathan Ive who is credited with the design of pretty well every Apple product over recent years. There is also a team of dedicated software engineers who have produced MacOS X and iOS, it’s not all Steve Jobs.
Undeniably things will gradually change with Steve Jobs stepping back, but all the key team members that Jobs has put in place will remain, so Apple is not going to instantly implode just because Steve Jobs has resigned. The company will continue. This is a sad moment in the story of Apple, not the end of the story. However if Tim Cook decides to buy a software company, drops iOS and flogs off all the stock of iPhone’s, iPod’s and iPad’s at 70% discount and decides to sell of Mac production because there is more money to be made in software services…