Thursday, January 27, 2011

The Future of Apple Without Steve Jobs (Video) "Apple is Steve Jobs & Steve Jobs is Apple" AAPL


Apple Co-Founder and CEO Steve Jobs in the early years

The Future of Apple Without Steve Jobs

Apple Inc. Co-Founder and CEO Steve Jobs announced in an email to employees on Monday, January 17, 2011 that he was taking a medical leave of absence. Apple released a Media Advisory that same day. Both are reviewed here. The estimated length of the medical leave of absence is not disclosed.

Steve Jobs is a tech legend and has been the driving force behind Apple. Steve Jobs is synonymous with the Apple brand. What does the future hold for Apple Inc. without Steve Jobs if his medical leave of absence is lengthy or if he never comes back?

Leander Kahney of the Cult of Mac believes in the short-term there is no impact on Apple products. "They have a deep product pipeline. They have a road map for at least the next 3 to 5 years. The company is well-prepared for his leave of absence." With regards to Steve Job's famous live product launches, Kahney states, "There is no one who puts on a show like Steve Jobs. That will certainly suffer (with the absence of Steve Jobs)."

What about the long-term impact to Apple if Steve Jobs does not come back from medical leave? Kahney states, "Obviously it's not going to have the same magic without him. Look at Pixar his other company. While he was running Apple, Pixar was turning out a string of blockbuster movies. He had set up the creative processes at Pixar and it was able to execute without him micromanaging everything that went on there. I think the same thing is going to be true at Apple. He's got a really good, deep bench of executive talent. They've got these great creative processes at the company. I think it is going to manage without him.

Steve Jobs' specific health issues are a mystery. "There's no one that has any good information", says Kahney. "People are hoping it has to do with his liver transplant. Everyone is hoping it is not a recurrence of the cancer."

What about the Apple succession plan? Tim Cook, the Apple Inc. COO, has taken over responsibility for daily operations. Kahney states, "Tim is the anointed successor. It (Apple) has a great team, one of the best management teams in American business. There are lots of people who will fill some of the roles that Steve has been performing there at Apple. So there are a lot of people who will fill part of Steve's shoes."

In retrospect, has it been wise for Apple to have its brand so closely aligned with Steve Jobs? Kahney says, "It worked great while Steve was there. This is the crunch time, this is where that story looks a little fallible. It worked great. Apple is Steve Jobs and Steve Jobs is Apple. He's done a great job being the figurehead for that company. He really humanized it, he really put a human face on such a big company. So now when he's stepping down there is a vacuum."

CNN "Apple's Future Without Steve Jobs" Cult of Mac's editor Leander Kahney talked about Apple's future with CNN's Kristie Lu Stout.

Co-Founder and CEO Steve Jobs put a human face on Apple Inc.

About Apple Inc.

Apple designs Macs, the best personal computers in the world, along with OS X, iLife, iWork, and professional software. Apple leads the digital music revolution with its iPods and iTunes online store. Apple is reinventing the mobile phone with its revolutionary iPhone and App Store, and has recently introduced its magical iPad which is defining the future of mobile media and computing devices.

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