“The sudden decision by the company’s chief executive to take a medical leave for the third time in less than a decade raises anxieties about the leadership of the company he helped found more than three decades ago,” Helft and Miller report. “It also puts the spotlight again on several senior executives who have been helping Mr. Jobs run the company, in particular Timothy D. Cook, the chief operating officer, who will take over day-to-day operations during Mr. Jobs’s leave.”
“Mr. Jobs is leaving Mr. Cook in charge, just as he did during a five-month leave in 2009,” Helft and Miller report. “His performance during that time provides a heavy dose of reassurance for nervous investors. Mr. Cook, who joined Apple nearly 13 years ago and is otherwise responsible for the company’s worldwide sales and operations, steered the company successfully the last time around.”
Helft and Miller report, “A handful of other executives, whose roles are complementary to that of Mr. Cook’s, are also expected to see their profiles rise in Mr. Jobs’s absence. They include Jonathan Ive, a London-born designer who is Apple’s senior vice president for industrial design and close to Mr. Jobs. ‘He’s arguably the most important person there outside of Steve,’ said Shaw Wu, an analyst at Kaufman Brothers. ‘He’s responsible for the look and feel of the products, the way they interact with users.’ Philip W. Schiller, the company’s marketing chief, is also expected to play a vital role… And Scott Forstall, senior vice president for iPhone software, is also believed to have an increasingly influential role as software becomes the distinguishing factor on phones and tablets.”
Read more in the full article – recommended – here.