What will maker of Macs, iPods and iPhones do if and when Steve Jobs leaves Apple?

“In the world of technology, the words Apple and innovation have become practically synonymous. In one area, however, the maker of personal computers and consumer-electronic devices has shown an inability to think differently,” Rex Crum reports for The Columbus Dispatch.

“And that area is not an insignificant one: It’s the composition of its top leadership,” Crum reports.

“Chief Executive Steve Jobs [age: 52], who co-founded Apple in Cupertino, Calif., more than three decades ago, has grown so intertwined with the company that, to many, Jobs is Apple and vice versa. Given the company’s turbulence during his decade-long absence, Apple faces an extraordinarily difficult task in succession planning,” Crum reports.

“So far, the company has given few, if any, signs that it has even begun,” Crum reports. “An Apple spokesman said the possibility that Jobs will leave the company in the foreseeable future is remote.”

“Apple investors have benefited from Jobs’ second coming. He led the company in resurrecting the fortunes of its line of Macintosh computers as well as in the launch of the iPod, which has garnered a majority share of the market for digital music players,” Crum reports. “On Oct. 23, 2001, the day Apple unveiled the iPod, Apple’s stock closed at a split-adjusted price of $8.41. Shares closed last year around the $85 mark — up 900 percent. The stock has surged close to 50 percent since then, in the aftermath of the introduction of plans for its iPhone, which went on sale June 29. Shares closed [yesterday at $138.10.]”

Full article here.
Viva, Jobs!

82 Comments

  1. I vote for Jon Ive.

    Keep control of the company in the hands of the creative people. The minute you give control to the marketing hacks, salesmen and bean counters, the game is over. Those people have no soul.

    (see: Ballmer)

  2. I’m with macromancer. Jonathon Ive would be the logical choice, given his design brilliance. From the original iMac through the iPod and the G5 Series on. He’s my pick, although I don’t see Jobs going any time soon – being only 52 – unless he chooses to.

  3. Ive has the “cool factor” and he’s certainly a genious industrial design director, but he’s no Steve Jobs.

    He could not make the types of hard decisions which has led to Apple’s meteoric rise to success. If he can, he hasn’t shown that he can (yet).

    Again I hope Jobs does not leave but I’m not sure anyone at the top management of Apple could really replace him. Guess we cross that bridge when we get there.

  4. Jon Ive is The Man when it comes to design…but he may not love the business component. Here’s an excerpt from an interview with him.

    “Q. After graduating, you joined the design consultancy Tangerine. In retrospect, how useful was your experience there?

    A. I was pretty naïve. I hadn’t been out of college for long but I learnt lots by designing a range of different objects: from hair combs and ceramics, to power tools and televisions. Importantly, I worked out what I was good at and what I was bad at. It became pretty clear what I wanted to do. I was really only interested in design. I was neither interested, nor good at building a business.”

  5. The fact is that investment consultants shy away from Apple because it is consider a one man show. Sure 52 is young for Jobs to die of any illness but that is not the number one cause of death in the US – he drives and flies and crosses streets and don’t forget stalkers

  6. I can’t imagine this article is of any interest or concern to anyone.

    The question the Columbus Dispatch should be asking is: What will maker of Windows, Office and Zunes do if and when Steve Ballmer leaves Microsoft?

    It would be a fascinating hypothesis for a remarkable, talented, out-of-the-box thinker and true original: Steve Ballmer.

    Your potential. Our passion.™

  7. Jonathan Ive may not be the ideal replacement for Jobs, but he doesn’t have much competition for the position. Most of the rest think that Apple’s success is due to Jobs’ marketing genius, and anyone who thinks that hasn’t got a clue. It’s his ability to pick the right products to develop, and then develop them with the user in mind (as opposed to the IT department) that makes the difference.

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