Analysts: Even without Steve Jobs, Apple can continue to be successful

“The thought of Apple Inc. without Chief Executive Steve Jobs spooks many investors, but his absence might not spell long-term disaster for the innovation machine behind the iPod and iPhone,” Scott Hillis reports for Reuters.

“As valuable as Jobs is, respect for the executive team he has assembled runs high, and Apple could quickly bounce back if Jobs were to leave for whatever reason,” Hillis reports.

“Chief Operating Officer Tim Cook, whose laconic Southern style distinguishes him from the intense Jobs, has won praise from analysts for his firm grasp of day-to-day operations, and is thought to be a likely successor,” Hillis reports. “Jobs may be the public face of products like the iPod, but it is Apple’s top-flight design team led by Jonathan Ives that is responsible for the iconic shapes of the company’s computers and gadgets.”

“‘Steve clearly is the voice of the company, but it would be a big mistake to state that he’s the only one driving the vision of Apple,’ said Tim Bajarin, head of Creative Strategies,” Hillis reports. “‘While Steve is still by far the most important person in the company, he has created a team of people who understand his vision for today and tomorrow and are fully capable of executing on that for three to five years,’ Bajarin said.”

Hillis reports, “Jobs himself has sought to downplay concerns. ‘Some people say, ‘Oh God, if (Jobs) got run over by a bus, Apple would be in trouble.’ And you know, I think it wouldn’t be a party, but there are really capable people at Apple,’ Jobs told Fortune magazine earlier this year.”

More in the full article here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “MacVicta” for the heads up.]

MacDailyNews Take: Common sense. But, try telling it to investors if Jobs ever did get run over by a bus. It’s not difficult to predict initial panic selling followed by the dawning realization that yes, even without Steve Jobs, Apple can continue to be successful. We presume that smart investors would take advantage of the panic, if God forbid, anything ever happened besides a nice planned transition to a post-Jobs Apple.


  1. I hope he’s right, but jobs is a renaissance man. He makes the final decision on design, business, software, focus, enterprise endeavors, etc. I don’t believe anyone else has his power/influence to make things happen or the understanding of what the consumer wants.
    I feel may CEO’s are robots that follow a formula to increase margins. SJ has something very unique. Hate to sound like a fanboi but schools will be studying his company and business model like they talk about Jack Welch and GE’s turnaround.

  2. Call me stupid, but to think that Apple cannot exist with out SJ, is simply terrible thinking. For example, just look at the rumor boards. There are plenty of people on them that create some spectacular mock ups with just PhotoShop. Imagine what some of them can do with the resources of Apple!
    Apple has plenty of people in it’s own company that can step up.

  3. @ BiZarRo BaLlmEr,
    Many CEO’s follow a formula to increase revenue and another formula to decrease costs. That would increase margins except for the fact that those to formulas are often mutually exclusive. Cutting costs through layoffs for example, is bad for morale which hurts quality and productivity.

    It’s almost amusing that CEOs don’t see this, since they’ll be the first to tell you (the consumer) that you get what you pay for!

  4. As I have moved into more of a junior manager role where I am, I find it amazing how STUPID some upper management is (where I am, anyway). Why is it that the formula to most companies is to simply hold meetings. Then they hold more meetings. Then they have six sigma meetings. Then they draw flow charts using Visio or something compatible. Then they print up multiple Excel sheets and present them, along with flow charts, in yet more meetings. However, after weeks and weeks of this stuff, they never actually DO anything.

    The fact that Steve seems to work around that nonsense is why NO company, regardless of its industry, will ever match Apple’s success at this point.

    MW: Later – Let’s have many meetings now. Maybe we’ll implement those plans LATER.

  5. Just keep clickin’ your heels, Dorothy!

    No one at MDN has posted the likely corporate structure chart for Apple once Steve jobs dies, retires, or is excused. Mac fans have been clamoring for a headless Mac, they may soon have to deal with a headless Apple.

    Apple, the all-in-none company.

    Apple, headless, brainless, and hopeless.

    One Infinite Loop, the world’s largest mausoleum.

    After all those years of dodging bullets, Apple finally takes one between the eyes.

    Apple’s 2009 Macworld feature attraction

    Or for the more sentimental fanbois

  6. Duh!

    You think?

    It’s not like Steve is toiling away in the basement writing code every day. His vision is big enough, bright enough, and forward thinking enough for Apple to last without him, although, I hope he’s around for a very long time.

  7. With the absence of Steve Jobs, Apple’s top 5 to 7 people will sit down, look at ‘The Next Big Thing’ and say, “What would Steve do?”

    They have all been exposed to Steve’s ideas. His likes and dislikes. His desire for a product he, himself would buy. They would know what he would say if the product was ‘Just Good Enough’.

    You learn from your teachers, your mentors, your leaders. Some will never be as good as their best mentors but some will actually be better. The top men and women working under Steve right now will be sought after business leaders in their own right in 10 years time.

    What better place to learn how to lead like Steve, the best in the business, than at Apple Inc?

  8. Coulda Shoulda Woulda – But WILL IT? When Steve left the first time history proved that Apple could very well just flounder about, that having a savvy business man at the helm was not all that it would take to make a company like Apple successful.

    I’m actually not a huge fan of SJ the man, and when he came back to Apple I was actually quite skeptical that he would turn things around based on the circumstance of his leaving in the first place – I’m very happy to report my skepticism was unnecessary.

    However, the unfortunate truth is that Apple Inc and Steve Jobs are indelibly linked in the minds of consumers, investors, analysts, nay-sayers, and etc. When SJ finally leaves, make no mistake, Apple is going to get a black eye in the market place. But that doesn’t mean that Apple can’t continue to succeed. I think that, among many other things, it will be important to recognize, admit and address the charisma that SJ brings to the company that he co-founded, and that his successor will have to have some kind of long runway to take-off on, to get up to speed and be solidly airborne before SJ cuts the umbilical cord. If Jobs’ retirement is really as eminent as the press tries to make it sound, then I’m surprised that we haven’t heard more about who might become the new leader. In this case I really do hope that Jobs does admit to his giant ego, because if he doesn’t it won’t bode well for his successor. If the new leader of Apple doesn’t come with some of the egomaniacal qualities of Jobs and Gate then he/she will have to have something else that will drive the engine that we have come to know and appreciate – Apple.

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