Who would best succeed Steve Jobs from Apple’s current executive team?

Philip Elmer-DeWitt blogs for Fortune, “With fresh concerns about [53-year-old Apple CEO Steve Jobs’] health following his gaunt appearance at the World Wide Developers Conference two weeks ago, it’s fair to ask: who’s on that executive team — and which ones have a shot at ruling Apple once Jobs leaves (even if he exits years from now and not for health reasons)?”

“There are 11 men in all — not counting Jobs. A handful are familiar faces to the small community of professional Apple watchers. As far as the general public is concerned, they are invisible, hidden in the long shadow cast by Apple’s high-profile CEO,” Elmer-DeWitt writes.

“Some seem more qualified to step into Jobs’ shoes than others, but judge for yourself,” Elmer-DeWitt writes. “Here they are, as listed on the company’s Executive Profiles web page, in rough order of their chances of succeeding Steve Jobs.”

• Timothy D. Cook, 47: Chief operating officer
• Tony Fadell, 38: Senior vice president, iPod division
• Ron Johnson, 49. Senior vice president, retail
• Philip W. Schiller, 47: Senior vice president, worldwide product marketing
• Scott Forstall: Senior vice president, iPhone software
• Jonathan Ive, 41: Senior vice president, industrial design
• Peter Oppenheimer, 45: Chief financial officer
• Bertrand Serlet, 47: Senior vice president, software engineering
• Sina Tamaddon, 50: Senior vice president, applications
• Daniel Cooperman, 56: Senior vice president, general counsel and secretary
• Bob Mansfield: Senior vice president, Mac hardware engineering

Full article here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “JES42” for the heads up.]

MacDailyNews Note: Elmer-Dewitt doesn’t offer Forstall’s and Mansfield’s ages. If you have one or both, with source links, please send them to and we’ll add them to this article.


  1. Tim Cook? He’s a bit old and doesn’t seem to have the same charisma and innovative style that Steve does. I vote for Jonathan Ive! His team designs the hardware so they know much about what people will want.

  2. how morbid, i think jobs and his team have set the company up for a good 5 – 10 years on the right track, whom ever succeeded would have to be REALLY bad to steer the company wrong at this point.

  3. It’ll probably take more than one, if not the whole team, to fill the shoes anyway. Even then there will be growing room. It would probably take a few years for a true leader to emerge after that. Hopefully the transition will occur BEFORE Jobs leaves the planet.

  4. Steve Jobs is not dead yet, not by a long shot, but people are openly taking odds on who’ll be at his desk after the College of Cardinals votes, and white smoke wafts over Cupertino.

    I’d feel odd if this were happening to me, but I guess that Steve Jobs and the pope are used to it by now.

  5. Jonathan Ive, if given the chance, would turn it down. He’s very shy. He got Steve to make his acceptance speech for him when he got an award, and he’s never made a presentation at WWDC or anywhere else. He’s happy doing what he loves, and that does not include being a public figure.

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