Steve Jobs preparing to leave Apple?

“Steve Jobs is leaving Apple. Not tomorrow, but probably very soon. That’s why he started to say good bye [on Tuesday], doing something more important than just presenting new MacBooks, MacBook Pros, and an updated MacBook Air. [Tuesday’s] event was a play in which he clearly told everyone that the company is more than himself. Since the very first minute, when he immediately sat down to let Tim Cook talk, he was saying: ‘Hey, look, Apple is more than Steve. These are The Guys, the Goodfellas, the A-Team. They share the same vision I have. And they are going to push the company forward when I change my office chair for a hammock and caipirinhas on my private beach in Hawaii,'” Jesus Diaz writes for Gizmodo.

“In the past, Steve Jobs was always the Star of the Show… [On Tuesday] it was the confirmation that those days may be over forever,” Diaz writes.

“Instead of kicking off with a market analysis to prepare the ground, this time it was Tim Cook who took the stage wearing Steve’s color scheme: Blue jeans and black top. Psychologically, this puts them at the same level, easing the future potential power transition. Seems stupid, but you can bet it wasn’t coincidental, even while Cook has zero appeal when compared to the rockstar CEO. Then came “Jony” Ive to talk about the design and aluminum laser making, and it wasn’t until minute 18 that Steve took over to present the actual toys. 27 minutes later, for a man that has taken on two-hour presentations without even blinking [it was all over except for the video and the short Q&A],” Diaz writes.

“I’m sure we still have a lot more shows like this, and that Steve Jobs will always stay at Apple like Bill Gates will always stay at Microsoft, even after his retirement. But the play we saw today was the prologue of the new Apple Without Steve but With Steve Era, Jobs signaling that he’s not alone at the helm, and that if he moves on, nobody should panic. Not explicitly, but the message was there in big neon letters for everyone to see,” Diaz writes.

Much more speculation in the full article here.

Specious or not? Maybe Jobs was just holding an audition? Regardless, it’s probably not a bad idea for Jobs to continue to let others present at events (he’s done it in the past) and let the world slowly grasp that Apple can survive – and thrive – if and when Steve Jobs decides to hand over the reins.

73 Comments

  1. And sometimes a cigar is just a cigar.

    You can’t please anyone: when it was all about Steve, there was no succession plan. When he intros more people into the presentation loop, he’s obviously going.

    Ferchrissakes, he’ll go when he feels he’s outlived his usefulness. That’s the way people like Jobs are. He’s not going to work to anyone else’s timetable or to suit anyone’s agenda.

  2. Jobs will fade slowly away. Turn over more presentation stuff to the other senior execs. Start having a lower profile. Promote himself out of the day to day. He will in the end keep an advisory role.

    It will be a long, soft and deliberate hand over. No sudden annoucements, no big moves.

    This already started 2 years ago, you fscking idiots.

  3. I think it was clearly a set up for Jony Ive to take over. He has the cool factor and he’s trendy. Plus on the macbook video at apple.com Jony is presenting nearly the entire thing. And he even get’s the last word….sounds like “One more thing” material.

  4. Whether he’s at Apple another year, another 15, or he gets hit by a bus tomorrow, it’s obvious that investors are clamoring for a succession plan. Letting others speak is a good way to assure people the company has a Plan B. Why does showing Plan B mean that they’re implementing it “soon”?

  5. Specious or not, just a short few weeks ago Apple locked top management into 5 more years at Apple with the grant of several hundred million in restricted stock grants.

    Jobs has engineered one of the great corporate turnarounds ever. He did it with vision and the assembly of the best management team a public company has ever had. The vision is complete. After 11 years at the helm, and considering his health issues, it is natural that he would be planning his departure.

    I can guarantee that it will be done with Apple’s characteristic class.

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