Who can replace Steve Jobs as Apple CEO?

“Who can replace Steve Jobs? When Apple needed a substitute after its iconic CEO backed out of delivering his annual keynote at the upcoming Macworld conference, it tapped Phil Schiller, its senior vice president of worldwide marketing,” Troy Wolverton writes for The San Jose Mercury News.

Wolverton writes, “The announcement last week that Schiller will fill in for Jobs at next month’s event begs a larger question: Who might step into Jobs’ shoes when he eventually departs Apple?”

Here are some of the personalities who top the list:
• Phil Schiller, 48, Senior vice president, worldwide product marketing
• Tim Cook, 48, Chief operating officer
• Ron Johnson, 50, Senior vice president, retail
• Bill Campbell, 68, Co-lead director at Apple and chairman of Intuit

Full article here.


  1. What is missing from the resume of each and every one of the people who have been proposed as Steve’s replacements is vision—the ability to visualize what most people can’t even imagine until someone like Steve Jobs shows it to them. This kind of vision is a rare talent, not something you can pick up just by working at Apple, no matter how diligently.

  2. This kind of vision is a rare talent, not something you can pick up just by working at Apple, no matter how diligently.

    Absolutely. Remember, Jobs had his talent before Apple. ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”smile” style=”border:0;” />

    The big question is whether a Steve Jobs could be spotted and groomed under a… Steve Jobs. Things are of course different in a large corporation than in a garage startup. Remember how Woz and Jobs were brushed off by their big employers.

  3. Why is this list full of people who are around the same age or older than Steve? What sense does that make?

    I have to agree with Beowlf and say Scott is a likely candidate. He seems to have come out of nowhere recently and is the most Steve-like person we’ve seen yet. Although I really do like Johnny Ive. He’s got a spark as well, but his shyness means no major keynotes and low visibility are his thing.

  4. People, People… two words: Steve Wozniak.

    In what I believe to be a secret deal made in 1987, the other Steve agreed to step down from his post at Apple Computer at the request of Pepsi flunky John Sculley. Woz is reported to have said to Sculley, “I’ll leave if you’ll agree to grand-father me in as then next CEO after Steve Jobs”. Sculley of course agreed, thinking that Woz was having another one of his anterograde amnesia episodes. Of course, Woz was not and he could forsee the future in which the Apple Board of Directors would beg Jobs to return to the helm and restore Apple to it’s glory and Chairlift the company finally up the mountain to total market domination… ahem.

    Once there … Woz could assume an introverted leadership role and roll-out even more futuretastic inventions never dreamed of before. Get ready for the quote: “Oh, and just 3 more things”

  5. I too am sick to death and fed up with these articles and speculation. Is this wishful thinking or are people so bored they compulsively keep regurgitating this nonsense?

    I hope Steve outlasts us all and remains at Apple long after every single vulture who’s written one of these articles draws their last breath!

  6. MDN – Here are some reasons you probably don’t want to drive traffic to the San Jose Mercury News or Troy Wolverton: http://www.roughlydrafted.com/2007/08/05/more-on-troy-wolverton-the-street-and-apple-scandal/

    And I’m with ron on this. I realize that these stories are out there, so it makes sense that MDN would cite them and invite us to comment on them, but seriously, this is getting to the point of overkill. Knock it off already, please.

  7. I wonder if Bin Ladin will be short listed? After all the guy can knock the competitor’s product right to the ground for, how long has it been now…7 years (they are going to rebuild those towers… right … eventually … ) and not only has evaded the authorities they sent most of them looking elsewhere for someone else who was even not involved. Talk about scapegoating.

    Can you imagine what would happen to MS if he lead Apple?

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