Researchers: Steve Jobs resignation will test employee loyalty at Apple

“Steve Jobs’ resignation as Apple CEO will spawn some soul-searching on Infinite Loop in the days and weeks ahead, as Apple’s 49,000 employees decide exactly where their loyalties lie, according to researchers who study the effects of leadership change on organizations,” Dave Mosher reports for Wired.

“‘Employees are asking themselves, ‘Was I working for Apple or for Steve?’ If the answer is Steve, they will wonder if Apple will be the same place without him,’ said Gary Ballinger of the University of Virginia, who studies how departing bosses affect employees and other components of a company,” Mosher reports. “Though Jobs’ departure from Apple has been anticipated for years, and he will remain involved as chair of the company’s board, the move will invariably sow some psychic tumult — both with workers and consumers. Apple has a history of high job satisfaction among employees and a cultlike following among its users. How much of that depended on Jobs will become more clear as people in both groups adjust to his absence.”

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“Some Jobs fans at Apple may strike out on their own to create new companies or join other tech companies, but many will look up to Cook as carrying Jobs’ torch,” Mosher reports. “‘When Steve is on stage, everyone has always marveled at his presence. He is the product. He’s a Mac or an iPhone, that’s what he is,’ said Jay Elliot, author of The Steve Jobs Way and a former senior VP of Apple who worked closely with Jobs in the 1980s. Elliot says he ‘saw Steve Jobs’ in Cook onstage when Verizon announced the iPhone, and that Cook has picked up and learned from Jobs’ intensity for perfection.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Tim Cook is going to surprise a lot of people.



  1. Still there – yes. These researchers and analysts are driving me nuts with their drivel about Steve Jobs. In most cases it sounds like the man has died and the sky is falling.

  2. Jeez, this guy knows nothing of human psychology. The fact that Steve is leaving because he’s sick and maybe dying will likely dig people in further simply out of loyalty, pride, sadness, and honor.

    Come on Steve, get better. Even if you don’t go back to CEO, there’s so much more to do for people on this planet. You’re a point of inspiration and leadership that a lot of people are not ready to let go of as yet and quite frankly need. Or just screw all of that and get better for your family.

  3. Whether Steve is there or not, he has successfully inculcated the organization with “think different”.

    Those who care will find few opportunities elsewhere to work at such a place.

  4. Listen to the quarterly earnings calls. Cook has had a great presence – authoritative and confident. Is he a clone of Steve? He is not. However, he has been at Apple almost since Steve’s return in July 1997 and very clearly enjoys Steve’s full confidence. He has seen the current success from the ground up- from the original iMac in 98 to the iPod to iTunes and on… The company should continue to have great success under him and the current managers.

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