Is Apple starting to unravel without Steve Jobs?

“Apple Inc.’s shares are now down nearly 15% since they briefly passed the $700 mark in mid-September,” Therese Poletti reports for MarketWatch.

“The latest pinch happened on Wednesday, after the two-day trading hiatus, when the stock slipped nearly 1.5% in reaction to the company’s biggest management shake-up in years, which pushed out the polarizing head of mobile software, Scott Forstall,” Poletti reports. “While analysts have tried to soothe investors that all is well with their beloved Apple, there are increasing jitters about the changes in Cupertino, Calif., in the post-Steve Jobs era… That perspective is still in the minority. The Wall Street Journal noted Wednesday that Apple, under Cook, is run ‘more smoothly than under Mr. Jobs, when employees lived in constant fear of falling victim to a Jobs tirade or a whim,’ and that the recent shake-up demonstrates Cook’s resolve to ‘tackle thorny personnel issues that Mr. Jobs let fester.'”

Poletti reports, “everal analysts agreed, maintaining bullish views on the company despite the surprise departures that also included newly hired retail head John Browett. ‘This isn’t the first time that senior executives have departed the company,’ wrote Shaw Wu, an analyst with Sterne Agee, in a note to clients Tuesday, listing a stream of exec exits over the years that have included former finance chief Fred Anderson to hardware-engineering leader Jon Rubenstein. ‘The company has arguably not missed a beat,’ Wu continued, adding that ‘this is a testament to Apple’s strong culture that continues to endure despite changes in personnel through the years.'”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: The answer to the headline is: No. Quite the opposite, in fact.

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29 Comments

    1. And another Jobs-related nonsense is that people were so-in-the-fear of him. There are ancient scary tales from the past when it was true, but at all times people understood Jobs’ tamper, and they worked for him for decades. If they would be truly feared, then they could not perform that well. Also, no one was really fired by jobs in the latest decades just on a whim — however angry he could be with his tirades of rage.

    2. if all you think about is markets and shares
      then Cook is the right man for you.

      sadly Apple did not re-invent itself by the climb of market shares and stock pricing

      it has been and remains solely true – the products and quality and the simplicity of use – not the simplicity of design – made Apple what Apple has always been from the beginning

      the re-investion of Apple was the birth of iOS and
      hence Apple Inc. So the driving force is Apple’s iDevices – not the stock market… no matter how high or how low… Apple Inc is all about iOS and the spin off of OSX into smaller sweeter kinder simpler computing power – Kicking Scott out was the worse News yet for Apple… But the aftermath of those who have been in the shift for new positions will honestly be the crumble pie for Apple as it implodes. And so, mark my words today – like it or not – blame Tim Cook.

  1. Umm, No. Once and a while their stock goes on sale. It’s just time to buy more. They will undoubtedly have more products/updates closer to Christmas, sales will be fine.

    1. Exactly. Investors know what they are investing in. Fools gamble, and some get rich sometimes. Investors have done well with Apple. Screw everyone else, what use are they to Apple?

    2. apple already did from September to October. all updates, and new products are done. the question is how apple will sell many of them as many as possible? it won’t be better than last year. ipad mini will piss off apple performance.

  2. Analyst don’t analyze apple, they just say what they “fell” and they fell hate because apple is so hard to predict.
    With almost 200Billion in cash on hand, apple couldn’t care less for what analyst says or what small investors do. Shares could fall to 300.00 Dlls again and apple will remain very healthy.
    Apple only cares about making the best product on the planet and they still have plenty of cash to do that.

  3. The real answer is no one knows what is going on. It smells like political infighting, but who knows? Everything outside of Apple is conjecture. It is inference based on rumors, blogs, etc. No one knows, not MDN, not our fun little peanut gallery here, not the people who say this is great, not the people who say this is bad.

    1. I think Tim Cook is learning all the final ramifications of being CEO and that the buck stops with him. He needs to be more hands on making sure any product Apple ships is as bullet proof as possible and not take any exec’s word for it. Apple can no longer afford bad PR as the online press will always blow it up beyond all recognition and end up doring real damage to the stock and reputation.

  4. I’m getting sick of MDM headlines. You should identify the source of the articles in the title of the “teaser” links on your main page. For example “Marketwatch: Is Apple Starting to Unravel Without Steve Jobs?” This helps identify original Apple news from MDN and simple regurgitation from other sources. I feel a bit manipulated much as when a Rush Limbaugh radio babble link leads to that cute picture of him peering around an imaginary corner. I come to MDN for original Apple news and insight and I’d like to know the difference before I click.

  5. The sentiment in the headline seems to come from “Stephen Diamond, associate professor of law at Santa Clara University…”. An associate professor is one step above a barista.

    The school touts itself as the “oldest institution of higher learning” in California, founded in 1851 as a prep school and becoming a college in 1853. Apparently, they forgot about University of the Pacific, which actually is the oldest university west of the Mississippi, founded in 1851.

    Next MarketWatch will be reporting on investment strategies endorsed by Alec Baldwin’s barber and Joe the Plumber.

    1. Zeke the fact checker. They didn’t forget, Zeke, they never knew in the first place, didn’t care, were lazy and presumed, as usual, that their audience was lazier, gullible, stupid, and even if not they would still get away with it and live to lie, cheat, and steal another day. God, I hate the Internet.

  6. No no, the share price does not tell us of a major problem. A loss of $100 sounds severe, but that’s only about 15%, not much compared to the historical bear raids on this stock. Sell-offs used to exceed 40%. And when combined with a larger market meltdown, such as post Y2K and the Great Recession of 08/09 AAPL has dropped 80% and 60% respectively. In fact the long term numbers show AAPL down-turns getting shallower and of shorter duration, a refreshing turn toward stability, even while vastly out-performing the market. The dividend has surely helped reduce volatility and a large-factor split to qualify for the Dow would also get index funds to help. Of course trees don’t grow to the sky and another tripling of the share price seems unlikely, but provided this company can continue to out-innovate the competition, it is solid. But if we stop seeing a parade of new, transcendent Apple products, then it will unravel.

  7. “This isn’t the first time that senior executives have departed the company”

    It isn’t?!?!?
    They aren’t appointed for life???
    Shocked, absolutely shocked!

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