Who could be Apple’s next visionary leader?

“Are investors losing faith in Apple because there’s no visionary spark at the helm?” Ernie Varitimos writes for The Street. “I think that’s a significant part of Apple’s stock performance of late. There was a grace period after Jobs’ passing, but as time wore on, the absence of a true, charismatic visionary at the top has hurt Apple.”

“There’s no problem from an operational aspect — things are running like a top,” Varitimos writes.

MacDailyNews Take: Uh, “like a top?” 2-months late iMacs that blow the quarter and therefore aid the fomenters in sending the stock tumbling some 40%? A mismanaged Maps debacle that taints “Apple Maps” forever, regardless of how much they improve? John Browett? Shall we continue?

Varitimos writes, “Yet there is a huge deficit in the passion the iMaker once exuded. Maybe it’s just perception, but it is clear that the reality distortion field has dimmed and people who were once devotees of the Apple aura are now being swayed by number of features rather than the balance between form and function.”

MacDailyNews Take: “It is clear?” Prove it or don’t write it, straw man.

Varitimos writes, “Cook is a smart man, a highly effective operations executive, and perhaps history will prove him to be the best. I think he knows not to upset what works. The problem is that he may not know what to do when the landscape changes, and he’s forced to innovate. If he’s truly inherited the vision thing, and if Jobs did his job well enough to surround Cook with people who can collectively carry on in a Jobs-like way, then all is good… Apple needs a charismatic leader… I think [Jony] Ive can do it. He’s already mastered simplicity, the balance of form and function, and aesthetics. He’s tempered and well-liked.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: As we wrote on March 5th:

Nowhere is it more obvious that Tim Cook is not Steve Jobs than on stage. Jony Ive needs to be convinced to take his passion live onto the stage. We saw him do it with extraordinary aplomb at Steve Jobs’ memorial. We see him do it in each new major product’s marketing video. Cook needs to cede the stage to the guy at Apple who is closest to having Steve’s vision, passion and presentation skills. Cook doesn’t strike us as having an overblown ego. He should step back. If Jony is reticent, he needs to be convinced. There is no rule that the CEO has to be the one presenting at Apple events. It is a total waste for Cook to keep trying so obviously hard to do something that is not his forte when Jony exists and is sitting right there backstage. We don’t hang on Cook’s every word (we just wonder why he’s overemphasizing some of them so much). We hung on Steve’s every word. We hang on Jony’s every word. It’s that simple. At the very least, have Tim MC the events, but make sure Jony is the one out there doing the reveals and gushing about the products. If Jony really loves Apple, and we’re sure he does, then he should demand the job. Step back, Tim, and focus on doing what you’re good at.

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


  1. Who are the “visionary sparks at the helm” of Microsoft, Samsung, and just about every major player in the IT sector?
    Right, there is no one in particular that stands-out in that role.
    Varitimos pulled this nonsensical comment to retain a claim to the title of jester at The Street.

    1. “Who are the “visionary sparks at the helm” of Microsoft, Samsung, and just about every major player in the IT sector?”

      um…Steve Jobs.

      That’s the problem

    2. All this crap about Apple being doomed because Steve isn’t there is as sensible as sensible as saying theatre is no more because Shakespeare died. Yes, Steve was a rare genius. But without him, and in spite of a couple of major errors, Apple is still way ahead of any other tech company I can see.

  2. His name was Scott Forstall…

    Tim fired him because Mansfield and Ive hated the guy..

    So our options are Ive, which is not gonna happen he hates being on stage and Phil, who is too dorky and smug to pull it off. Uh OH!

    1. THAAAATSSSS!! what wroooong with Apple. They subscribed to this new wussified workplace environment of –“oh yes we’ve all got to like each other and friends be successful–kiss kisss kiss hug hug hug collaborate team, this team that–well what do you think, I don’t know what do you think” environment.

      I mean how many of them REALLLLY LIKED Steve Jobs?!?!

      1. Rememeber when MEN used to run company’s with a cigar in one hand and a brandy in the other. Now they do it with a latte in one hand, an i-device in the other with their heads perpetually tilted forward 45 degrees, in a pair of flip-flops and shants!!!

  3. the “huge deficit in the passion the iMaker once exuded” ain’t gonna be remedied, ever. It’s like everyone sittin’ around Anaheim waitin’ for Walt Disney to return. Some people are one -in-a-million. Steve Jobs was one of those people.

      1. ‘Oh, a wise guy!’ (yuck, yuck, yuck)…

        Forget Tim Cook or Jony Ives… Go with Michael Dell! At least that would lend credence to Apple’s stock price drop!

  4. Jony Ives, with a bit of coaching, would be the man to present new products but his passionate efforts to maintain high quality design and unique solutions could be in conflict with the executives responsible for engineering, production and delivery.

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