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Apple Supremo Steve Jobs Resigns: Will the Company Bear Fruit?

Posted on the 25 August 2011 by Periscope @periscopepost
Apple supremo Steve Jobs resigns: Will the company bear fruit?

Steve Jobs, Apple guiding spirit. Photocredit: Acaben

It’s consternation for computer super-company Apple, as Steve Jobs, its jeans-wearing, charismatic CEO and guiding spirit, announced his resignation on Tuesday night. Former Chief Operating Officer Tim Cook will take Jobs’, er,  job. (Sorry). The accepted reason for his retirement is that Jobs’ medical condition has worsened – he was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in 2004. Apple is now one of the most valuable companies in the US, vying with Exxon Mobil and Microsoft.

Jobs first worked for Apple in 1976, when it was created, with Steve Wozniak, but was given the heave-ho in 1985; it was only 22 years later  that he returned, pulling the company back from the brink of collapse. He oversaw the release of one mega-product after another: the iMac, the iPod, the iPhone and the iPad. Although his position as CEO earns him only $1 a year, he owns 5,426 million Apple shares as well as 138 million shares in Disney, a company that Apple bought. His personal wealth is estimated at more than £3 billion. His influence has been monumental, and people have been queueing up to lavish praise upon him. ”He is the Michelangelo of the digital age,” said LinkedIn CEO Jeff Weine.

Apple’s stock has dropped 5 per cent as a result of his resignation. But should people be worrying? Commentators believe that Apple will now start to buy up more companies – something it hasn’t done so much in the past years. Apple had “a $76.1 billion war chest as of late June,” reported The Atlantic Wire, continuing that “some have noted that Apple had enough financial firepower to buy Bank of America.”

“I believe Apple’s brightest and most innovative days are ahead of it. And I look forward to watching and contributing to its success in a new role,” said Steve Jobs’ resignation letter.

  • Extraordinary chapter. It’s a “sad day,” said Shane Richmond on The Daily Telegraph. But Cook’s taken the helm successfully already, when Jobs has been on medical leave. So why worry? The markets will take this calmly. The way ideas seed through Apple is embedded into the company, even without Jobs. Look at Jobs’ earlier presentations and you’ll see he learned his charisma – and so will his successors. This isn’t the end of Apple, but the end of an “extraordinary chapter.”

“Steve is Apple and Apple is Steve” – Leander Kahney of @cultofmac on the resignation of Steve Jobs

  • Upwardly mobile. On Gizmodo, Brian Barrett said it was “the perfect time” for Jobs to resign, as “Apple has literally never been stronger.” Whilst competitors Dell and Hewlett Packard have been floundering, Apple’s been going from strength to strength. And they’re about to release a new iPhone – and what then? If they release an affordable one, they’ll go “from yuppie luxury to unprecedented populist value.” Don’t forget that the company has got much to come that’s already been planned, which will all have Jobs’ touch. And, duh, he’s staying on as Chaiman of the Board. We hope it’s not because he’s severely ill, as this decision feels like it’s been properly calculated.

“Class-war fact: Ruthlessly competitive, patent-monopolist, multi-billionaire executives are worth fawning over, if they’ve got design sense.” Will Wilkinson of The Economist, on Twitter.

  • A big slice of pie. Felix Salmon at Reuters agreed, gushing liberally about Jobs, before saying that Apple will still “coin simply astonishing amounts of money.” With $7.3 billion of profit “just in the last quarter,” Apple is one of “the most profitable companies the world has ever seen — and makes its stock look almost cheap, even at a market cap of $350 billion.”
  • What’s to worry about? Henry Blodget on Businessinsider was similary bullish. We were expecting this news, he said, and a five per cent drop is hardly significant. Sure, losing Jobs is “a tremendous blow”, but iPads and iPhones are still at a very early stage in their “global market penetration,” which means Apple will be able to continue to grow without new visions – they just need to stay ahead of the game. Apple’s clever closed system gives it enormous power. Plus, it has a great management team. Though there might be a new visionary waiting in the wings, the “company should be fine without him.”
  • Oompa, Loompa. Saul Hansell on said that Steve Jobs was an “impresario” in the tradition of “a Hollywood studio boss”. This didn’t make him pleasant to work with: “to work at Apple was to accept the lot of an Oompa Loompa.” Sure, Jobs wasn’t nice – but his “sheer force of will, self-confidence, vision and perfectionism” made “so many products that delighted so many people precisely because they were improbable.”

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