Apple is one of the most prominent companies in the world, and arguably, it’s the most visible technology brand in the world.
It’s hard to believe that little more than a decade ago, Apple was potentially on the brink of disaster. While many people were involved in turning Apple around, one man, Steve Jobs, provided the vision that led the company to new heights.
But the Steve Jobs era at Apple is officially over. Yesterday, the visionary leader of the world’s richest technology company resigned from his post as CEO.
Needless to say, Jobs’ announcement sparked a media fury that only Steve Jobs can. Is Jobs seriously ill again? What does this mean for the company’s future? Can new CEO Tim Cook fill Jobs’ shoes?
But what does Jobs’ resignation really mean for Apple? Here’s the low-down.
Jobs isn’t going away, yet.
There are still many questions surrounding Steve Jobs’ health, and his resignation as Apple’s CEO are only likely to increase speculation that Jobs’ may not be physically capable of running Apple on a day-to-day basis as CEO.
But Jobs isn’t disappearing tomorrow. In a letter to the Apple board, he asked to serve as the company’s Chairman, and “Apple employee“.
So long as Jobs is capable of working, you can be sure he’ll continue to play a major role in Apple’s product development and the setting of its strategic direction, even if he’s not officially the ‘boss‘.
Apple has a deep talent pool.
To some, Steve Jobs is Apple, and Apple is Steve Jobs. To be sure, Jobs is the human face of the company, but make no mistake about it: Apple is a company with some of the brightest, most capable people in the technology industry. Furthermore, it has the reputation and cash position that enables it to acquire talent very easily.
So while Jobs’ departure from the role of CEO is great fodder for debates about Apple’s future, there’s absolutely no reason to believe that Apple doesn’t have the human resources it needs to succeed in the future.
When it comes to the CEO position, it should be noted that Tim Cook has served as CEO several times previously, and Apple already has a management team filled with strong leaders, some of whom might be viable CEOs in their own right.
It was better for Steve to resign now.
It’s easy to look past Steve Jobs’ health issues, but the reality is that the operation he had several years ago didn’t come with any guarantees.
With Apple flying high, one could argue that Jobs’ decision to resign now — even if his health didn’t demand it — was a smart move.
He’s going out while Apple is at the top, and he can see his succession plan through to fruition without creating the risk that an unforeseen health issue would force him to resign more suddenly at a later date (or worse).
Nobody can sell like Steve Jobs, but Apple products will still sell without him.
Call it whatever you want (charisma, the ‘reality distortion field‘, etc.), but when it comes to selling the Apple brand and Apple products, nobody is more capable than Steve Jobs. While it remains to be seen whether or not Jobs will maintain some consumer-facing roles at Apple, the day will come when he’s not Apple’s chief salesman.
The good news for Apple: its products will still sell. Yes, the most loyal Apple fans may not get their WWDC Steve Jobs keynote fixes, but at the end of the day, the consumers who have propelled Apple to success aren’t buying Apple because of Steve Jobs; they’re buying because of the products.
That won’t change anytime soon, Steve Jobs at Apple’s helm or not.