I guess we should have seen it coming, but the news late Wednesday that Steve Jobs will resign as Apple CEO is sending shock waves through the tech world. Few companies have had their success more closely tied to their chief executive than Jobs at Apple. Now with Jobs no longer steering the ship, what's in the future for the Cupertino based giant?
If history is our guide, Apple should be pretty worried. Steve Jobs was a key figure at Apple from its founding up until the release of the Macintosh in 1984, then he was gone for 12 years, a period when Apple struggled to survive at times. His return in the late 1990s marked the start of the boom times at Apple, all the way up to Apple being declared the world's most valuable company earlier this month. It seems as if over the decades, Apple's fortunes have been pretty closely tied to whether Jobs was in the hot seat or not.
On a brighter note, it's not as if Steve Jobs guiding hand will be gone from Apple completely. As chairman of Apple's board of directors, he will still have input into the future direction of the company, mirroring Bill Gates' current role over at rival Microsoft. Apple's new CEO will be Steve Jobs' hand picked successor Tim Cook, who has already been effectively running Apple for a couple of years during Jobs' extended absences while he deals with his medical issues.
So what do you think, is Apple's corporate ethos now embedded deeply enough to continue without the guy who developed it, or should we all be dumping our Apple stock holdings?
Apple timed its announcement carefully to come just after the markets were closed for the day, presumably to smooth out any rash decision making by investors. It will be interesting to see how things play out.
You can read his public resignation letter here.
Via Financial Times