By the time I woke here in the Greek islands, every man and his dog had had a say about last night’s resignation. It’s something that has been expected for at least two years and there has been resulting uncertainty about the future of Apple. So the fact of the resignation is not a surprise. What does impress me, though, is the careful way this has been handled by Apple. We have a resignation when Apple is riding high; and we have a clear succession in Tim Cook. The worst thing would have been an announcement following by a protracted search for a successor.
Tim is a known quantity and a supreme operations man. It is Tim Cook who has ensured that Apple products, particularly the iPad, are manufactured to such high standards and at a price that others cannot match. No one knows how much Steve and how much Tim has been built in to Apple’s recent success, but there is a good suspicion that Tim Cook has played more than his part.
From the point of view of the markets, the announcement will inevitably cause a temporary price fall, as was evident in after-hours trading last night. I believe that Steve’s departure has already been factored into the current share price level. It’s uncertainty that markets don’t like and they will soon come to realise that Jobs’ timely announcement has removed much of this doubt. I will wait to hear from Horace Dediu for a definitive answer, but my personal view is that the share price will soon better reflect Apple’s stellar prospects rather than uncertainty over Steve’s future.
The announcement couldn’t have been made at a better time, a few weeks before the introduction of the iPhone 5 and before what is widely expected to be a monumental third quarter’s performance for the brand. Nonetheless, we shouldn’t forget that this is a resignation from an operational role, not a death. Steve is still with us and I hope he will be around for a long time yet. Above all, his influence will persist. Along with Bill Gates, Steve Jobs will be recorded as a leader of the personal computer world over the past thirty years. Steve Wozniak sums up his career today on Bloomberg:
He’s always going to be remembered, maybe for the next 100 years, as the greatest technology business leader of our time. Company culture doesn’t change overnight. He’s got tens of thousands of employees. The quality of the products reflects how good they are, too.
Along with all other Apple commentators, I am personally very sad to hear the inevitable news that Steve is stepping down. Since I bought my first Mac Mini six years ago, Steve’s philosophy and, above all, his products, have been an integral part of my life. I, and many other regular Apple writers, wouldn’t be sitting here penning these words if we hadn’t all been influenced by Apple.
It’s a good time to look at a younger Jobs and I’m grateful to Stephen M. Hackett of Forkbombr.net for the link to this “Bicycle for our Minds” video. It sums up Jobs and his philosophy.
Finally, since I am currently off piste in the Aegean, let’s give the stage to Greek Mac site, Macephemera.gr. You don’t need to understand the language to know what this headline says: Ο Steve Jobs παραιτείται, ο Tim Cook ο νέος CEO της Apple