Talking tech since 2003

Having had been away from my computer for a good chunk of the afternoon yesterday I was pretty surprised to see a pile of unread messages in my Twitter feed that far surpassed the “regular” number of messages I’d see after such an amount of time.  “Wow,” I thought to myself, “did the east-coast have another earthquake?  Perhaps another musician overdosed, or maybe Justin Bieber released another single.”  But when I actually started reading from my newsfeed I was quickly taken back by the news of Steve Jobs, the CEO of Apple Inc., resigning from his position of chief executive officer.

While I can’t exactly say that I was surprised by the revelation, especially when taking Mr. Jobs’ health concerns into consideration, but the fact that this news came completely out of the blue without any warning really did make me do a double-take.  Even though Steve Jobs isn’t leaving the company entirely but rather pursuing the company’s board to become the board chairman, the fact of the matter still remains that this move and announcement is going to be one that goes down forever in Apple history.  Naturally, my first instinct was to question why Steve Jobs was stepping down.  Had his health taken a turn for the worst?  But without any answers to that question, the first instinctive question that popped into my mind was how Apple would fare without Steve at the throne.

The more I pushed it around though, which I definitely did quite a bit of, I’ve come to the conclusion that Apple isn’t doomed for failure without Steve Jobs in charge.  As a matter of fact, I really doubt that the success of the company will change any after Jobs’ announcement and I’m quite confident that Apple will continue on the same successful path that it has been following for years now.

You see, when it all comes down to it Steve Jobs is really only one person.  Sure, he’s the founder of the company and has come to become an icon for Apple over the years, but in retrospect to Apple’s overall operations Jobs is only a piece of the puzzle.  Really, when you consider all of the employees that work for Apple – hardware engineers, software developers, marketing experts, etc. – I simply cannot see the company tumbling because of one person; even if that person is Steve Jobs.  This isn’t a game of Jenga, folks.

Nonetheless, a company like Apple does need a strong leader.  And after serving as the interim CEO since January and taking the place of Steve Jobs during his various abscesses I’m sure that Tim Cook, the 13-year Apple employee that has managed to climb to climb to the top of the food chain and the individual that Jobs is recommending take his place, will be able to take charge rather seamlessly and lead the company nearly as well as Steve himself.  If anything, the incredibly optimistic part of me thinks that Apple might actually benefit from a CEO with a relatively fresh perspective.

And as much as this day has been dreaded, the fact of the matter is that Steve’s resignation was inevitable.  If it didn’t happen now we’d only be going through this same discussion down the road.  I’m also sure that Apple’s board has known that this announcement and stir-up was bound to happen, and there isn’t a part of me that doubts that Apple’s board has taken every precaution to make this adjustment as easy on the company as possible.  Really, do you think that Apple (and even Steve Jobs himself) hasn’t assessed this situation and strategically planned it to work out best for the company?

When it comes down to it, I’m sure that Apple will be a bit shaky for a while.  This is, after all, pretty big news.  But in the long run I think that an Apple without Steve as CEO, or even an Apple without Steve at all, will fare just fine.


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