Steve Jobs Steps Down: What Next? [Open Thread]

To the Apple Board of Directors and the Apple Community:

I have always said if there ever came a day when I could no longer meet my duties and expectations as Apple’s CEO, I would be the first to let you know. Unfortunately, that day has come.

I hereby resign as CEO of Apple. I would like to serve, if the Board sees fit, as Chairman of the Board, director and Apple employee.

As far as my successor goes, I strongly recommend that we execute our succession plan and name Tim Cook as CEO of Apple.

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.

I have made some of the best friends of my life at Apple, and I thank you all for the many years of being able to work alongside you.


That’s the email Apple founder and former CEO, Steve Jobs, sent the staff earlier today; the following is a statement released by Apple shortly thereafter:

Steve has made countless contributions to Apple’s success, and he has attracted and inspired Apple’s immensely creative employees and world class executive team. In his new role as Chairman of the Board, Steve will continue to serve Apple with his unique insights, creativity and inspiration.

A full transcript can be found here, via Engadget.

Jobs’ health has been a matter of media speculation for the last several months; in his few recent public appearances, Jobs was noticeably gaunt. The move is unanimously speculated (though unconfirmed) to be in response to Jobs’ battle with pancreatic cancer.

The Wall Street Journal reports that, “People familiar with the situation have said that Mr. Jobs continues to be active at Apple and is closely involved in the company’s product strategy. Apple watchers don’t expect that to change even after Mr. Cook takes over,” though one has to wonder how long it will be before Jobs reduces his role further.

This week we heard rumors of an “absolutely different” product on the horizon–though those rumors are admittedly from an only “sometimes reliable” source. With Jobs’ lessened presence in the company, a possible new product line-up, and Tim Cook in the stead, what happens next?

Weigh in, Geeks: What’s your prediction for the near future of Apple?

[source: 1|2|3|4]



EDIT: Cake.


19 Responses to Steve Jobs Steps Down: What Next? [Open Thread]

  1. Apple seem to be suffering from addiction to high profits driven by less than genuine marketing, this strategy unfortunately always has a terminal end once the ability to sustain marketing hype weakens.
    Bowing out at the just post peak (Android is starting to eat into Apple in all markets), leaves his successor to ride the other side of the marketing roller coaster, straight into ODM Other Device Manufacturer's (the companies who actually make desktops, notebooks, tablets and phones) grab for direct market access facilitated by Android, youch, it ain't going to be pretty, but then most computer branders (companies that only pretend to make computers Dell, HP et al) are all going to run into that same wall.

    • But how do you think Cook will react to increased pressure to innovate when, at least up to this point, he's had little to no role in the development of Apple's products? I kind of see a dual-leadership thing happening where another developer steps up in the ranks to work closely with Cook. Like a 2-for-1 deal, almost.

      • I don't see this as an issue, with the time he's worked there he'll have picked up a lot.

        "Before coming to Apple Computer, Cook held executive positions at Compaq, Intelligent Electronics and IBM. Cook earned his M.B.A. from Duke University, and holds a bachelors of science in industrial engineering from Auburn University."

        Not sure how advanced a bachelors is, but he clearly has experience in the industry.

        Sause of quote:

  2. Tim Cook has been acting as Apple's CEO when Jobs has been off sick, so I see no change occurring there, especially if Jobs will be on the Apple Board.

    People saying how Apple will lose sight, will go downhill like it before, etc, are clutching at straws.

    Remember, last time Apple forced Jobs out. This time, Jobs is just moving sideways, and the person who has been driving Apple in recent years will be formally taking over.

    • It's true that Cook has been basically running the place for a while, but Jobs is still seriously involved in most aspects of product development. The interesting thing will be when he removes himself from that sort of hands-on role. Cook is an operations wizard, but most people say he's no visionary.

      • Steve Jobs is not going to stop being involved. he can't help but be involved. Also, the announcement is made, but it's not going to be where one second he is CEO and next second he isn't.

        There will be a handover period, and Apple has some smart people working for them, so new products, new designs, new technology and innovation will still occur.

        • If Jobs says he can’t run the place, he can’t. Barring a medical miracle, I think that it’s reasonable to expect him to be unable to work at all in the near future. My question then is about the figurehead role the company will have to reinvent–who’s the face of Apple? Cook doesn’t like the spotlight and who else is there?

  3. Apple will continue to grow and have a duel to the death with Google over who controls the world.

    SPOILER: Whoever wins, we lose.

  4. I'm also super-interested in this rumble about new products. I find it hard to imagine that anything new will be more than a rehash or mashup of older products.

  5. First I hope that this isn't about Steve Jobs' health and that he just wants to scale back and enjoy life.

    That said, the timing here is as good as they can make it. The press will talk about Jobs over the weekend and then Apple can give out the date for the next product announcement.

    Also, this is about as smooth a transition plan as Apple can hope for. Investors know that Jobs is now the Chairman and he'll be giving Timmay pointers and preventing major gaffes for a little while. Let Timmay stand on his own two feet for a while and show that he can keep Apple rolling alone.

    I hope Steve has been giving Timmay lessons on keynote.

  6. introducing the iCan, motivational videos on how to be successful. in it, we find out how apple established themselves as a super company and tips to help you get started. 389$ basic or 879$ for special limited Steve Jobs narrated edition

  7. Perfect time for Jobs to make his exit.

    Apple has long been looked at as the Underdog with the quality product and super loyal customer base. The coffee shop Apple laptop, "oh yeah, but your PC isn't as good for graphic design", crowd is starting to look more and more like the elitists wannabes they are. (You're not designing shit, your using your overpriced machine to surf the web you f'ing dork).

    Don't get me wrong here, apple has long put out a solid, good quality, product. Great battery life, reliability… They've also relied heavily upon an image of coolness. That image isn't quite as strong as it once was and it's steadily diminishing.

    Bottom line, Apple will be around for a long long time, but it's plateaued right now and will soon be on the down slope and Job's was fortunate/strong to be there for the rise and peak. The new guy needs to focus on damage control and finding a nice lessened level of success that is maintainable.

  8. A year or so ago Adobe did some benchmark testing on After Effects using the lasted Apple and generic clones, they find that top-of-the-line clones generally outperformed Apple computers and published the results to their website. This sparked an outrage that Adobe responded to by simply removing the results of their benchmarks from their website.

    Corporations don’t care about truth, they will do whatever to maintain their image. Steve Jobs strikes me as an adherent of a flawed Corporate Emersonianism that hearkens back to Reebok’s U.B.U. campaign. Co-opting Emerson and Thoreau’s American Individualism to generate conformity and mindless indulgence in the name of something far superior to those flagrant egotistical ventures. American Individualism was a step-up from Community-oriented ideologies of the past, which were themselves more ammenable to societies than the innate egotism of our distant history.

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