Although Steve Jobs was truly an instrumental visionary and leader for Apple, he has stepped down. As the press release reads:
Steve Jobs Resigns as CEO of Apple
Tim Cook Named CEO and Jobs Elected Chairman of the Board
CUPERTINO, California—August 24, 2011—Apple’s Board of Directors today announced that Steve Jobs has resigned as Chief Executive Officer, and the Board has named Tim Cook, previously Apple’s Chief Operating Officer, as the company’s new CEO. Jobs has been elected Chairman of the Board and Cook will join the Board, effective immediately.
“Steve’s extraordinary vision and leadership saved Apple and guided it to its position as the world’s most innovative and valuable technology company,” said Art Levinson, Chairman of Genentech, on behalf of Apple’s Board. “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.”
“The Board has complete confidence that Tim is the right person to be our next CEO,” added Levinson. “Tim’s 13 years of service to Apple have been marked by outstanding performance, and he has demonstrated remarkable talent and sound judgment in everything he does.”
Jobs submitted his resignation to the Board today and strongly recommended that the Board implement its succession plan and name Tim Cook as CEO.
As COO, Cook was previously responsible for all of the company’s worldwide sales and operations, including end-to-end management of Apple’s supply chain, sales activities, and service and support in all markets and countries. He also headed Apple’s Macintosh division and played a key role in the continued development of strategic reseller and supplier relationships, ensuring flexibility in response to an increasingly demanding marketplace.
Apple designs Macs, the best personal computers in the world, along with OS X, iLife, iWork and professional software. Apple leads the digital music revolution with its iPods and iTunes online store. Apple has reinvented the mobile phone with its revolutionary iPhone and App Store, and has recently introduced iPad 2 which is defining the future of mobile media and computing devices.
Steve also put out a release, as a letter, stating:
August 24, 2011 – 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.
And, as expected in after-hours trading, Apple’s stock is taking a huge hit (as of 5:03PM PST, down 5%). But I ask the question, why?
Although Steve did an amazing (and some would say tyrannical) job of driving Apple’s vision, he did not do it himself. In fact, colleagues like Tim Cook (COO), worked hand-in-hand with Steve. The unfortunate belief is that the vision of Apple dies with Steve. But if Steve did anything, besides launch disruptive, industry-shaping products (okay, I’m an Apple junkie), is that he created a company culture around his ideals and vision. Thousands of people strong, Apple’s vision is not going to simply vanish over night. Their innovative spirit, commitment to user interface and experience, and focus on “swagger and sexiness” in their products will continue to reign within Cupertino’s halls.
I find it almost depressing that the stock has seen even the most marginal of hits. In fact, I think it should have gone up as Apple finally recognized the need for a change in leadership. Of course we are all scared by change but even the most venerable companies need a little bit of disruption from time to time. It’s interesting to think how we focus on the negative rather than the positive. You can read the statement “Apple will never be the same without Steve Jobs” as being either negative or positive. Although I am not a hardened optimist, I lean towards the later and wish Steve all the best in managing his personal health and well being.
But this brief blip in Apple’s history serves as a good example of just how subjective and fickle the capital markets have become. The CEO resigning has no impact on products sold (and this resignation even comes after Apple’s record-setting quarter and becoming the most valuable company on Earth). In fact, the guy responsible for the banner sales now sits in the driver’s seat (again, a product of the very culture that Steve has worked so tirelessly to implement the last decade and a half). Why should the stock dip?
According to CNN Money, it’s precisely because of the CEO’s departure:
As if, in the morning, sales of Apple products will be down, none of its employees will know what to do, product development will grind to a halt.
Sound ridiculous? It is but so is the dip in share price because of it.
This blog entry is as much of a send-off to Steve Jobs as it is a call to action against our capital markets and those that influence them. Perhaps it is time that we think about regulating our financial analysts, Wall Street, and anyone else with a mind to publish subjective information that can materially impact a company’s (and stockholder’s) value. I wonder if Steve would approve?
Originally posted 2011-08-24 17:18:37.