Apple board out of school on Jobs succession?

Apple board out of school on Jobs succession?

Summary: Apple's board of directors are reportedly conducting due diligence on the succession plan for CEO Steve Jobs.

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Apple's board of directors are reportedly conducting due diligence on the succession plan for CEO Steve Jobs.

According to the Wall Street Journal, some members of Apple's board have approached executive recruiters about a replacement for Jobs. The problem: These members weren't acting on the board's behalf and Jobs called the discussions "hogwash."

The timing of such a report is notable given the story launched a half hour before Apple's quarterly earnings report.

As the Journal noted, it's odd that the board appears to be split on the succession plan for Jobs, who is on medical leave. It's unclear whether Jobs will return full time.

A few thoughts:

  • The board is doing its job pondering succession planning, but a dent in the secrecy around Apple is notable.
  • In many respects, the board is just conducting its due diligence even though Apple's next probable CEO---Tim Cook---is already in the fold.
  • The report indicates that there could be some concern about Apple's bench strength on the management team. However, it should be noted that Apple showed off that bench as it had a relay team conducting the company's WWDC keynote.

Topics: Legal, Apple, CXO, Enterprise Software, IT Employment

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4 comments
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  • RE: Apple board out of school on Jobs succession?

    I tend to recall this type of article appearing before Apple's quarterly results over the past four or five years -- almost like clockwork.

    You can only cry chicken little so often before the effect wears thin. Although I personally do not own any Apple stock (although like most, I wish I had bought some about ten years ago.), it seems to me that Apple's Board of Directors have done a somewhat "OK" job over that time period. So I would cut them some slack and assume that "they" know what they are doing.
    kenosha77a
    • If they *are* doing some 'secret' outside recruiting, then it is stupid;

      @kenosha7777: previous information says that 'succession plan' is discussed within the board of directors under Job's guidance. However, these discussions are private to not harm Apple's possibility to recruit needed people when the time comes.
      DDERSSS
      • RE: Apple board out of school on Jobs succession?

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        molly83
  • Jobs' job

    First, I'd be happy to throw my hat into the ring for Jobs' job ... and I'd be happy to take only a measly salary (or even just stock options) for doing it. Not sure I should hold my breath for that, though.

    After all, Tim Cook is the most likely candidate for the job. Outsiders have shown time and again that they just don't get the Apple Way. They want to run the place like P&G or J&J or whatever, and that just doesn't mesh well with Apple's culture.

    But there's no need for everyone to get their panties in a wad. True, Jobs will probably keep at least one hand on the controls at 1 Infinite Loop until he takes his last breath (which will hopefully be a very long time from now), but the current executive team has shown that they know what they're doing. They know the products, they know the markets, they even seem to be able to see the future. (Maybe that's their secret ... maybe Apple invented a time machine years ago and that's how they're managing to make all the right moves these days.) The company is expected to become the highest valued company in the world by the end of the year, when it passes Exxon somewhere in the $400 Billion neighborhood. And Jobs hasn't been in the office but a handful of days this year. Cook & Company obviously know how to keep things running ... at least for the foreseeable future. I don't blame the board for asking around ... that's prudent. But, seriously, it would be foolish for it to consider anyone other than Cook.
    jscott69