Apple's best move: Jobs as chairman with Cook as CEO

Apple's best move: Jobs as chairman with Cook as CEO

Summary: Apple chief Steve Jobs is involved with all of the company's key product plans, had a hand in the iPhone 3.0 launch and at least a few people expect him to return in June.

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Apple chief Steve Jobs is involved with all of the company's key product plans, had a hand in the iPhone 3.0 launch and at least a few people expect him to return in June. 

Those interesting takeaways appeared in a Wall Street Journal story over the weekend marking the halfway mark of Jobs' medical leave, which started in January over a hormone imbalance.

The gist:

  • Chief Operating Officer Tim Cook runs Apple day to day;
  • Jobs is working on strategy and products from home;
  • Apple is working on new iPhone models and a tweener product between a phone and laptop;
  • Apple's board of directors is monitoring Jobs health and in touch with his physicians.

Much of the story after those nuggets was background material, but did get me to thinking about what Jobs medical leave has accomplished. First off, the leave hopefully is enabling Jobs to get healthier. But from a corporate perspective the Jobs' leave has given everyone a glimpse into the future. A few thoughts:

  • Cook is fine running the day-to-day of Apple;
  • Apple still has its product mojo and can generate buzz with iPhone 3.0;
  • A roadmap is firmly in place on the product front;
  • Jobs doesn't have to run the day-to-day to be effective.

Add it up and it's logical that Jobs would come back as chairman, still be involved with product and strategy and give the CEO gig to Cook. In one swoop Apple could allay investor worries, give Jobs some privacy and create a clear transition plan.

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

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5 comments
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  • Steve to Control Tower, Tim in the cockpit

    This makes perfect sense. Watching the iPhone 3.0 video - Scott and
    crew do a great job of laying out the 3.0 road map.

    Put Steve in the Control Tower as Chairman and Tim Cook in the cockpit
    as CEO. That's a plan Apple can fly with.
    bgrh
  • Your interest for Apple is flattering

    So Apple is a very important company these days, practically
    everybody know something about them and Apple is at the
    frontline pushing the evolution of hi-tech forward.

    HTML5 will change the web,
    smartphones will play a much bigger role in the future,
    an increasing amount of people prefer Macs today, etc.
    Mikael_z
  • RE: A little premature

    Don't think Apple's out of the clear yet. If jobs leaves it's not
    running the company that will suffer it's a potential lack of
    innovation and lower product quality. Jobs is an innovation
    and quality nut - It's what makes Apple different.

    I'm hoping Apple will do just fine without him but at least in
    my mind the jury is still out.
    asad.quraishi@...
    • It's more about One Viewpoint

      I'll leave the point of how inovative Apple's stuff really is, but Jobs main role in making Apple work is in the roll of "Benign" Tyrant. Because everyone knows that he'll be the final arbiter, they all design and program with the goal of fitting his design philosophy. And since he's got his own clear idea of a final product, it's easier to for Apple to add the extra polish and tiny aesthetic stuff that makes Apple stand out.
      brendan@...
  • RE: Apple's best move: Jobs as chairman with Cook as CEO

    Having a face that people can relate to as CEO is a good thing.
    Tim's not that face. But neither is Phil. Steve's the face of Apple.
    People who know Apple know that Steve is THE ONE. He always
    has been.

    Good to hear that he's coming back to say hi.

    Mike
    ceo@...