Steve Jobs resigns: Now Apple's succession plan to be put to test

Steve Jobs resigns: Now Apple's succession plan to be put to test

Summary: Apple CEO Steve Jobs resigned amid ongoing health issues. Now the company's succession plan will be tested.

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Apple's Steve Jobs resigned and Tim Cook, chief operating officer, has taken over the reins of the company. Now Apple's succession planning will be put to the test as Wall Street, customers, rivals and the tech industry digests the news.

Jobs' health has been an ongoing issue and it was clear that there would come a day when he couldn't be CEO. That day apparently came Wednesday.

In a resignation letter, Jobs said:

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.

Steve

Not surprisingly Apple's board moved Cook into the CEO position. Cook has run Apple well on a day-to-day basis during Jobs' latest health leave and one prior to that.

The big question now is whether Apple can keep its edge, product launches and other moving parts going without a hitch. Analysts have been high on Cook's ability to lead Apple, but the ultimate impact will take years to unfold.

In the short term, Apple shares took a small hit on the news in afterhours trading.  Apple shares were down $17.61 to $355.91

The early reaction indicates that Jobs' departure is a blow to Apple, but not totally unexpected. Analysts and tech watchers have been mulling over Jobs stepping down for months if not years.

Overall, analysts have been sold on Apple's succession planning and have become accustomed to Cook as the leader.

Succession planning an issue

A quick timeline:

The upshot: No one can replace Jobs, but Cook is tested and may be the best try-before-you-buy a CEO example in Corporate America.

Related:

CNET: Steve Jobs steps down from Apple

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

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41 comments
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  • RE: Steve Jobs resigns: Now Apple's succession plan to be put to test

    Can you hear that...? Thats the sound of Apple's share price crashing.
    dunners6
    • Only from the suckers.

      @dunners6 Analysts have pretty-much "priced in" Steve's eventual departure, and Tim Cook is very well-respected by "The Street." Yeah, the suckers will sell off tomorrow, but I'll add to my AAPL long position at $335 or so. Q4 numbers are coming soon, and the iOS5/iPhone 5 event in September will do what they normally do to APPL (i.e. raise it).
      matthew_maurice
      • Apple is in good hands...

        @matthew_maurice

        On Steve Jobs first medical leave, Tim Cook was asked to explain his view of Apple without Steve and he came with great little description. He paused for a few seconds and then quietly spoke:

        <i>"We believe that we are on the face of the earth to make great products and that's not changing.

        We are constantly focusing on innovating. We believe in the simple not the complex.

        We believe that we need to own and control the primary technologies behind the products that we make, and participate only in markets where we can make a significant contribution.

        We believe in saying no to thousands of projects, so that we can really focus on the few that are truly important and meaningful to us.

        We believe in deep collaboration and cross-pollination of our groups, which allow us to innovate in a way that others cannot. And frankly, we don't settle for anything less than excellence in every group in the company, and we have the self-honesty to admit when we're wrong and the courage to change.

        And I think regardless of who is in what job those values are so embedded in this company that Apple will do extremely well."</i>

        Steve Jobs has instilled this really deep into the company.
        Bruizer
      • I agree with you matthew

        @matthew_maurice
        AAPL will continue to do as well now that Jobs goes from being unofficially gone from Apple to being officially gone from Apple.

        Jobs has had very little to do with the success of Apple so today's announcement changes nothing.

        If AAPL was a good buy yesterday, it continues to be a good buy today.
        toddybottom
      • RE: Steve Jobs resigns: Now Apple's succession plan to be put to test

        @toddybottom
        I am a business student. Let me teach you the role of a CEO.
        1. Provide a vision for the company
        2. Make sure people directly under you are doing their job

        This is by far the most important job in any corporation. Apple's best engineer could disappear overnight and nobody would care, but without a good leader the company breaks down.

        Sure some leaders will go above and beyond and do more, but the best leaders know how to delegate. That's why you can be a great business leader without moving a finger. With all that said, your assertion that Steve is nothing more than a figurehead is ridiculous.
        anono
      • What it was like to work for Apple

        @Bruizer
        Cook's synopsis was right on. I worked for Apple for several years an all of these points radiate throughout the company. Going to 1 Infinite Loop for as little as a single day as an Apple employee makes this ridiculously obvious. It is the Kool Aid.
        use_what_works_4_U
    • You're in good hands with.......

      @dunners6
      ....the team that's in place. I attended the annual Apple shareholder meeting last spring, and was very impressed with the way Tim Cook conducted the meeting. He's certainly different from Steve Jobs, but seemed very able. I'm sure that he will do a good job as CEO, and I'm not in any hurry to dump my AAPL.
      Thanks to you and best of luck, Steve.
      Userama
  • Questionable timing...

    One must question the timing of this? I hope Steve is well, I wish him the best. I have to wonder if this was truly personal or does he just realize Windows Phone Mango is unstoppable? Just food for thought...
    Mike Cox
    • RE: Steve Jobs resigns: Now Apple's succession plan to be put to test

      @Mike Cox I think Apple had absolutely nothing to fear from Mango, unless they lost Steve Jobs and with him their magic.

      Mango is a nice mobile operating system. I think it'll give Android a good run for competition at the lower end of the smartphone market. Apple owns the high end currently. No idea if they can keep it without their best idea man.
      spark555
      • RE: Steve Jobs resigns: Now Apple's succession plan to be put to test

        @spark555

        Compared to Mango iOS looks like Windows 3.1. For users who have more than a handful of apps and use multiple online services (Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, etc.) the iOS paradigm is clunky and dated. There is no need for separate apps for evertying, and people will start to realise this and move over to platforms that are more advanced.

        iPhone growth has slowed to a crawl at a time when the smartphone market is exploding.
        allusernamestaken
    • RE: Steve Jobs resigns: Now Apple's succession plan to be put to test

      @Mike Cox

      When you're heading a company like Apple and simultaneously dealing with pancreatic cancer, I highly doubt Windows Mango is the first thing on your mind.
      smulji
    • RE: Steve Jobs resigns: Now Apple's succession plan to be put to test

      @Mike Cox
      I think Jobs knows too well that iPhone is going to crash over the next 2 years as Android dominates. iPhone's growth is just over 1% now, and their marketshare in their flagship product is likely to drop significantly. They no longer have anywhere near the best phone or the strongest market position.

      The iPad will lose tons of ground to Android tablets (mirroring the iPhone decline) and then Windows 8 tablets as the power users start to get interested in tablets that do more than casual browsing.

      While it's not exactly escaping a sinking ship, the inevitable decline of iOS can now be attributed to Jobs leaving rather than the true reasons (closed system, no forward-looking vision).
      allusernamestaken
      • RE: Steve Jobs resigns: Now Apple's succession plan to be put to test

        @allusernamestaken

        Its interesting to see how this has turned into a discussion on Windows Mango and Android. Steve has had health issues and he's remaining with the company as the "Chairman of the board". To suggest that this has anything to do with android and windows mango is absurd.

        We have already seen that people don't want to buy android tablets at the current cost (hence the success of the HP Touchpad blowout). I perceive that HP left the tablet game with their ball, lighting the court on fire on the way out. I think Apple created an iPod and iPad market. I don't think the average consumer looks at them the same (from my experience).

        I am no fan of apple, but I simply cannot believe that you have a grounded perspective on this.
        Fan_of_Tech
  • RE: Steve Jobs resigns: Now Apple's succession plan to be put to test

    Apple's recent increased militarism about design and patent attack lawsuits now make sense.

    They're losing the one guy who really was brilliant and innovative and made great design decisions.

    With Jobs gone (a guy I admired a lot), Apple is left to simply sue all their competitors to try and prevent competition instead of just blowing past any copycats with the next leap in design.

    I hope his health recovers and he can get back to work.
    spark555
    • RE: Steve Jobs resigns: Now Apple's succession plan to be put to test

      Apple's gonna have to envision life without Jobs. Their big fear is a repeat of events before 1996.
      ScorpioBlue
    • You need to watch the 2007 keynote on the iPhone.

      @spark555

      The protection of the iOS design was 100% predictable if a company took a short cut and did no design and just skipped to code.
      Bruizer
    • RE: Steve Jobs resigns: Now Apple's succession plan to be put to test

      @spark555
      Well, at least for the immediate future Jobs is still employed at Apple. I'm sure if he has any groundbreaking ideas he will let them in on it.
      Tigertank
  • RE: Steve Jobs resigns: Now Apple's succession plan to be put to test

    While I'm certainly no Mac fanboi and I prefer windows Steve Jobs , while maniacal and just generally an, ass he and bill gates are responsible for the computing revolution we have today. I'm gonna miss the egotistical ass.
    lthrwolftx
  • RE: Steve Jobs resigns: Now Apple's succession plan to be put to test

    HAHHAHA WHO CARES!!!! he gay anyway and problably scared that windows phone 7 awesome updates mango is coming in sept and newer HTC, Nokia phone dual core phones coming with front face camera with skype app build in
    ipadsucks
  • RE: Steve Jobs resigns: Now Apple's succession plan to be put to test

    Long Live Android!
    slickjim