With Jobs gone as CEO, Apple's management bench enters the spotlight

With Jobs gone as CEO, Apple's management bench enters the spotlight

Summary: If Apple is to keep leading the technology industry it will need strong performances from its management bench. Here's the cast.

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Steve Jobs resigned as Apple CEO and the company handed the reins to operating chief Tim Cook. However, Cook is just one part of the Apple equation. Meet Apple's management bench.

What happens to Apple in the post Jobs era remains to be seen. Apple is almost identified with the persona of Jobs. One thing is certain: If Apple is to keep leading the technology industry it will need strong performances from its management bench. Also: Steve Jobs: Thinking through his CEO legacy

Here's the cast of characters in Apple's most recent proxy filing.

Some of those folks you'll know. For instance, Cook has run Apple before as Jobs took two medical leaves. Scott Forstall, who runs Apple's iPhone software business, is a regular at keynotes as is Philip Schiller, marketing chief.

Other executives such as Peter Oppenheimer, chief financial officer, usually lead Apple's earnings conference calls.

However, that list, which appeared in a January regulatory filing, also highlights some notable departures. Ron Johnson, former head of Apple's retail unit, already left Apple to be CEO at J.C. Penney. Bertrand Serlet, who ran Apple's OS X effort, also moved on.

When Jobs was CEO and Cook was operating chief, those departures weren't a big deal. In the immediate post Jobs era, any turnover in the executive suite will be closely watched.

The initial reaction to Jobs' resignation indicates that Wall Street was already expecting Cook to become CEO. Indeed, Barclays analyst Ben Reitzes wrote in a research note:

While we do not believe that Steve Jobs is replaceable, it is worth noting that Tim Cook is a proven executive who can handle the pressure and knows how to run the inner workings of Apple in Jobs’ shadow.

One of the positives is that Mr. Jobs will stay on as Chairman of the Board and lend his insight and influence to Apple’s strategy and future product development for at least a period of time. We do not believe Tim Cook’s appointment as CEO should come as a real surprise – and nor should Steve Jobs’ resignation. Tim Cook was paid a significant bonus last year – the type paid to a clear successor for the world’s most innovative company. Also, the status of Steve Jobs’ health has been a concern and risk really since 2004 and especially since 2009.

Going forward, Cook will need a strong bench to keep Apple humming. Look for Schiller and Forstall to become more visible.

More: Steve Jobs: Thinking through his CEO legacy

Topics: CXO, Apple, Software, Operating Systems, Mobile OS, Legal, Government US, Government, Enterprise Software, IT Employment

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  • In the post Steve Jobs era will ZDNet abandon Flash for HTML5

    After reading your article, Larry, on my iPad, I noticed the - You need to update your version of Adobe Flash Player to view this video - message.

    How quaint - ZDNet still using Flash. It is almost as quaint as still using floppy disks. Grin.

    BTW, Skyfire on my iPad could view those videos but I thought I'd just try to make a point. If ZDNet wishes to become a visionary force on online blogging content, they should adopt more modern coding techniques as Microsoft and Apple have done. You do wish to become like Steve Jobs someday, eh Larry! Very Big Grin.
    kenosha77a
  • RE: With Jobs gone as CEO, Apple's management bench enters the spotlight

    Do you think they will ever bring back the Woz? He was there when Apple first started.
    LoverockDavidson_-24231404894599612871915491754222
    • Wozniak himself left active role in Apple back in 1983 since he was not ...

      @LoverockDavidson_ ... interested in day-to-day engineering. Woznyak was always project-driven person, he wanted to do concrete thing he wanted to do, and that is it.
      DDERSSS
  • What about Ive?

    What about Johnny Ive? He's one of the more influential players too! Like hello?? The iMac of 1998 and henceforth wouldn't have been possible without Jonathan Ive. He's done a huge deal for Apple -- he designs the look of all the stuff!!
    theanimaster