Yesterday came the surprising news that Steve Jobs was stepping down as Apple CEO. I'm fielding a ton of questions so here's a Q&A to save time (mine and yours!).
A: Steve Jobs has resigned as CEO (Chief Executive Officer) of Apple, effective immediately. However, he has been elected as chairman of the board.
Q: Who takes his place?
A: Tim Cook, previous COO (Chief Operating Officer). Cook has been at Apple for 13 years.
From his bio over at Apple:
Before being named CEO in August 2011, Tim was Apple's Chief Operating Officer and was 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.
Q: Why has Jobs resigned?
A: The only indication is in the opening paragraph of his letter to the Apple board 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."
Q: Is this health related?
A: Read the above. That's all Jobs said. I don't get involved in reading between the lines of pointing the bone at people when it comes to health issues. Jobs and his health issues are his and his family's business.
Q: But do YOU think it's because of health issues?
A: What I think doesn't matter.
Q: How have the markets responded?
A: Currently Apple shares are down some 1.3%.
Q: What changes will Cook make?
A: According to an internal email leaked to Ars Technica, Cook says 'Apple is not going to change.'
I am looking forward to the amazing opportunity of serving as CEO of the most innovative company in the world. Joining Apple was the best decision I've ever made and it's been the privilege of a lifetime to work for Apple and Steve for over 13 years. I share Steve's optimism for Apple's bright future.
Steve has been an incredible leader and mentor to me, as well as to the entire executive team and our amazing employees. We are really looking forward to Steve's ongoing guidance and inspiration as our Chairman.
I want you to be confident that Apple is not going to change. I cherish and celebrate Apple's unique principles and values. Steve built a company and culture that is unlike any other in the world and we are going to stay true to that-it is in our DNA. We are going to continue to make the best products in the world that delight our customers and make our employees incredibly proud of what they do.
I love Apple and I am looking forward to diving into my new role. All of the incredible support from the Board, the executive team and many of you has been inspiring. I am confident our best years lie ahead of us and that together we will continue to make Apple the magical place that it is.
Q: Isn't this what everyone says before making changes?
A: Maybe. Cook's been at the helm of Apple for some time now following Jobs' medical leave of absence, so maybe we're already seeing some of his influence - cheaper Lion upgrade, for example.
Q: What does this mean for Apple users/owners?
Q: Will Apple still build the 'mothership' campus?
A: Why wouldn't it?
Q: Will this affect the iPhone 5 launch?
A: Why should it?
Q: Should shareholders be wary of Jobs' departure?
A: I don't see why. The abdication/succession has been pretty clean in my opinion.
Q: Jobs was charismatic. Won't the loss of his 'stage presence' affect Apple?
A: He certainly has a stage presence and appeal (much like Bill Gates did when he was Microsoft CEO) but in the end I don't think people bought Apple products because Jobs was CEO.
Q: Didn't Apple pretty much crash and burn after Jobs was effectively ousted from the company in 1984?
A: The Apple of 2011 is a different Apple to the Apple of 1984.
Q: What do you think was Apple's greatest triumph under Jobs' leadership?
A: The iPad, because it builds on and is the logical extension of, Jobs' first true mass market success - the iPod.
Q: How rich is Jobs?