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The news that Steve Jobs is stepping down from the top spot at Apple is certainly a surprise, but not altogether shocking (or maybe the reverse?). We’re all aware of his ongoing health battles, and we wish him well.
Jobs’ statement said nothing about leaving Apple; in fact, he took pains to explain the roles he would still like to play. As corporate statements go, this one was remarkable in its specificity and humanity. But Jobs has always done business that way, and had his company/employees do it the same.
Jobs’ decision is one of a good CEO: he’s outlined a succession plan, and started to make his company less about him. (See Mashable’s great Post-Jobs org chart) And the Wall Street Journal’s Walt Mossberg wrote a great breakdown of Jobs’ and Apple’s impact on not only computing, but the entire world.
We’ll certainly miss those annual stage presentations, and incoming CEO Tim Cook will have large shoes to fill just when it comes to that. It will be interesting to see how that piece of the puzzle fleshes out, and if he chooses to do them at all, or reinvents them somehow.
Wall Street will no doubt make a mountain out of a molehill here, and the stock will dip. (It was down 4% overnight, so silly.) It will also rebound. My advice: buy. And here’s why:
Apple’s product line is strong and its pipeline is full. iPhone5 is rumored to be coming in October; an iPad3 should follow. And let’s face it, Apple make products that are more popular with a broader base of consumers. Barring a major catastrophe or shift in culture (unlikely with Jobs as Chairman of the Board), Apple will continue to do well.
So while the company’s business and strategy will be relatively unchanged, you will read stories over the next few days that will lead you to believe the opposite. Go ahead, Google it.
Here’s how I see it: if my 2-year-old, upon waking from a night’s sleep, continues to ask for “my iPad” before “milk” or “cereal” the way he’s done for a week now, Apple will be just fine.