With yesterday’s surprise announcement of Apple’s infamous CEO’s decision to step down, questions are swirling as to what will happen to the company now that he is gone. We all know that former Chief Operating Officer Tim Cook has been running the show from behind the curtain since Jobs took medical leave in January. When he steps into the CEO position, he will perform his duties well. The question is, what will people think of Apple, Inc. now?
Steve Jobs is synonymous with Apple. You could put a sticker of his face on your car window instead of the company’s iconic logo and people would get it. He is Apple. While Jobs was a great CEO and used his talent to help make Apple one of the most valuable tech companies in the world, he is just one man. There are many other, unseen faces and unknown names that work, like a well-oiled machine, to keep the company running. Those people are still there, creating clever advertising, inventing new and exciting products and constantly improving technology with ground-breaking ideas.
But, the public loves Steve Jobs. They give him standing ovations at Keynote addresses. They cheer, jubilantly, when he says, “One more thing.” Everyone knows his signature black turtleneck and jeans outfit. He has been immortalized on TV shows like The Simpsons and The Family Guy. He has been parodied on Twitter by @thefakestevejobs, and likely many others. If he is no longer in charge of Apple, will people stop loving the company? Will public trust in Apple’s ability to be innovative and trendsetting diminish?
Yesterday, when word got out that Jobs submitted his official resignation, APPL stock plummeted for a short period of time. It may have only gone down 5% and closed at less than a 2% decline, but the reaction speaks volumes to public perception of Jobs’ importance in the company’s ability to stay on top.
News stories about his retirement have made a feeding frenzy for media, and they are all asking the same question, “What’s next for the company?” as if the entire operation has come to a screeching halt and employees are wandering around like lost puppies. The answer to that question is; the same thing that was next for the company on Tuesday, and will be for years to come. Apple plans its future far and wide and things will remain status quo, internally, for a long, long time.
The real question is: will the public believe that? Will people continue to buy phones and tablets and music players, replacing old with new every two years? Will they still download entire albums, movies and TV shows with a single click from iTunes? Will they still love Apple now that its face has changed so much? Only time, and market speculation, will tell.