Will Steve Jobs' exit get other businesses thinking?

How will Steve Jobs' health affect Apple both now and in the future? And what does it mean for businesses with iconic leadership? Paul Briden finds out...

"Microsoft went through it when Steve Ballmer took over from Bill Gates. The transition definitely took a long time and it's a problem Apple will face," he said.

"Jobs will be a tough act to follow. It won't be like Ballmer and Gates. I don't see a single individual stepping in and having the same impact," he added.

Perhaps the best thing any successor can do whether Tim Cook in the short term or someone else entirely is to avoid attempting to copycat Jobs.

"Is he [Tim Cook] the next Steve Jobs?' No. there is no next Steve Jobs' just as there is no new Bob Dylan'," said Mike McGuire, a research vice president at analyst firm Gartner when IT PRO first pondered what would happen if Jobs stepped out of the limelight.

Jobs' uniquely hands-on approach is arguably both the strongest point of the brand and its most vulnerable in this context. Normally, CEO replacement concerns focus on whether the successor can carry on skilled management.

Such fears have already been tested by Tim Cook's stewardship of the company during Jobs' previous hiatus and his successful overhaul of Apple's manufacturing and production. Furthermore, Apple's latest set of bumper results showed things continue to go well for the company, with growth and output above and beyond investor expectations.

Set against the above backdrop, the argument that the company isn't in capable hands doesn't carry that much weight.

Jobs' magic touch, and the area in which some doubt a replacement can be found, is in his close involvement and vision for the entire product catalogue at every level.

Featured Resources

Managing security risk and compliance in a challenging landscape

How key technology partners grow with your organisation

Download now

Evaluate your order-to-cash process

15 recommended metrics to benchmark your O2C operations

Download now

AI 360: Hold, fold, or double down?

How AI can benefit your business

Download now

Getting started with Azure Red Hat OpenShift

A developer’s guide to improving application building and deployment capabilities

Download now

Most Popular

SolarWinds hackers hit Malwarebytes through Microsoft exploit

SolarWinds hackers hit Malwarebytes through Microsoft exploit

20 Jan 2021
How to recover deleted emails in Gmail
email delivery

How to recover deleted emails in Gmail

6 Jan 2021
What is a 502 bad gateway and how do you fix it?
web hosting

What is a 502 bad gateway and how do you fix it?

12 Jan 2021