What’s in a name? For Apple a lot, and without the legendary man who made it an international brand, the company will learn this the hard way. Because the Apple and Steve Jobs names are connected, and you cannot imagine one without the other. But the financial world can. The issue here is that, despite the fact that Jobs health issues are a serious matter of concern, the man is not dead, he has not resigned either, so it is premature to speak of a “world without Steve Jobs.”
Yet, because Jobs takes another leave for health issues, this time for an indefinite period, the world wonders what’s at stake for Apple. Analysts and investors, understood a long time ago that Jobs cannot be forever with Apple – the challenge was to come to terms with such a possibility. This time news about Jobs’ leave didn’t impact Apple’s shares much – not more than a normal fluctuation any other bad news day.
“Investors are slowly coming to grips with the fact that he will not be with the company forever. There is no way to sugarcoat the news,” said John Lutz, senior research analyst at Frost Investment Advisors, cited by Reuters, and added:“we think he has surrounded himself with an extraordinarily talented group of executives, all of whom probably don’t get enough credit for the success of the company over the past number of years.”
Indeed, Apple’s future strategy is set in stone, and you can expect every future product launch to run smoothly. There are new models of products waiting for the launch, and you can expect them to be as cool, trendy and innovative as always. In Jobs’ absence, Apple’s main figure to the public will be Chief Operating Officer Tim Cook, whose abilities cannot be questioned. Indeed, Jobs did not run Apple alone, and the recent success of the company was a collective effort – it’s smart not to undermine the contribution of the other brilliant people in the company.
“Tim Cook is not a slouch off the street. Neither is Schiller, or Forstall or Ives,” said analyst Andy Hargreaves, of Pacific Crest Securities. “While there is zero way to replace Steve Jobs, the company is in a better place to absorb that than it ever has been in the past.”