Earlier this month, Apple’s value briefly surpassed Exxon Mobil’s, to become the world’s most valuable company. That is incredible in itself, but in the context of Apple’s flirtation with bankruptcy in 1997, when Steve Jobs came back to the company, it is even more of a wonder.
So Steve Jobs has not only helped reshape Apple, but he has redefined major parts of the technology industry. So will his departure mean the end of Apple’s dominance? Other companies have seen their fortunes fade after iconic leaders have departed. Take Bill Gates leaving Microsoft as an example.
But this should not be the case for Apple. This is not a sudden move. The company has had a while to plan for this, and indeed the new chief operating officer, has stepped in successfully for Mr Jobs in the past. For the periods where Mr Jobs has been absent in the past, Apple has continued to run smoothly. Loyalty of the workforce and a significant pool of talent across Apple’s business divisions, signifies that Apple’s future should continue to be bright.
And after all, Steve Jobs, is not disappearing completely. He is to become Chairman of Apple’s board, so will no doubt have a say in key decisions for the foreseeable future.
More game changers in the pipeline:
Perhaps, most importantly of all, Apple has a great product pipeline. The company will shortly unveil the latest version of the iPhone and is expected to launch a new iPad early next year. And their dominance is not just in products (hardware). The real secret of Apple’s success lies in the integration of these with software and services such as the iTunes store.
This symbiotic relationship between hardware and software is what has transformed the music industry. The iPhone and its Apps have helped to transform another market and create a huge cash pile.
We wish Mr Jobs continued prosperity, but more importantly, good health.