back to article Apple without Jobs: Who's next?

Steve Jobs has stepped away from his daily duties as Apple CEO, and by doing so, the famously-private tech kingpin has ignited rumors and speculation about his future with the company – and of the company's future without him. Jobs' just-announced medical leave of absence is his third. The first began when he revealed in …


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  1. PsychicMonkey

    I'm not an apple fan.

    but I wish steve jobs the best, I hope he can get over this, and then maybe enjoy his life with his family, he doesn't need to work and I doubt he will live to be an old man based on recent years.

    1. Alastair 7

      I'm amazed

      That someone downvoted you.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        @I'm amazed

        I'm not.

        Do you think he joined the waiting list for his liver transplant like everybody else, or do you think having billions of dollars helped him to the front of the queue ahead of some more compatible (and arguably more deserving) recipients?

        1. ThomH


          According to Dr. James D. Eason, programme director of the hospital that treated him, Jobs "received a liver transplant because he was the patient with the highest MELD score (model for end-stage liver disease) of his blood type and, therefore, the sickest patient on the waiting list at the time a donor organ became available". Or is this one of those theories where people connected to the events agreeing would prove it and people connected to the events disagreeing also proves it?

        2. Alastair 7


          (classy move posting anonymously, by the way)

          You're looking to blame the American medical system, not Steve Jobs. I'm not arguing that it's unfair, but if you or a loved one were given the choice, and you could afford it, are you seriously telling me that you'd turn it down? Of course you wouldn't.

        3. jonathanb Silver badge

          Re: I'm amazed

          He moved to Tenessee, which has the shortest waiting list in the country, then waited in line like everyone else.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton


    Respect to the dude and the beauty and frailty of our common human realities.

  3. JDX Gold badge

    Almost bought Apple...

    I got an "advisement-buy" from my stockbroker on Friday for Apple and was sorely tempted since they seem to only be getting stronger. Now I'm glad I waited but am unsure what to do... the share price will presumably show direct movement based on his health so I'm stuck until he either gets better or we know how sick he is.

    1. thecakeis(not)alie


      Apple's share price might be (short term) depressed over Jobs' illness, but long term you and I both know that Cook can run that company just fine. Jobs is a figurehead, and Cook's been doing the long hard days holding it all together for quite some time.

      Apple will continue to do exactly what Apple does now, though quite possibly with fewer "social faux pas" moments in the press related to the CEO and fewer seemingly erratic and hypocritical business decisions. I suspect that if anything, Apple under Cook will go places that Apple under Jobs never could.

      If I had any money, I’d be buying now.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Thumb Down


        >If I had any money, I’d be buying now.

        And you'd lose every penny - Apple's market cap was unstainable in 2011 regardless of Jobs' demise or a further miraculous recovery.

        >Apple under Cook will go places that Apple under Jobs never could

        In practical terms it already has been, Jobs has been gravely ill for at least a couple of months look at the cancellations in his schedule - Cook isn't what the fickle market has been betting on though.

        1. thecakeis(not)alie


          I seriously doubt I'd lose money. Unlike some people, i have an attention span longer than the average youtube video. I honestly believe that Apple is a good 10-25 year investment. It certainly isn't the company to dump your life savings into, but it would be worth a fraction of one's portfolio.

          Yes, Apple will be experiencing a stock drop in the next few years. It will recover. They have a good leader, a good product portfolio and some of the best engineers on the planet. They also build a ridiculously limited walled garden around their carefully pampered cult members that doesn't allow much freedom of thought.

          I'd never buy Apple products. But I recognise a good cult when I see one. Like Scientology, this one will run and run for decades yet. Stop thinking like a day trader and take a slightly longer view. In the medium – to – long term, Apple still has plenty of higher monetary energy states left to occupy.

  4. FordPrefect
    Jobs Halo

    Like or loathe apple...

    He isnt a bad or evil individual and nobody deserves the kinda health problems he has been having. Hopefully his problems will clear up and he can get back to work making more devices for apple fan boys. Like em or loathe em they do some really nice equipment, with solid software if a lot closed and extortionately expensive.

    1. Equitas
      Jobs Horns


      FordPrefect writes

      "He isnt a bad or evil individual <snip>Like em or loathe em they do some really nice equipment, with solid software if a lot closed and extortionately expensive."

      So he's an extortioner but he's not bad? Strange use of language. Evil in my books BECAUSE of the closed system and systematic extortion.

      1. Andrew Harvey

        Lots of things are stupidly expensive

        But surely only evil if we HAVE to buy them (e.g. bread, water, electricity)? Not when they are entirely optional consumer items such as laptops and phones. Ditto for "closed" - you pays your money and you takes your choices.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    SEC nonsense

    The GE guy is talking nonsense. No law requires a company to disclose an employee's medical condition. More likely is that the board would be negligent if they have not actively lined up successors, and given the cult of Jobs it is quite possible that they have not.

    From a shareholder point of view, part of investing in Apple is the Jobs exit risk. It was true before and is still true now, and you have to factor it in to the decision on whether to buy.

    1. Ian Michael Gumby Silver badge

      @AC Not!

      When the CEO is more than just a CEO but part of the brand, his health is a material event. So the securities law does require a company to disclose *all* material events in a timely fashion.

      Jobs could have been planning to leave for months, but once he disclosed his plans to the company officers/BoD, they have to disclose this information.

      With respect to Apple, Cook has been running day to day operations in the past and Jobs not present isn't going to do any harm in the short term. Loss of his vision? Maybe. But then again, someone else may step up.

      1. Robert E A Harvey

        in Other disclosures

        "Our CEO lives in a country where madmen can get sniper rifles, yet insists on travelling between home and office without building a private underground railway"

        "Our CEO goes on skiing holidays four times a year, and enjoys off-piste skiing in areas of high avalanche risk"

        "Our CEO plays tennis with the wife of a Russian Oligarch with mafia connections. We don't know if he's shagging her, but the Russian is very old, and our CEO seems to need all afternoon to shower after the game."

        Come on, anyone can get sick, and everyone dies. Investors should not need the humanity of CEOs telegraphing to them. And if they think its a one-man-band, there are loads of other places to invest. I'm sick and tired of rich people thinking wealth deserves privilege.

        1. Ian Michael Gumby Silver badge


          Geeze its no wonder there exists a term commentards.

          With respect to US Securities laws, it is unlawful for a publicly traded company to fail to disclose material events.

          The health of its senior executives (Officers of the company) could be considered a material event.

          Jobs has a serious illness that he was forced to disclose and it is a material event.

          Going back to April of 2004, the CEO of McDonald dies of a sudden heart attack. There's a difference in that Jobs can still work while being ill. A sudden heart attack, a plane crash, car accident, can end a life and there is no way that the Board of Directors, or anyone can predict this or plan for this material event.

          There are other cases where people who have illnesses resign from their positions because of the illness and the impact it could have later down the road. By resigning they can mentor and train their successor.

  6. Graham Lockley

    Non-Crapple Fan

    .... but I wish His Steveness good health and hopefully a long retirement. As to the company, well I can understand investors wanting to know about succession plans but, get real this is Apple ! Notorious control freaks who try to keep everything out of view. Seems like investors are being treated the same as punters e.g 'we know whats best for you'.

  7. JaitcH
    Jobs Horns

    "Apple's board has a plan. They ... don't want to make it public." Scratch 'board' write in 'Jobs'.

    Few other CEO's would get away with all this secrecy.

    Apple isn't paying dividends (still) which means all the investors capital as well as dividends are all tied up with the success of Apple. When Jobs' latest vacation was announced the share value dropped quite a chunk.

    When his number is called the value of Apple may well plummet. Promulgating the boards asset protection plans should be announced to sooth Apple investors.

    Jobs' predilection for secrecy is all well and good, albeit not so successful given the Chinese leaks, but should not extend to corporate governance.

    1. Robert E A Harvey


      The stock market is a gamble, like horse racing.

      Anyone caught sneaking round the stables asking for details of the horse's condition gets horsewhipped, not privelige.

      Nervous about yer money? sell up & buy GM.

  8. Chas
    Jobs Halo

    Fer chrissakes..

    ..give the dude a break. No other company on the planet would garner this kind of ridiculous punditry. Let me spell it out for those who can't get to grips with reality: Apple != Steve Jobs despite appearances. Steve has infused Apple with his unique vision as he did at Pixar. It's still the talent at Apple - the engineers, designers, coders, etc - who make the magic happen, not Steve. They got the message long ago and continue to do so today. Steve did make Apple what it is today, but it will still be at the vanguard of computer design and engineering (where they've been for the last 20-odd years) long after he's dead and departed.

    Steve sold Pixar to Disney some time ago and yet they still beat the living crap out of every other CGI animation company on the planet, including Dreamworks. Folks are too hung up on the mythos and not focussed enough on what Apple actually do as a company. They are spanking everyone else, including Microsoft - so tell me why there is no other company who can take on Apple?. If there were, we'd see someone leapfrogging Apple, whereas we all know and can see that, as Byte Magazine put it back in 1994 (!), "Indeed, it would not be an exaggeration to describe the history of the computer industry for the past decade as a massive effort to keep up with Apple.". That adage remains as true today as it was seventeen years ago.

    Like them or loathe them, no one can deny the extraordinary comeback Apple have made in the last thirteen years when they were, as Steve himself acknowledged at D8, 90 days from Chapter 11 bankruptcy. Now, they are the biggest technology company on the face of the planet - ignore that at your peril!


  9. Anonymous Coward

    Place your bets.

    Everyone's fortunes, it seems, are riding on the continued functioning of somebody else's Liver.

    Except for Steve Jobs himself, who has my deepest sympathy, the rest belong in an iAsylum(tm).

    1. wraith404

      and by the rest

      you mean the customers.

  10. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge


    I assumed the first engineer to pull the battery from the sacred iPod 'excalibur' becomes king of the Apples

    1. wraith404

      wrong analagy

      there is nothing Arthurian about the pricks at Apple.

  11. Admiral Grace Hopper

    Religious War

    I'd love to see the intersection of the set of posters who enter the Apple Fan/Hater fight and the set who post in favour of atheism whenever that becomes the subject of debate. The size of that set would be a good measure of the lack of irony present in the El Reg community of commentards.

    In the meantime let's wish a fellow human being well, particularly a fellow toiler in the field of technology, whatever we may think of the crop that they grow therein.

    From a technology agnostic.

    1. Shakje

      So you have no knowledge about technology?

      Got it.

  12. TeeCee Gold badge


    S'obvious innit.

    What's happened here is that Liver 1.0 (a popular bodily waste cleaning application) was replaced with Liver 2.0. Many of the organs in Steve's body were excited by the improved functionality in Liver 2.0 and it became popular.

    Unfortunately, Steve's central nervous system has reviewed Liver 2.0 and rejected it as it is based on an unapproved flesh infrastructure. While the rest of Steve's organs have objected strenuously to the removal of Liver function, they've been told to sod off.

    1. Anonymous Coward

      Not in the best of taste...

      but it is quite amusing, I'll give that!

  13. lucmars

    A dead star shine more than a retired star

    That's the problem when you're a great figure, the death is better than the retirement. You become a legend with which one can keep alive everything, that's the revival.

    Beside that, it would be more funny that Jobs leave Apple but open an other brand-buisness.

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Why not just assume...

    ...that Steve won't be back. Then if he is, all to the good. If he isn't, no worries either.

    The chances are, even if he does come back, he'll want to take things easier. Personally, I hope he'll consider retiring (one health scare like he's had would be enough for me and he doesn't exactly need the cash) so Apple can move on and he can enjoy his remaining years on this planet.

  15. Marvin the Martian

    That word doesn't mean what you think it means.

    "Obtuse"?! "Opaque", possibly, if it has to be similarly infrequent and latinate, but "obtuse" is frankly an impossible fit.

    1. Sarah Bee (Written by Reg staff)

      Re: That word doesn't mean what you think it means.

      Yay a word argument. Yay.

      I want no part of it.

  16. JDX Gold badge


    You say you expect the stock to drop but long-term it'll rise? Yet you also advocate buying now... surely you should wait for it to drop!

    I can't see Apple as strong for the next decade. We could have 1 or 2 "new things" in that period, relegating Apple back to relative obscurity. We might not, but I'd view them risky in the long term.

    1. thecakeis(not)alie


      I expect the stock to drop (at worst) 10% when Jobs finally hands the wheel over to Cook. Long term, I would expect Apple to more than triple over the next ten years. Maybe not the most aggressive stock out there, but in my mind it is a steady, safe bet. You state that a “next big thing” could “relegate Apple to obscurity.” I think you’re insane. If someone does come along with some “next big thing” (Kinect?) Apple will watch it, study it, ponder it, and release something elegantly designed in the latest smooth fashion of the day with one extra killer feature and a locked down everything. They’ll proceed to poop on the competition and go on their merry way.

      Even if they only ever get 10% of the market for that “next big thing,” it will be the 10% of the market with the highst possible margins. Don’t you get it? They’re the Gucci of the tech world. They’ve made themselves into a “name.” They sell locked down shite in a fancy box and people with more money than sense buy it in absolute droves. They are a terrible company to source your gear from.

      But they’re a fantastic cult. They are a fantastic cult and people are sheep. In other words…

      …they’ve a license to pint money. But now, or wait for hte stock to go down after Jobs announces his final retirement. The difference will probably be a few % up or down either way. Long term, they are a stable bet.

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