Steve Jobs is Apple’s Chicken and Egg
Posted by Bob Warfield on December 18, 2008
Apple is RWWeb’s 2008 Best BigCo. Everyone loves Apple. But everyone treats Apple like Brittany Spears because of Steve Jobs. It’s constant gossip and second guessing.
Jobs is irreplaceable to Apple. Some say Jobs is Apple and Apple is Jobs, and that Jobs is worth $20B of Apple’s market cap.
It’s better for Apple and Jobs both if there is a little less focus on Steve Jobs and a little more focus on Apple. Regardless of what people may suspect about Jobs’ health, there will come a time, probably sooner than later, when it makes sense for Jobs to wind down a little bit while others step up.
So how do you engineer a shift if you are Apple?
Pretty obviously, you look for some prominently public opportunities to substitute someone else in what would normally be a Jobs role. How about Macworld Expo? How about having Phil Schiller keynote instead of Steve Jobs? After all, they probably thought, we’re pulling out of this Expo soon anyway, so it’ll be a great test opportunity with little downside since we won’t be back.
The analysts get it. Piper says it’s a signal a transition is underway. Of course things go rapidly downhill from there starting with various folks declaring Macworld Expo is dead, the show’s owner, IDG, declaring they were stabbed in the back, and on and on about Jobs health all over again.
What is Apple supposed to do?
Going cold turkey on Steve Jobs is hard and painful. Apple is like Popeye Doyle in the French Connection until they can show some of the other executives bring a lot to the table. Given the state of the economy, it may not be such a bad time to be doing it though. Plenty of other bad news around. Let’s get it all out on the table now rather than dragging it into the good times when recovery starts.