Friday, August 26, 2011

Steve Jobs - Resignation

“To the Apple Board of Directors and the Apple Community:

I have always said if there ever came a day when I could no longer meet my duties and expectations as Apple’s CEO, I would be the first to let you know. Unfortunately, that day has come.

I hereby resign as CEO of Apple. I would like to serve, if the Board sees fit, as Chairman of the Board, director and Apple employee.

As far as my successor goes, I strongly recommend that we execute our succession plan and name Tim Cook as CEO of Apple.

I believe Apple’s brightest and most innovative days are ahead of it. And I look forward to watching and contributing to its success in a new role.

I have made some of the best friends of my life at Apple, and I thank you all for the many years of being able to work alongside you. Steve”

Echoed from the words above, thousands of news stories about the resignation of Steven P. Jobs as the CEO of Apple Corp have been popping up on the net in the last 2 days. His legacy in the industry, his place in history, his impact on the company and the effect of his departure from the active management of the company have been talked to depth all over the press.

As a fan and user of Apple products, I wanna add my 2 cents to this news story. I wouldn’t be able to draft as well-written and cohesive as other writers. Instead, I’m just gonna put some headers with random pieces of thought as follow. Some of them may be found similar to what some other bloggers/writers had already said since we may share the same/similar view of certain topics, but you will definitely find something more unique that I come up on my own.

Reason for his resignation
Almost everybody believes that it is due to his health. Certainly, I wish him will get well by all means. However, I think that his health is certainly deteriorating. To me, he seems to be a fighter who fights till the end, definitely not a quitter. He just chooses to leave Apple after he has won in business and focus on his other ‘fight’- to live a healthy life.

Timing of his resignation
On his personally basis, he may just wanna spend more time to take care of his health and with his family. He certainly would like to stay healthy enough to see more Apple products being release and particularly the new Apple headquarter compass that he has been passionate about to be built on his watch. I don’t think he is on death bed yet, I hope not. But, for being as elusive as he is, nothing can/should be ruled out. He may unfortunately reach the final stage of his life. Connected in my thought that, it may be the reason why he might have instruct the earlier publish of his first and only authorized autobiography in coming November rather than next year. Reportedly, he chooses not to read the book before release, so he may just wanna read that before he’s gone. Just my share of conspiracy!

For Apple wise, I think his timing of departure just coincide the best time of the company financial and operational wise. It has become the largest or second largest corporation in the States in terms of capitals and with 76 billions of cash. Its products are selling like hot cakes with next versions on the verge of release. Usual fanfare is expected. I think he just left behind a very strong company for his successors to take on without an ounce of regret and did that on his own term unlike last time.

Steve Jobs related news reports in future
The press will continue to talk about him. If he thinks that he is healthy enough, I think he will give one or two exclusive interviews to 60 minutes or his trusted reporters in coming period. We may still read news on something that he alleged have said here and there. But, if his health is really bad, the next big story would be the report of his death. Something like…

On DD/MM/201X, Apple’s CEO Tim Cook, SVP Jonny Ive, etc visited Steve Jobs at his residence in Cupertino for the final farewell of Steve Jobs, the ex-CEO, Chairman and finder of Apple Corp, who passed away last night at the age of 5X. The cause of his death is XXX. Steve Jobs was….. Reportedly, his best friend Steve Woz, cofounder of Apple, his sister Mona Simpson, his wife, Laurene Powell, and his hildren XXX were on his bedside at the time of his death……His funeral is scheduled to be on DD/MM/201X at….

…..Hundreds of Apple fans left flowers at entrances of Apple stores all over the world to commemorate the death of Apple founder Steve Jobs…..Thousand of fans also left messages at Apple’s corporate website, and many fans also setup pages on Facebook for people to leave messages to this tech giant…….

What Steve has left behind
I agree that Apple will be fine in next 2 to 3 years as relatively well defined plan for product/services development should already be in pipeline. iPhone 5, 6, 7, iPad 3, 4, 5 will be released as predicted. iTunes, iOS, Mac OS, Macs, etc will continue to develop incrementally. The issues that people will be talking about are the micro and ultra-macro things that Apple does. The former would be the final touch of the next versions of products., like whether the back of iPad or iPhone to be ceramic, plastic or metal, be flat, curved or whatever, whether the new patented screws would be in star-shaped or hexagonal, etc. People will say something like ‘Would Steve approve this?’, ‘Do they get Steve’s blessing to be released? ‘

What matter to most people would be ultra-macro level direction that Apple will follow in future, i.e. the next phase of strategic development that company will pursue. Given Apple’s business, under Steve’s management, had dramatically evolved more than once in terms of shifting focus in product lines. What will be next under Tim Cook? I think some general directions must have already been made like some analysts (aka fortune tellers) have said. Apple will make Apple TV - the real TV set. Apple will merge Mac OS and iOS down the road. Apple will drop optic disc support altogether, etc. However, what more Apple will do? or most importantly ,what they can but won’t do? I think that’s a bit philosophical rather than operational.

Thus, I think that the most important thing that Steve has left behind to Apple is the ‘philosophy’ that he might have preached, but definitely shown in practice day in and day out when Apple was under his watch. I’m talking about Steve would complain how sweet the mango juice is in Apple’s cafeteria, but more like how Steve perceive the relationship between Apple and people (including customers, staff, vendors, suppliers, the press, the fans and non-fans) in terms of technology. I’m sure scholars in various top management school of business will write papers if not books to death about Steve’s management. I also read that Steve himself does pass some philosophical management materials to his senior staff in house to bring them in Apple’s culture. So from now on, I guess it shouldn’t be a question like ‘what would Steve do?’ being asked internally in Apple when there is problem. Rather, it would more be up to the senior staff to determine on whether they would like to carry on the way Steve do things, or they would strike on their own which may deviate from the existing core of Apple’s culture preached by Steve. I think that as long as Steve’s DNA can remain in Apple’s future strategy.

Apple will still be Apple.


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