Steve Jobs: The Apple of our eye

“I want to put a ding in the universe.”

-Steve Jobs

The Cult of Apple is in frenzy after beloved leader Steve Jobs’ resignation announcement. The charismatic CEO and face of the technological world led Apple from the brink of destruction to become a leader in the industry.

Upon news of the resignation, Apple stock (one of the stocks most commonly owned by the average investor) dropped in after-hours trading, and experts expected the following day’s opening stock price to continue the beating. People began to question the future of Apple under the leadership of new CEO Tim Cook.

Media outlets portrayed the resignation similarly to an obituary. Without genius Jobs in charge of our technological lives, how could we mere mortals ever hope to survive?

However, the sun still rose the next day. The satellites didn’t fall from the sky, the economy didn’t implode. Instead of rioting, people still flocked to Apple stores to purchase iPads, and Skynet is yet to take over the world. Even Apple’s stock stabilized the following day after the initial hit taken during after-hours trading. This begs the question, how important are CEOs to the success of a company?

Everyone knows the extraordinary amounts of money CEOs make, but few are aware of what the job description actually entails – other than flying in your private jet and making tee times. A typical day as a CEO can involve setting business strategy, overseeing daily operations, reviewing financial reports, meeting with the board of directors, and being involved in the community.

While Jobs was an incredible leader in the change Apple underwent in the late ‘90s, the foundation for growth has been laid for Cook to follow. Before Jobs, Apple had neither identity nor direction. Through continual innovation, Jobs created the Apple name as it is known today.

With the infrastructure necessary for continued success already in place, Cook should be able to transition flawlessly into his role as CEO.

Formerly Apple’s Chief Operating Officer, Cook already has the experience necessary to understand the underlying reasons for Apple’s success.

By continuing to develop innovative products and designs, Apple should have no problem maintaining its leadership status. The roles of the thousands of Apple employees under the direction of the CEO should not be ignored either. Although the face of Apple may have changed, the body and mind remain the same.

Cook will have a lot expected of him, likely even more than would have been expected of Jobs had he continued. Cook will face constant scrutiny and comparison from “WWJD” (What Would Jobs Do?) critics. Even if Cook achieves great success with Apple, critics are likely to claim Jobs could have done it better. It’s a tough act to follow personally, but professionally for Apple, it’s only a new page.

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