Leadership of Apple and the departure of Steve Jobs

A while back I wrote a blog based on my experience seeing Dave Ulrich speak at one of our Benchmark for Business conferences.

He discussed the different approach that Microsoft and Apple had taken in previous years relating to the departure of their iconic leaders Bill Gates and Steve Jobs. He demonstrated the fact that Microsoft shares had very little movement when Bill finally gave up the reigns while Steve’s departure due to ill-health a few years back had a huge impact on their share price. Apple has been working hard to acknowledge this issue and create a leadership team that could take control and keep Apple as a market leader when Steve finally hangs up his spurs. That day has now come and only time will tell what the effect will be.

I have just been reading an HBR article, written by James Allworth, Max Wessel, and Rob Wheeler  on Why Apple does not need Steve Jobs and I highly recommend you read it.

My thoughts are that Steve’s long-term influence over Apple and the way that the organisation has been run will live on past his departure. He and the team have worked hard to instill a certain work ethic and a way of coming up with innovative and creative ideas to drive forward their products and brand well into the future.

The worst thing Tim Cook could do is try to put his own spin on things and change the culture that has taken decades to create. I’m not saying that he needs to sit back and do nothing, far from it, he needs to keep on top of everything and ensure that the organisation does not deviate too far from what has been a remarkable few years in the business and build on that success.

“Today at Apple is going to be exactly the same as yesterday. If anything, the Messiah’s departure is only going to make his influence there grow stronger still. As they make their way into work tomorrow, a bunch of motivated, incredibly smart people — all focused on building great products — will have one overarching thought on their mind:

What would Steve do?”

Read the full article here: http://blogs.hbr.org/cs/2011/08/why_apple_doesnt_need_steve_jo.html


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