The much anticipated news of Apple CEO Steve Jobs stepping down from the position caused panic among shareholders, with the stock price plummeting 5 percent in after-hours trading.
Jobs’ resignation is likely to have an impact on Apple and the devices industry. Though Apple will have Tim Cook, former COO and the newly appointed successor to Steve Jobs, to continue to adopt disruptive operational strategies in the devices market, the industry will miss Jobs’ innovation in products and marketing strategies.
The music industry has seen many trends thanks to Apple. The devices markets have been driven by innovation from Apple. What will happen to innovation at Apple? Apple needs more innovative products to address growing market demands. The Motorola-Google and Nokia-Microsoft deals will see some results soon. Is Apple gearing up to meet these challenges from competition? China has been unleashing their home grown products which are competing with Apple and others.There will be pricing pressure on Apple.
A part of the industry feels there will be no immediate impact.
There are several reasons why the resignation will not have an immediate impact. Firstly, Tim Cook, former COO and newly appointed successor to Steve Jobs, has been running the company since Jobs began his latest medical leave in January. Secondly, Jobs will now serve as chairman and will therefore continue to have a role with the company, at least in the short term. And thirdly, the broad direction and strategy for the company and its major products for the short to medium term will already be in place, and will not be affected by this change,” said Jan Dawson, chief telecoms analyst, Ovum.
Can Tim Cook deliver as the next CEO?
Tim Cook has managed the company well during the absence of Jobs. He is considered as a strong operational leader. Since many of Apple’s current challenges revolve around producing new products to address growing demand, Cook will be under pressure.
The silver lining is that Steve Jobs will continue to provide the visionary leadership to Apple. The next variants of major products such as the iPhone and iPad are already well underway, and that the broad strategic direction for future versions has also been set already. Apple’s innovation is unlikely to be impacted in the next one to two years, according to Ovum.
However, the $12.5 billion Motorola-Google deal will have a reckoning effect on Apple. The industry is not clear on the strategies of Apple to take on the Google-owned Motorola.
Steve Jobs has provided both strategic vision and personal leadership at the top of the company, as arguably the most visible and well-known CEO of any technology company today. Tim Cook will not step easily into either of these roles, as a safe pair of hands but hardly a visionary or a charismatic figure, Ovum said in a statement.
Steve Jobs has been the architect of major trends in the music market, the smartphone market and the personal computer market. The iPod and iPad gained dominant market shares, while the iPhone transformed smartphones. However, Apple has been the subject of resentment and criticism for their relatively closed and proprietary approach to these products and the related platforms and services. Will Tim Cook take corrective measures? The industry is waiting to watch.
Will there be any resignations?
Usually, there will be many red faces under a new CEO. Apple should be able to withstand the pressure from the demanding market.
Apple may face greater challenges in the long term. Tim Cook does not have a reputation as a visionary. Cook will be forced to rely on Apple’s senior leadership team to provide an ongoing strategic vision. The next 3-4 quarters will unfold the future of Apple. There are many knives waiting to cut the Apple.
By Baburajan K