Mr. Gottheil? Steve Jobs Called. He Said to Tell You Nobody Needs You Anymore, Either
Jack Welch once called Apple CEO Steve Jobs “the most successful CEO today.” Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates has described Jobs as “an inspirational leader,” the best he’s ever met. And Jobs is said to be worth more to his company than any other CEO in the world. If he were to leave Apple (AAPL)–willingly or otherwise–the company would suffer a $20 billion blow to its market capitalization, according to a 2007 survey by Barrons.
Yet, Apple doesn’t need him–according to Ezra Gottheil of Technology Business Research, who says the iCEO could be replaced by COO Tim Cook and Jonathan Ive, Apple’s senior vice president for industrial design.
“Apple doesn’t need Jobs anymore,” Gottheil said. “He’s established three sound businesses–Mac, iPod and the iPhone–and the company knows how to execute his fanatical devotion to design and usability. There’s a stable management team in place, and they know what they’re doing. Without Jobs, Apple would have to pay a lot more to get the world’s attention. But he’s got a company and a brand and an organization and a strategy in place. There’s no reason to think that those things can’t be carried forward without him.”
Perhaps not–Jobs wouldn’t permit things to unfold otherwise. But there’s no reason to think that they’ll ever be quite the same either.