John Paczkowski

Recent Posts by John Paczkowski

Apple Investors Are Wusses

Ironic, isn’t that, that in this decade of CEO scandals and corporate duplicity, shareholders are punishing Apple–which in its last quarterly statement, reported earnings of $1.14 billion on sales of $7.9 billion, with nearly $25 billion in cash–for allowing CEO Steve Jobs a medical leave of absence?

Apple (AAPL) shares dropped as much as 10 percent Wednesday evening after the company broke the news, slashing more than $6 billion off its market cap. And they’re trading lower again today.

A timid group, Apple investors–risk-averse and apparently too easily frightened to actually own the stock.

Faithless.

To sell on this news, or any of the Jobs-related health rumors or reports the company has suffered this past year, is silly.

Because if Jobs were to leave Apple–willingly or otherwise–people won’t suddenly stop buying Macs. The iPod won’t suddenly go the way of the Walkman and early adopters won’t suddenly lose interest in the next-gen iPhone. Nor will the Houdini-meets-Edison magic that Jobs has brought to Apple suddenly dissipate.

Yes, Jobs’s sensibility pervades Apple’s culture and its products, but that culture and those products are not tethered to his health or day-to-day presence at the company. And Apple’s deep executive bench is more than capable of running it–and running it well–in his absence.

iPhones worldwide will not stop working if something should happen to Steve–although apparently there are quite a few investors who believe this is indeed the case.

Apple will endure–with or without Steve Jobs. There will be a post-Jobs era, and whether it begins this year or 20 years from now is of little consequence. So if you’ve sold your Apple shares on any of these Jobs health reports…well, you won’t be watching them spike when the company announces the next iPhone or reports another blowout quarter, now will you? Perhaps, your allowance is better spent on something else….

“Apple doesn’t need Jobs anymore,” wrote Ezra Gottheil of Technology Business Research. “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.”

No reason at all.


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The problem with the Billionaire Savior phase of the newspaper collapse has always been that billionaires don’t tend to like the kind of authority-questioning journalism that upsets the status quo.

— Ryan Chittum, writing in the Columbia Journalism Review about the promise of Pierre Omidyar’s new media venture with Glenn Greenwald