Should We Worry About Apple?
There are relatively few companies in which we associate a single person as the company. Steve Jobs and Apple is one of those companies.
The initial announcement of the resignation of Jobs came quietly and calmly. It was not completely unexpected as Jobs has been having health issues that have been public since 2004. Even so the repercussions in the market have been significant.
Current off-hours trading is seeing Apple stock drop a tremendous 5%, indicating a serious lack of confidence in the leadership set to take over.
The question is: Is Apple in trouble now that Jobs is gone?
No, I think they are as strong as ever.
One of the problems that a company experiences when its leader becomes the face of the organization is that many forget that an organization consists of more than just a single person, and they begin to attribute all the successes to the leader. While Steve Jobs has played a vital role in the success of Apple, much of the success happens behind the scenes and out of sight. Even with Jobs gone those areas of success are still there and still contain the same talented teams.
Apple has shown consistently that they have developed a company model, brand, and culture that is deep and durable. The fact that Apple already had a succession plan to have Tim Cook become the new CEO means that they had been planning for this event and for the long term success of the company.
While short term I expect Apple stock prices to drop directly related to Jobs’ departure, they will once again reach high levels once it is seen that Apple will continue business as usual.