During the start of this week, news filtered in that Apple CEO Steve Jobs is taking a medical leave of absence (if it’s just not part of an Apple marketing strategy ahead of the launch of a product) and thus having the COO run the company’s day to day affairs.
Given the fact that Jobs has come to represent the company’s persona, I wondered how his absence will impact the company. The first place I turned to was the stock market where the price of Apple share fell by about 4.2 percent. This is really interesting because hitherto, the company’s stock was among the best performing ones out there, if not THE.
Again, this piqued my curiosity in the sense that here’s a company that has some of the most loyal and vociferous users in the world but yet has it’s entire charm, charisma and ‘lifeline’ vested in one man. The natural question that comes to mind here is, can Apple survive the demise of Jobs someday?
There’s also an interesting contrast here between Apple and arch rival Google in that the persona and charm of the latter is almost entirely represented by those six alphabets, completely omitting founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin.
I am no Apple user nor a Jobsian, but I’d really not like to see the company lose its market ‘potency’ someday in the absence of Jobs. More competitors generally work in the interest of end users and thus seeing that Apple has apparently invested so much in Uncle Jobs to me is an unsafe bet.