Home > Mac News > Jobs Resigns… Sort Of

Jobs Resigns… Sort Of

August 25th, 2011
Well, it happened:

To the Apple Board of Directors and the Apple Community:

I have always said if there ever came a day when I could no longer meet my duties and expectations as Apple’s CEO, I would be the first to let you know. Unfortunately, that day has come.

I hereby resign as CEO of Apple. I would like to serve, if the Board sees fit, as Chairman of the Board, director and Apple employee.

As far as my successor goes, I strongly recommend that we execute our succession plan and name Tim Cook as CEO of Apple.

I believe Apple’s brightest and most innovative days are ahead of it. And I look forward to watching and contributing to its success in a new role.

I have made some of the best friends of my life at Apple, and I thank you all for the many years of being able to work alongside you.

—Steve

Surprisingly, Apple stock only fell about 20 points–but then again, Jobs has been on so many medical leaves, is staying on as director and “employee,” and Tim Cook has a good track record, so I guess this is being taken as a very gentle roll instead of the bottom dropping out. Also, what with the iPad and iPhone going so strong, it’s kind of hard to be bearish about Apple anyway. I think it’s fairly safe to say that Jobs has done a pretty good job over the past 13 or so years imprinting his style on Apple’s corporate culture.

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  1. Troy
    August 25th, 2011 at 15:19 | #1

    the neat thing about Apple is that it’s one of the few tech companies that has been actually inventing the future.

    I bought my IIcx in 1989 and it was a good 6 years ahead of Windows then.

    I do look forward to what Microsoft is working on for the next x-box, but it won’t be any better or radically different than what I can build now from newegg.

    Apple has the power to create something different, something that no other tech company can do.

    Apple doesn’t need Jobs to do this, either.

    Tough to see the next 5-10 years coming. Not sure what needs to be done now, other than making the iPhone 4 and iPad 2 hardware actually affordable.

    Maybe the next Apple will focus on that, going massively mainstream with quality and affordability.

  2. Tim Kane
    August 26th, 2011 at 04:08 | #2

    One thing the Jobs/Apple saga has taught, is that MBAs shouldn’t be running technology companies, unless the MBA is secondary to their tech savy awareness or ‘feel.’ I’m not sure I would classify Jobs as a “techy” – but he certainly had a feel for technology.

    Apple was founded by two guys, at least one very techy (Wozniak), and the other tech savy, but also with a strong liberal arts bent (Jobs). The company got big. They pushed out Jobs and brought in the ‘professional’ managers. The MBA ‘types’. The company collapsed. They brought back Jobs and the company catapulted to the top.

    Now look at HP. Look at any tech company that is no longer being run by a founder or a techy/tech savy person. The company was founded by techy people. They haven’t had good leadership in over a decade. The current guy is from an software company, SAP – since he doesn’t understand hardware he’s attempting to turn HP into SAP.

    Look at GM. For decades they’ve been run by finance guys. Only in the last decade was a ‘car guy’ given control (and enough control) over product development. GM’s current crop of product is the best it’s ever had. But it’s already falling apart. The replacement for the Malibu looks like a dog. No one with a choice or without bias is going to buy it over a Sonata.

    I worked at GM for a little bit. All ideas start out in marketing. Then they’d go to design, then manufacturing engineering, industrial engineering… but the last group to get the project was the cost accountants… and they’d strip the car of content to save money… and quite often they stripped revenue twice as fast as they stripped cost. In the mid 1980s GM came out with the Corsica… it was a spot on competitor to the Honda Accord at the time. The Corsica was a bucket of bolts, it was junk. It made no dent on Honda Accord sales what so ever. Believe me, the Corsica did not start out as junk. It merely ended up as junk.

    I could go on. I’m not aware of any tech driven companies that are well run by MBAs.

    I don’t think Jobs was a genius. In 2000, my friends that I worked with at Sprint were all buying Palm Pilots and the like. Because we worked at Sprint we all had to have Sprint phones. We were carrying two devices in our pocket. We were all talking about total digital convergence. We were not geniuses, that’s just logical… we had too many devices in our pockets and we were spending too much on them (but at the time, could afford to).

    Jobs, I think, saw the same thing. Only he had a computer company. He had a liberal arts mind frame so could think wholistically about the experience of having and using technology. That’s not genius, in my book. It’s smart, but not genius.

    HP cleared out their entire inventory of tablets in less than a half a day by selling them at $100 to $150 last weekend. That should tell someone something. I keep saying a device, that fits on my wrist, that can act as a phone, a reader, a video device, an fm radio, a web browser… everything… all in one device, on my wrist with a 5 inch screen (so that as a reader I’m looking at the size of a normal paper back book when I read)… I can do Dick Tracy phone conversations with my wrist, or with a quick disconnect blue tooth device to my ear so I don’t have to take the device off my wrist if I want a private conversation. I can watch videos on the train or subway… whatever…

    Total digital convergence is not hard to envision. But you must have SOME vision. MBAs have none. Now with HP leaving the consumer hardware market, there’s more room for Apple or some other company to grow – but it’s a shame that so many technology companies can’t survive beyond their founders.

    BTW one such company, so far, is Intel. But their first post Grove CEO was a bust. They got lucky with their current guy. We’ll see how long they last. They aren’t strong in the mobile market, or so it seems to me, so it appears that they are playing catch up. But at least they aren’t hiring software guys who sell off the main line of the company at fire sale prices because he doesn’t understand the market.

    Founders and Tech savy people, then people with good human relations skills, all should have more authority than the accountants.

    Of course the MBAs are the same group of people who run Wall Street and the Banks and now control our government as a result.

    Jobs will be missed, but not if they have tech savy people coming in behind him.

  3. Troy
    August 26th, 2011 at 08:32 | #3

    “HP cleared out their entire inventory of tablets in less than a half a day by selling them at $100 to $150 last weekend. That should tell someone something”

    80% off moves product.

    This gets to my point above though that the iPhone-4 and iPad-2 class hardware is really Good Enough. What Apple should do know is focus on cutting the cost of production to get this technology to people who can’t afford the higher cost of entry.

    But this hasn’t been Apple’s style in the past, but their not going cheap when they could resulted in the rise of Windows 3 and the first NDE for the company.

    I’m not going to miss Jobs that much. Apple did lots of good stuff when he was gone, and I doubt having him around running things would have made the company better in the late 80s & early 90s.

    In 1989 I had the choice between a IIcx and a NeXT cube. I don’t regret my decision, not at all.

  4. Tim Kane
    August 27th, 2011 at 00:03 | #4

    Apple occupies the same spot in computers that BMW has in cars. No point in moving down market. They have cache and that generates monopoly rents.

    But HP sold their product at BMW prices. Thats the mistake. Tablets ought to be cheap to make. I say ought, because I don’t know for sure. I see a 5 to 10 inch screen, little in the way of moving parts, and I’m buying net books at about $225 that have a lot of moving parts, namely a key board and a hard drive.

    HP couldn’t capture the BMW market position showing up as a follower. But they could have gone volume, and then worked to come up with the next wow thing themselves. Wow factor gets you the BMW market position. Stretch for Total Digital convergence and you stand a chance to get there. The hierarchy should be techys, humanist/liberalarts/marketiers/with tech savy and last and least MBAs (who know the cost of everything but the value of nothing).

    I suppose that HP thought they were getting a tech savy marketier with Carly Fiorina, oops.

  5. Troy
    August 27th, 2011 at 06:13 | #5

    I really wish Apple would go for more of Commodore thing of power to the masses.

    Apple has always charged what the market would bear, which is good in that it allows them the margins to invest in creating the next wave of goodness — Mac / Laserwriter, Mac II, iPod/iPhone/iPad, but it’s bad in that it leaves gaps in the ecosystem for competitors to rip them off and gain mass marketshare or worse (like when Windows 95 came pretty close to taking out the Mac altogether).

    Apple doesn’t need a race to the bottom but I’d like to see it focus on affordability.

  6. stevetv
    August 27th, 2011 at 07:56 | #6

    This is extremely sad news. He wouldn’t step down if he couldn’t help it, and I suppose we should brace for the inevitable.

    I’m sure you can’t be as powerful as Jobs is without being cutthroat, but he always came across as a nice guy and you can’t understate his importance in the business of consumer electronics. Barring a miraculous recovery, I hope things will be peaceful for him.

  7. Troy
    September 1st, 2011 at 16:41 | #7

    Hey Luis, dunno if you still have a Mac and have 10.7 yet, but the Kyoko text-to-speech voice is pretty cool!

    Just as fun now as it was back in the early 1990s, playing with the new AV macs and their voices . . .

    Having the voice read random Japanese text, I’m getting about a ~90% match to how a native speaker would sound. A little bit off, but I’m not noticing any major errors. It reads pretty fast, but that’s good for practice.

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