Apple Without Jobs: The Test of Leadership and Culture

25 08 2011

Talk was flying across social media yesterday as Steve Jobs announced his resignation as CEO.  Tim Cook, Apples Chief Operating Officer will step in as CEO effective immediately.  While the move was swift and surprised a number of people, it was also to be expected.  Jobs health has been in question for some time.  Now the question is will the post Jobs Apple be as good or better?

When I wrote Apples to Apples, I shared views about how Apple’s culture was able to create a huge fan base.  One thing I always wondered is if Apple possessed the five Golden Apple Traits I wrote about in the book, and would Apple be sustainable if Jobs was no longer chief.  Those questions will soon be answered.  For now, the speculation will continue.

While I believe Apple had many of the traits I wrote about in the book, I question leadership and its ability to continue Jobs vision over the long haul.  It was no secret that Jobs was a hands on leader actively involved in virtually every decision of the company.  How does this bode for Tim Cook?  Based on the recommendation he received, I hope Jobs played the part of coach and mentor to help Cook carry the legacy forward.  For now, Apple will continue to do what it does best and over the next few weeks, the rest of us will continue to speculate on what the future will bring in a world where Jobs no longer runs Apple.


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