Steve Jobs' departure pushes Apple stock down 2.25%
Steve Jobs is taking another leave from Apple for health reasons. This is not the first time that Jobs has left to deal with health issues, so in some ways his departure could have been anticipated to occur again at some point. Because of Jobs' iconic status and his deep connection to the heart of the Apple way, investors immediately reacted to the news and the stock price dropped. Will this spell the end of Apple, or is this simply a minor issue that will not impact the long-term success of one of the world's hottest companies?
The uniqueness of Steve Jobs
There is certainly reason for concern, as Steve Jobs and his unique personality has been a key part of the Apple's success at different points in the history of the company. Jobs brings a sense of vision and a willingness to take risks in an industry that can change at a moments notice. If Jobs is unable to recover and return to Apple at full strength, this may cause the company to change. Granted, change is not always a bad thing, and the reality is that companies like Apple are always changing.
A big company
Another factor to consider is that Steve Jobs is just one man. He may be a powerful driving force at Apple, but the organization is very large and there are many individuals that impact product development, marketing, and visionary planning. Steve is not designing every product, building every unit, and boxing up every shipment. Jobs may have a level of creative control over major decisions, but it is likely that others can step into his role and maintain the success of the company.
For now, Apple is experiencing a great deal of success and momentum as they continue to roll out new products to an eager market. The departure of Jobs may create some individuals and groups to worry about the leadership of Apple, but many consumers are not necessarily even aware of the existence of Steve Jobs. Apple has a number of popular products right now, and it seems reasonable to assume that they will maintain their market share into the near future.
Not going to last forever
The reality is that companies grow and change over time and no leader can stay there forever. Bill Gates has stepped away from leading Microsoft and at some point Steve Jobs will leave Apple for good. Whether companies like Microsoft and Apple continue to find success has as much to do with company structure and ongoing creativity as it has to do with singular leaders. If Steve Jobs does not return to Apple, he will probably be missed. However, whenever someone leaves a company is forced to move in a new direction. Sometimes, this new direction actually makes the company stronger.
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