Is Apple Cooking Jobs' Replacement?
Members of Apple Inc.'s board recently approached high-profile executive recruiters to discuss the succession of the company's CEO, Steve Jobs. And although they weren't acting on behalf of the full board, they are clearly indicating that perhaps Apple's options aren't limited to appointing COO Tim Cook, when the time comes.
Make no mistake, it won't be easy to fill in a vacancy of this magnitude. And although Steve is very much alive and critically involved in the development of the company, it is wise if its leadership is already exploring his potential replacement. Others, like Research in Motion (RIMM) have the "privilege" of counting with two CEOs among its board - but the market hasn't seen the advantages of this structure just yet - so it is highly unlikely Apple would "co-" anything now, or later; still I would recommend to keep the business "in the fruit's basket". Hopefully, the implications of Steve's health problems, and an imminent reappointment, won't cause huge share drops, as it happens when there are related announcements.
Jobs' health (something he obviously prefers not to discuss) has been the subject of worldwide speculation, since he was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer back in 2003. By 2005 he was already in remission, after beating, a rare and treatable, less deadly form of the disease. In 2008 he attributed his sudden weight loss to "nutritional problems", but in 2009 he underwent a liver transplant. In spite of his illness, all these years, he continued to drive the company to global "i" success; not just as an iconic brand, but also as an excellent product innovator, market and industry leader. For sure 'shiny Apple' is a reflection of Steve's brilliant job.