You don’t need to be a major Apple Fanboy like me to know that Steve Jobs has been on medical leave since January and will not be returning until June and this has brought Mr. Jobs’ health into question and if he is going to be able to return to Apple as CEO. Mr. Jobs had pancreatic cancer in 2004 and although it was treated people, especially shareholders, have questioned if he can continue to lead Apple and if he is about to die who will take over the role of Apple CEO after him. Although Apple claims that Steve will be returning in June and resume his role but, he is 54 and not immortal so at some point in time, he will have to step down from CEO either from resigning or dying while still CEO and many people are wondering who will succeed Steve. History lesson here, when Steve was fired in 1984, Apple declined until he returned and Apple lost it’s hold on the Personal computer market that it created. The problem was that no one had the charism or skills Steve does and I have looked at the people I think are possibilities to take over the CEO position and weigh in who I think will be chosen although I hope this plan will not have to be put in action anytime soon.
Tim Cook is the obvious choice since, he is the Chief Operating Officer and while Steve is on medical leave he is Interim CEO. He is a very well qualified business leader but, I do not think he has the charisma that gave Steve the cult following nor, the vision that has fuel Apple’s innovation.
Phil Shiller, Apple’s Senior Vice President of Worldwide Product Marketing, is well know for helping Steve in his keynote demos and has worked with Steve since he ran NeXt Computer which means he may be more in tune with the Steve’s plan for Apple. The one worry I have is lack of business experience and if he could be an effective CEO and well as a visionary.
Scott Forstall, to me would be the ideal candiate as far as being the visionary who can attract the Apple Cult following as well as keep the vision for Apple’s future alive. The only downside is that he does not have the business experience but, I think if he keeps Cook on as COO as the Business guy and he runs the vision and keeps the Apple culture alive.
As I said he is ideal for keeping the Apple cuture alive and not only that reminds me of a younger Steve Jobs and would be good to keep the vision for Apple’s future alive and the culture that keeps the public interested in Apple.
Images Courtesy of Apple Inc. (Apple.com)