August 24th is a day which has historically been a significant day in Technology history. In 1995 Microsoft released Windows 95 to the public. Windows 95 is arguably the version of Windows that really propelled Microsoft to the number one personal computing operating system. In 2001, Microsoft released Windows XP to Manufacturers to integrate into systems. Now in 2011 another milestone has occurred. Steve Jobs has resigned from Apple computers as Chief Executive Officer.
Yes, you read that correctly. Steve Jobs has resigned. It is not that he will no longer be involved in Apple, but he is endorsing the Apple succession plan and passing the reins over to Tim Cook to take over control of Apple as CEO. Jobs will still remain on the Board of Directors at Apple as well as on the Board of Disney.
Many speculated that Tim Cook would be the successor as CEO since Cook became acting CEO during each of Jobs’ medical leaves. The first medical leave occurred in 2004 after Jobs underwent a ‘Whipple Procedure’. The second medical leave occurred in January of 2009. The last medical leave was in January of 2011. It has not shocked many that Tim Cook has been named as the next CEO at Apple.
I fear there will be major speculation within the blogging community regarding the future of Apple and how this spells the end of Apple as a company. I am not one of the nay-sayers. It seems like The New York Times has already I firmly believe as though Apple will be around for a very long time.
It is my belief that Apple has a product roadmap that extends out five years. Yes, five years, not 18 months nor 3 years, but a full five years. We can all guess that Apple will release new iPads, iPhones, and iPods over the next five years, along with new Macs and presumably Apple TVs (the set top boxes) but what about after that time frame? That’s where the outcome for Apple’s ultimate future truly lies, but we will not be able to see the results for many years.
As an Apple user and enthusiast, I have every confidence in Apple’s Management team to produce, manufacture and market the best products and services in the personal computing mark. Not just now but also for the foreseeable future. Apple is a juggernaut in many respects. On the personnel front, Apple has 30,600 full time equivalent (FTE) in the retail section of Apple alone. In order to get the company to move it away from its current trajectory, it would take a massive effort, and I do not see that happening. This is not a bad thing in the slightest.
There is one peculiar fact about the choice of date to announce his resignation. It comes exactly 56 years and 6 months after he was born. This may just be pure coincidence but it is rather strange none the less.
Apple is on a trajectory that will continue to make them money in the future. Apple has a management staff that will maintain the quality of products that Apple has become known for. The ultimate test will be in the next few years to see how well Apple maintains their premium status.
[image via Diana Walker]