Thursday, August 25, 2011

Apple begins post-Jobs era

Steve Jobs has left Apple Inc. for stints before due to serious health problems. Today, Apple's CEO and figurehead announced that he would resign from the company, leaving it in the hands of Tim Cook.

With Apple hugely influential to the semiconductor and MEMS markets, with rumors of a solar foray in the works, Job's departure could have ripple effects throughout the electronics supply chain.

Tim Cook, Apple's COO, will take over as CEO. Cook took the reins during Jobs' most recent medical leave in January, and Apple's Board of Directors seemed pleased with his abilities. He takes the job with Jobs' recommendation. As COO, Cook was previously responsible for all of the company's worldwide sales and operations, including end-to-end management of Apple's supply chain, sales activities, and service and support in all markets and countries. He also headed Apple's Macintosh division and played a key role in the continued development of strategic reseller and supplier relationships, ensuring flexibility in response to an increasingly demanding marketplace.

Steve Jobs' legacy at Apple can hardly be overstated. In a letter to shareholders and consumers, Jobs stated that "Apple's brightest and most innovative days are ahead of it," adding that he would continue to contribute to the company in a new role.

Apple shares fell on Jobs' announcement, but Wall Street analysts remained uniformly behind Apple's succession plan and business prospects, says Rex Crum, MarketWatch. Apple shares remain up about 14% since the first of the year. The sell-off will be short-lived, analysts agree, as new buyers leap at the lower stock price for the successful company, and influential market watchers come out in support of Cook's leadership.

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