On Steve Jobs’ Resignation

The extraordinary outpouring of coverage of the resignation of Steve Jobs as CEO of
Apple is well justified. It is difficult – maybe impossible – to think of
another example of a leader who took a company from near oblivion and
transformed it into the second (briefly, first) most valuable company on the
planet in just 14 years (while, at the same time, revolutionizing how animated
movies are created and making himself another fortune along the way.) Nor is it
easy to think of someone – Thomas Edison? – who so revolutionized so many
aspects of our daily lives: how we use phones, how we get our music and video,
how personal computers should be designed, etc. etc. I have always believed in
the “great man” theory of business (see my Financial Times article on this
subject) and the career of Steve Jobs exemplifies it (along with the fact that
you don’t have to be a nice guy to finish first.) In the short and even medium run, Apple will be fine – its category killing products and strong backlog will continue to dominate. But in the long run, the absence of Jobs will be severely felt.