The recent departure of Steve Jobs from Apple Computer has raised an endless amount of speculation regarding the future of the world’s most valuable company.
“He brought an artist’s sensibility to a field previously populated by capable but tone-deaf engineers. He didn’t just make beautiful looking hardware, he took what was a dead screen full of little green letters on a blue background and turned it into an astounding, enchanting world of graphics, music, and video that has become a central feature of contemporary life.”
When you read words such as these—and they’re not hard to find on the Web—you really get a sense of the almost universal love and admiration for Steve Jobs. There are few who would dispute his significant accomplishments over the years. He made Apple what it is today—period.
It makes you wonder, how is Tim Cook handling this transition period?
As Apple’s new CEO (mind you, he’s been COO at Apple since 2007) Cook has enormous shoes to fill. He’s replacing the most charismatic, idolized CEO of all time. He’s being handed over the reins to arguably the most innovative tech company in the world, one incredibly with more cash reserves than the U.S. Government.
Tim Cook has just got to be feeling… well, no one could even begin to fathom what’s going through his mind right now. The pressure to pick up where Steve Jobs left off and continue Apple’s successes, building a new future, new products, improving Apple’s platforms. His to-do list must be absolutely massive.
But can Tim Cook really fill Steve Jobs’ shoes? Could anyone for that matter?
The creative brilliance of Steve Jobs is definitely unique. Without question there will probably never be another CEO quite like him. He’s been called many things: a prolific inventor, a visionary, a role model for young entrepreneurs, obsessively driven, and a marketing prophet —also ruthless and a tyrant, all in the same breath.
Nevertheless with such endearing qualities Steve Jobs has in recent years come to exemplify what it means to be a successful leader.
Undoubtedly there will be countless books surfacing in the future analyzing the legacy Steve Jobs left behind. How Apple went against the grain challenging IBM and others; how the iconic leader changed the tech industry forever with the iPod, iPhone, and most recently, iPad; how the shrewd businessman turned around the once struggling company to become the industry’s design and innovation leader.
Steve Jobs has effectively set the benchmark for business leadership the way Michael Jordan set it in basketball and Wayne Gretzky in hockey.
Apple is currently on top of the world, but for how long? Perhaps the “Cult of Mac” has finally reached its pinnacle. The arrival of Tim Cook could very well usher in a new era of success for Apple, but clearly, a sizable piece of the Apple mystique has left the building along with Steve Jobs.