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Apple Currently Crisis with Steve Jobs

Essay by   •  April 21, 2011  •  Case Study  •  1,927 Words (8 Pages)  •  1,896 Views

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In January of 2011, Steven P. Jobs, the visionary co-founder and chief executive of Apple announced that he was taking a medical leave of absence. Jobs recovered from pancreatic cancer after surgery in 2004, and he just came back a year and a half ago after a liver transplant but had not been appearing in public events since October of 2010 (NYT article). The chief operating office, Timothy D. Cook was announced to again run the company's day-to-day operations as he had during Jobs' 2009 medical leave. During any kind of leadership change it is very common that stock prices will fluctuate, and the NYTimes reports that shares fell in foreign markets by 7.6% on the Monday (MLK day observed in the United States) that Jobs announced his leave. The overall concern of investors is how Jobs' leave will affect the short and long-term future of the company. Like his last leave of absence, Jobs and Apple provide very minimal information regarding his health, "prompting criticism among some shareholders who contended that the company had an obligation to be more forthcoming with information" (NYT article).

Apple is certainly not in any financial crisis, but the growing concern is that the competition has heightened from companies such as Google, Microsoft and Samsung, and Jobs is seen as "inseparable from his company's success" (NYT). With investors unaware of his true physical state they are nervous about the future success of Apple without its leadership, and they have no idea if he will ever return since no time was specified (unlike the last leave when Apple announced that he would be out for six months) (NYTimes). Jobs has been written about and admired for being one of the most noteworthy CEO's ever known, and it has been said on more than one occasion that he is the reason that Apple has become so successful. Giving all of the recognition of success to one individual may not only create concern with investors but also with employees that want to make sure they are working for a company that will be around in 5 or 10 years, but that will also recognized them internally for their contributions for the success of the company. Business leaders shouldn't be the only ones concerned with Jobs departure. Job seekers, too, should pay close attention to how the companies they are interviewing with prepare for the departure of talent.

Strategic Plan

Apple has a huge task ahead and that is to ensure to the public and to investors that Jobs isn't the sole reason for the company success. Jobs is known for making major decisions but also being highly involved in the smallest cosmetic details, "like ensuring that the colors of Google's logo were exactly right on early versions of the iPhone" (NYT). As international competition heightens, "types of outstanding leadership such as transformational, charismatic and visionary, are becoming more and more important to organizations" (Trans Leadership Article). Jobs is a transformational leader, by definition, because he has undoubtedly been known to have a special ability to bring about innovation and change (text). Jobs' influence on the market by creating products that people want to use has transformed Apple into a leader in technology. Now that Jobs will not be handling the day-to-day operations of the company, more emphasis needs to be placed on creating teams that will work together to move the company forward with new products and features, in order to show the market and the consumers the strength of the company with or without Jobs as the leader. Another aspect that can be taken into consideration is that Jobs egocentricity as a leader has not been very beneficial to the company. The important fact here is that Apple can still function and continue to grow as an innovative Corporation with great potential in the technology world, even if Jobs is no longer in charge.

Apple short term mission has to adequately change investor ways of looking at this conglomerate. It is important for consumers and the market to better understand the structure of a company and not only consider that its success is only due to one person only, most companies are successful not only because they have great leaders, but by the way the company is organized and how much involvement comes from its employees. Whether an organization succeeds of fails often is measured by the success of its leader, and this is the problem Apple is having, they have proved their creativity and innovative ways and is important for the company to continue its path, and right now is the time to show that Apple's potential is not only the result of its CEO but the hard work of its employees and a company that was founded under the idea of being the best at what their do, and that is to revolutionize technology with every product that they create. Apple is the pioneer for all other electronic companies in the development of new technologies and in order to retain that title they need to strengthen their credibility to the public demonstrating that the company is as strong as it was before Jobs left.

Additionally, Apple should be in the process of finding a replacement for Jobs, during the process they need to focus on the profile of each individual to see which one would be good match, that person should have a similar ideology, vision, and leadership skills as Jobs in order to keep the company running at almost the same level and under the same expectations. By doing so, Apple would protect its image and it would also have a minimal or no impact on the share prices. At the same time the new leader would be expected to bring something new to the company, making changes that could be positive



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