Steve Jobs Should Step Down from Apple

John Kheit - The Devil's AdvocateSteve Jobs should step down as CEO and quit from Apple. It would be the best thing he could do for himself and the company.

The mentally challenged tech press, pundits and analysts covering Apple are going to give him and Apple no peace. Most every single article regarding the company and its CEO, from here on out, will harp on, allude to, and/or call into question his health, his likelihood of not returning, and potential unclean hands on the part of Apple and its board.  

There will be impassioned pleas that Mr. Jobs "owes" something to the shareholders. That he must open the kimono on his health records. That, really, Jobs is in his death throws. That he's in denial. That his cancer is back. That he lied. That he knew he was sick. That Apple knew. That the board knew. They'll ignore the plain words he uses "during the past week I have learned..." It will be a constant stream of conjectures about that, this, and the other doom-and-gloom things, adding injury to insult.

All with the obnoxiously ostensible purpose of "informing the people," or "disseminating" the "information" that users and stockholders "need." In reality, it's just a pack of hyenas and vultures that want to convert this "information dissemination" into a piranha-like feeding frenzy of clicks to their tech-paparazzi tabloid coverage, which is justified with smug and obnoxious told-you-so righteousness. 

They all will ask if Apple and Mr. Jobs mishandled this, yet they will never shine that same critical light on themselves much less accept any blame or responsibility. After all, they are mere conduits and vessels of the information, by golly, of the truth! Of the truth they decided that we so desperately have a need and right to know. We have technology press and analysts that, with few exceptions, are such a miserable scab-picking group of dung eaters that the odds of them ever laying off or doing the right thing asymptotically approaches zero. There is no self-control, self-restraint, genuine sympathy or selflessness.

So, although Jobs hopes that taking a medical leave will take the focus off of his health and allow Apple to concentrate on what it does best, that's likely to fail. While taking leave from Apple (something he so clearly loves) for everyone else's benefit, frankly, is astoundingly selfless, sadly it's likely in vain. His note, more likely, just gifted the press 6 months of "death watch" coverage on both Apple and him.

They'll keep hounding them, too. They'll keep writing stories or offering analysis that will keep the focus off of what Apple does and help pound the stock into the ground, and with the SEC so clearly asleep at the switch, those that wish to game the stock, they have at least 6 months of leaking "information" to wreak plenty more havoc. Those vultures will feed on Apple's secrecy and Mr. Jobs's privacy, living off the innuendos and fear mongering. Week after week. Month after month.

So he should quit. The standard PR of “quitting to spend more time with his family” is plenty of justification. The stock likely will tank for a couple of days (instead of months), but it will level out.

After that, the press really will have no right to snoop or know about the health of private citizen Steve Jobs. And since he would no longer be at Apple, it takes away the stock gamers’ ability to use his health to manipulate the stock. Also, Apple avoids any further liability issues with regard to choices Steve makes about his health and privacy.Attention can return to “what will Apple come out with now?” Eventually, and whenever the heck he wants, Steve Jobs can come back. We all know that and welcome it.

In the mean time, while the rest of the Apple team continues to perform just great, it will give the world greater confidence in Apple's abilities. It will make the "Apple without Jobs" issue moot.

I just wonder if anyone has the guts to suggest it to Steve.  He deserves a real break and has my sincere well wishes.  

*In the interest of full disclosure, the author holds a share in AAPL stock that most certainly was an influence in the creation of this article.

Sign Up for the Newsletter

Join the TMO Express Daily Newsletter to get the latest Mac headlines in your e-mail every weekday.

Comments

Terrin

I agree.

WadeHM

And here I thought I was the only one who noticed the ravenous tech news wolves who’s hunger for news of Steve having ill health out weighs common sense and real tech news. Steve Ballmer could drop dead of a heart attack tomorrow, but there would be minimal questions about Microsoft’s future.

These media whores probably pray for Jobs to have ill health, and I’ll bet that many of these vultures are the same ones who for a decade shouted that old mantra, “Apple is dead.” These jackals remind me of the political press that could help themselves when they said nothing but mean and vicsious lies about Sarah Palin. They are all of the same ilk.

Frankly, if Jobs left Apple now, Apple would be fine. Steve knows the day is coming and will not leave Apple in the hands of inept CEOs without his same vision. Neither will Apple itself, having learned a harsh lesson when they booted Steve out once before and nearly doomed the company before bringing the One back to save them.

JonGl

The problem is that Jobs _did_ take full advantage of “progressive” truth. The timing of the announcements is just too coincidental for me to believe that he only last week learned the news that made him decide. Worse, Apple has a record of revealing “progressive” truth about things—first denying in full, then admitting in part, and denying in part, lastly, admitting in full—granted, usually about products in the pipeline, but why change tactics when it has worked so well in the past. IMO, it is this progressive truth rather than giving the real truth that hurts Apple more than the mere announcement. When Apple/Jobs keep looking at what is under their coat, you can’t help but wonder what they are hiding, which just encourages the filth we all hate. But Steve and Apple are hardly innocent in this. They’ve been feeding them.

-Jon

dave

Great article. My prayers to Mr. Jpbs

WadeHM, please do list the lies told of Sarah Palin. The world is awaiting with bated breath, remorseful that they were mislead by what they thought was her own words and thoughts emitting from her own face. If only we had known someone else was making her say those words, thinking those thoughts and of course, winking, she would be President, and no the “The One”.

Because the World really did need a leader who had never really been anywhere or done anything, to lead us out this global mess George has left us.

brett_x

When I read the headline of this article, I thought it was troll talk. But there’s one line in here that brings it all home for me: “it takes away the stock gamers? ability to use his health to manipulate the stock.”
As much vision as Steve has, I think his biggest weakness is his ability to judge how his (and Apple’s) actions will affect the stock price. With regards to his health, he’s tried a number of different strategies.. from flat out denial, to “Go away, it’s none of your business” and then “Okay, I’ll say a few words.” Really, no matter what he does, they find a way to use it against him.
More recently, I think they’ve tried to reverse the trend of their stock price dropping after scheduled media events. It’s said to be one of the reasons they’re pulling out of Macworld. They want to control the timing of the events. But that hasn’t worked out yet either. Its still a safe bet to sell your stock just before and Apple event, and buy it again a week later.
So maybe it is time for him to leave for a bit. If the company still does well in these economic conditions without him there, it will be evidence that he isn’t the linchpin that keeps it all together.

cramar

Let’s see…this article has a major premise: “The mentally challenged tech press, pundits and analysts covering Apple are going to give him and Apple no peace.”

Therefore, Steve Jobs should leave.

Now that is certainly an brilliant conclusion from an author under the category of an analyst covering Apple in the tech press.

What SJ needs upon return is to manage PR and news so that it better reflects positively on Apple’s stock. If he has a weakness, it lies in the area of responsiblity to those who are stakeholders in the organization he heads.

mike

MacDailyNews’ SteveJack said much the same in mid-Dec 2008:

http://macdailynews.com/index.php/weblog/comments/19431/

Tiger

I agree, now is the time. Not that I want to see Steve go. He is as much a part of Apple as Gates is to Microsoft. But now is the opportune time to pass the torch once and for all to let the company prove it has the staying power we all hope it has. The stock has wretched far and wide over his health issues. I understand the frustration. But we’re all living, and dying, at the same time. He may have saved Apple, but he’s paid a heavy price himself.

We wish you well SJ. Do what you have to do. Live a life. Enjoy your family. You have set Apple up to lead this century as one of the great industrial players. Let your baby fly now and watch with pride.

(and down $4 is nothing, has anybody seen Dell’s stock price lately????)

Richard Meyeroff

I think this time off will allow Jobs to look at his team from the outside while still in control and make some decisions about succession. This is what Apple needs so that if Jobs can’t come back it will be smooth and present to Apple users and the financial community in a proper manner.

tethernaut

Mr. Jobs’ duty is to do what is best for the LONG TERM success of Apple and it shareholders.  If he and Apple’s board believe his current health problems are treatable, that he will be able to return in a few months to the level of vigor required to serve as a CEO, and that he is the best individual to serve as CEO of the company, then it does NOT make sense for him to leave Apple just to serve the short term interests of speculative investors.  To hell with the media vultures and the short-term speculative investors.  I am interested in the stock price of Apple in March 2019, not March 2009.  IMNSHO the best thing for Mr. Jobs to do is rest up & fatten up, come back in June as CEO, but at that time lay out a clear succession plan that will put to rest the fear and uncertainty.

Roald

“After that, the press really will have no right to snoop or know about the health of private citizen Steve Jobs.”

And you are? Not the press? And you know everything about his health based on absolutely zero information? Wow… You are the kind of “journalist” I always warn my students about. I think we should await more facts. Let’s look at it this way: if you had put all your time and passion into this one big company, and you fell ill (again), then would you just leave it like that because (perhaps unlike your doctors) journalists told you it was terminal?

Carol Bradford

I too wish SJ good health. Seriously, does anyone think we’ll all switch back to Windows because Apple is under new management?

Robert Little

Mr. Kheit,
I’m not sure how you get off with such arrogance. The idea that Steve Jobs should make his health and career decisions based on the fuss the media will invariably make over is pure idiocy. Perhaps if people like you would stop writing articles like these - as if you have control of the tech universe - Apple’s stock would not have dropped as low as it has. In the mean time, I advise that those with the means invest. The price is a steal and Apple will continue to be a leader in the business, even if Jobs because a bit less involved in the company, or worse. We should all wish him the best of health and hope he pulls through for his sake.

reinharden

I’ve got to go with Robert Little.  This is just stupid.

The long-term interest of the stockholders isn’t driven by short-term moves in the stock price.  Mr. Jobs’ job isn’t to manage the stock price, it’s to manage the company.  It’s up to the market to decide whether or not the stock price reflects the company performance.

I, for one, believe that the company is performing excellently and I hope that Mr. Jobs recovers quickly and fully and returns to Apple reinvigorated and awash with new ideas.  I suspect that having 6 months away from the day-to-day operations of Apple might allow him some additional perspective.  I mean, I don’t disagree with his personally choosing songs to be used in iTunes ads.  But I’d prefer that his limited time and energy be consumed on something more inventive.


Having personally gone through cancer and several years of mysterious maladies afterwards, I can say that the one thing a glimpse of mortality brought me was a wonderful willingness to only work on those things that actually mattered to me.  Judging from his performance since 2004, I think Mr. Jobs reached a similar state (if he hadn’t previously done so).

reinharden

Nookster

I’m more interested in these ‘Death Throws’, perhaps he’s perfecting them to finish off his detractors, going for that Frawress Victoly?

WetcoastBob

Good idea for all the reasons you mentioned.  Could give SJ a bit more peace of mind and breathing room.

Think of the PR when he returns.  If he returns?

Log-in to comment