Apple succession plan

  • Posted: 25 January 2011 07:45 PM

    Most media and commentators view Tim Cook as the most likely heir to S. Jobs
    To me it is not so. I would argue That among Apple top Management Scott Forestall has the best mix of competences and aptitudes to succeed Steve Jobs.

    [ Edited: 25 January 2011 07:48 PM by Hamourabi ]      
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    Posted: 25 January 2011 07:54 PM #1

    Hamourabi - 25 January 2011 11:45 PM

    Most media and commentators view Tim Cook as the most likely heir to S. Jobs
    To me it is not so. I would argue That among Apple top Management Scott Forestall has the best mix of competences and aptitudes to succeed Steve Jobs.

    Scott Forestall is the next one after Tim Cook.  The likely transition would be similar to Google.  SJ, Tim Cook, Scott Forestall >> SJ becomes executive Chairman, Tim Cook becomes CEO, Scott Forestall becomes the pitch man>>SJ and Tim Cook both retired and Scott Forestall becomes CEO.

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  • Posted: 25 January 2011 07:54 PM #2

    Hamourabi - 25 January 2011 11:45 PM

    Most media and commentators view Tim Cook as the most likely heir to S. Jobs
    To me it is not so. I would argue That among Apple top Management Scott Forestall has the best mix of competences and aptitudes to succeed Steve Jobs.

    I agree with Hamourabi. Scott Forstall—along with his technical talents, including the key Apple core competence of software vision—is (after Jobs) the best presenter at Apple and has the most on-stage charisma.

         
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    Posted: 25 January 2011 08:40 PM #3

    Is there anyone here that thinks that SJ does not control who the successor is? This is the 3rd time Cook has assumed the role of CEO, case closed. I guess if you want to run TC away from Apple, then yeah, I guess you would throw him under the bus and move someone over him. It was TC who streamlined Apple to begin with.

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    Posted: 26 January 2011 11:52 AM #4

    Cook is the regent, not necessarily the heir.

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  • Posted: 26 January 2011 02:14 PM #5

    Jobs is a cult personality whose name has been virutally synonymous with Apple since the beginning. Consequently it is hard for some to imagine not having a drop-in replacement figurehead for the company.

    However, I think a little “load balancing” might be a good thing, when the time comes to replace him for good. Sure, one person will have the title of CEO, but there’s no reason they can’t have multiple figureheads. Cook as the more reserved CEO, Forestall as the charismatic stage guy.

    Keeping a couple people in the limelight could be good insurance too… so if one of them were to become ill or simply choose to move on to other things, Apple wouldn’t have all their eggs in one basket by having a single personality at the top.

    [ Edited: 26 January 2011 02:27 PM by David Nelson ]      
  • Posted: 27 January 2011 08:19 AM #6

    cult personality

     


    Seems a poor choice of words ......for these pages.

         
  • Posted: 27 January 2011 02:42 PM #7

    danthemason - 27 January 2011 12:19 PM

    cult personality

    Seems a poor choice of words ......for these pages.

    You’re right, I’m sure some out there would take offense. The point is just that a lot of the buzz around Apple has to do with Steve Jobs. There are cult personalities, cult brands, etc. It’s not necessarily bad, it’s simply the way things are and it’s part of what causes Apple to have such a loyal user base. smile

         
  • Posted: 27 January 2011 04:28 PM #8

    Mace - 25 January 2011 11:54 PM

    Scott Forestall is the next one after Tim Cook.  The likely transition would be similar to Google.  SJ, Tim Cook, Scott Forestall >> SJ becomes executive Chairman, Tim Cook becomes CEO, Scott Forestall becomes the pitch man>>SJ and Tim Cook both retired and Scott Forestall becomes CEO.

    Yes.

    Forestall has learned much from SJ.  During Cooks tenure as CEO, he will learn much from Cook.  Then he could be ready.  For those who doubt this, does anyone think that SJ has not learned a lot from Cook, just as Cook has been learning from SJ?

         
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    Posted: 28 January 2011 10:37 AM #9

    There is a good analytical piece in the current Bloomberg Business Week about Steve Jobs and possible successors:  http://www.businessweek.com/magazine/content/11_05/b4213006664366.htm

    The most telling paragraph in the article by Brad Stone and Peter Burrows is this:

    “Some outsiders fear that Jobs alone can stir this mix of talent. Take him out of the picture and the water goes calm, says a manager who does business with Apple, who did not want to be quoted by name because it would hurt his business relationship with the company. During Jobs’ last absence, this person says, the creative tension disappeared, replaced by a play-it-safe ethos. The unavoidable fact is that lots of people can manage the company. Only Steve Jobs could have had the visionary spirit?and risk tolerance?to turn Apple into a mobile phone company.”

    I think that if Steve Jobs has to leave permanently, Apple becomes just another high tech company.

         
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    Posted: 28 January 2011 10:56 AM #10

    During Jobs? last absence, this person says, the creative tension disappeared, replaced by a play-it-safe ethos.

    I call bullshit on this one. A person outside the company (let alone most of the people inside the company) wouldn’t know about the level of “creative tension”. Gimme a break. Creative tension would exist on product updates and future products and only then at the highest levels since many of the Worker Bees (remember that guy?!) are only privy to the pieces and parts and not the visionary future. Steve was only gone for 6 months last time, which is a drop in the bucket in Apple’s multi-year planning.

    My 2 uninformed cents (like pretty much anyone else that’s quoted).

    [ Edited: 28 January 2011 11:25 AM by ChasMac77 ]      
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    Posted: 28 January 2011 11:11 AM #11

    Creativity does require some tension.  Also key are:  talent in oneself, talent in those around you, the proper tools, the proper workrooms and time/funding.  Ideas are not enough.