The consensus of analysts is that Mr. Jobs, despite the stock options probe, is not likely to be forced out of Apple. Other former executives at Apple are under close scrutiny by the federal government, but not Mr. Jobs so far as we know.
Just as an exercise, who might be asked to fill in for Steve if he were forced out of the company? At least until a successor could be found. After all, there must be a succession plan. Whois on it?
- Timothy Cook - Mr. Cook is the ultimate detail man. Heis generally soft spoken but can show a temper, as any executive can, when greatly annoyed. He was brought in to manage the procurement of parts, production, and generally oversee sales. Tim is not a man of great charisma nor even the visible, passionate leadership that Apple would need. He would stay where he is, doing a brilliant, behind the scenes job.
- Phil Schiller - Mr. Schiller is an easy man to underestimate. While oval and jovial in keynotes, Mr. Schiller commands an excellent grasp of Apple products and how to talk to the public about them. He can incite subordinates to action with his passion, and he has a good technical and academic background. He knows how to look after Appleis interests. He would probably be the choice for not only interim but permanent CEO.
- Sina Tamaddon - Little is known about him. Unproven and unfamilar. But heis risen to senior VP at Apple and stayed there for a long time.
- Eric Schmidt - Mr. Schmidt has the industry experience and charisma to step up and hold the temporary CEO position until someone else is found. How long he could remain the CEO of both Google and Apple is problematic. It wouldnit be wise, even if possible.
- Avie Tevanian - Mr. Tevanian has the age, wisdom, and technical savvy to step in for the short term. He retired from Apple in March 2006, and the question is, would he return for a short term to manage the company? He might with the promise that it would only be for a year or so.
Thatis my short list of candidates for an interim-CEO. In the long run, I wouldnit be surprised if Mr. Phil Schiller took the reigns of the company if Mr. Jobs were to leave or retire. The CEO position requires someone with vision and intimate familiarity with the Apple culture as well as someone who can wade through the intricacies of partnerships and gauge the best interests of Apple. I canit think of an outsider with those credentials held by Mr. Schiller.