Due to an inconsistency of interesting tech news lately, I figured it was about time I threw this article out there, since it not only pertains to the media/corporate vibe right now, but also to our industry as a whole. The Wall Street Journal is a fantastic publication with some of the best news and market data inside than in any other publication. They play things by the book, publish the real story, and crank out the best in rumors and company chit-chat. But lately, it seems, WSJ has not only made strange accusations, but released content that really doesn’t speak to their character anymore.
In case anyone isn’t already aware, Apple CEO Steve Jobs has been on health leave for a while, focusing on himself for once instead of his company. This isn’t Steve’s first medical leave though, in fact, his last one led to a liver transplant and revealed Jobs’ struggle with gaining weight. Succession planning is normal and is done all the time within large or even small companies. For Apple, replacing Steve is close to impossible. Not only did he launch the company, but was totally destroyed the minute he left it in 1986, almost plunging to company into bankruptcy in 1996 until he returned to save the day. Steve is a valuable asset to both the company and it’s customers. The very face of Apple is Steve, the only man we can ever imagine delivering new iPhones or iPads with his quick wit and flawless presentations. It seems that without the dedication, passion and love Steve has for Apple, it would fail to survive. However, as time moves on and nature takes its course, so must company heads. It’s only a matter of time before Steve fades away, but we’re a long ways off before Apple does. In fact, Apple is about to become the world’s largest corporation in terms of capitalization, with only a mere $60 Billion dollar gap between them and Exxon Mobil. Similarly, Apple is actually the top smartphone company in the world, beating out Research-In-Motion, Google, Microsoft and HP. Obviously, Apple isn’t going anywhere anytime soon.
So, what exactly did WSJ say about the succession? Well, they claim that the Apple board of directors have been secretly planning Steve Jobs’ successor without his holy blessing. In fact, according to WSJ, they’ve talked management succession at every board meeting for the past twelve years, with the discussion recently becoming more frequent. Not only that, but they also make claims that Apple is considering at least one corporate leader of a “high-profile technology company”- which is odd for a successor to be brought in instead of internally. But wait, it gets even more interesting! As it turns out, Apple declined to comment on the issue. However, Steve Jobs himself fired up a reply to the publication claiming that all of these accusations are “hogwash”. Here we have an intriguing juxtaposition that really baffles us and many other news sites; why would Apple and their “active” CEO have different responses to the same issue? Does this perhaps make WSJ’s accusations accurate? Or is this a simple matter of Steve taking care of things so the company doesn’t need to? Whatever it is, it’s still quite odd for us.
One thing that really interests us, was the timing of this stories’ release- right before Apple’s quarterly earnings calls. In fact, you could hear the dismay in the voices of acting-CEO/COO Tim Cook and CFO Peter Oppenheimer. But in all honesty, this story really shouldn’t distract from the fact that Apple had an awesome record-breaking quarter and are doing as well as ever with new refreshed Macs, a new Mac OS X and even more awesome stuff not too far away from reality.
EDIT: Thanks to a nice user in the comments named “Ur Mom” who noticed that we accidentally forgot to add a link to said WSJ article… If you may please go ahead and check the source.