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Ode to Steve Jobs

The Wall Street Journal reported today that Steve Jobs has retired his duties as CEO.   This is a sad day indeed as I grew up with Steve Jobs over the last 25+ years in this bumpy computer revolution ride.

I am glad to see Steve has recommend Tim Cook take over as CEO.  This is the best choice (for now) as he has previous experience as interim-CEO in Jobs’ absence over the years.  Tim has proven he is an effective COO and leader with Apple since 1998 so he is no stranger to Apple or the industry.

As far as Steve Jobs goes, what can I say… he is (was) not your typical CEO, but instead an icon of innovation to the computer revolution and more recently, the mobile revolution.  The iPod, iPhone, and iPad are great feats of technology and invention, a revolution we are still beginning to see take off.  We watched Steve Wozniak and Jobs fuel the home computer revolution in the 80’s and lead the charge in brining the graphical user interface to the home computer.

Jobs is one of the most influential CEOs the industry has ever seen.  He has always had a strong drive for perfection in bringing great and affordable (well…sometimes affordable) computers to the masses.  The legendary Apple I and Apple II computers that he and Steve Wozniak built from scratch in their garage essentially started the home computer industry as we know it.    

I will miss Steve’s tenacious pursuit for perfection and tireless push for greatness that he brought to Apple and to the industry.  Steve brought us many magical and insanely great computers and mobile devices over the years and he has always been the high water mark for perfection.  Rarely did he let a product get out that was not great.  I will miss you Steve Jobs!  Good luck and farewell and I look forward to the next 25 years at Apple.

Now… Tim Cook, please don’t mess this company up!

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Steve Jobs Medical Leave…Again

Apple (and Steve Jobs) announced today that he is taking another medical leave of absense.
#27 - iPad Announcement

Here is the email he wrote to the Apple employees:

Team,

At my request, the board of directors has granted me a medical leave of absence so I can focus on my health. I will continue as CEO and be involved in major strategic decisions for the company.

I have asked Tim Cook to be responsible for all of Apple’s day to day operations. I have great confidence that Tim and the rest of the executive management team will do a terrific job executing the exciting plans we have in place for 2011.

I love Apple so much and hope to be back as soon as I can. In the meantime, my family and I would deeply appreciate respect for our privacy.

Steve

My take on this… it can’t be good news long term for Steve Jobs returning back to Apple.

This is Steve’s second medical leave of absence in less than two years.  His first medical leave was due to pancreatic cancer, and was very secretive.  Later on we found out that he had a top secret liver transplant due to his pancreatic cancer condition as documented here.  I surmise, this second round of medical issues is due again to the side-affects of pancreatic cancer and/or his previous liver transplant.  It’s possible he could be having issues with the new liver and his body properly accepting the new organ, but I am no Doctor so this is anyones guess at this time.

At this point we can only speculate what ailments Steve is experiencing.  Details will be far and few between for the coming weeks…months, while the secrecy veil on this whole situation stays in effect.  This secrecy will likely remain in-affect until Steve provides us with a detailed update.

In the mean time, Tim Cook again takes over the reigns with running Apple.  Apple is in good hands with Tim Cook (for now), but in my opinion doesn’t have anywhere near the forward reaching vision, and esthetic values of a Steve Jobs.  Jonny Ives is the closest thing Apple has to forward thinking design aesthetics of someone like Steve Jobs.

Obviously no one will be able to replace Steve Jobs as CEO and visionary of Apple.  I hate to say this, but I think this marks the beginning of Apple’s life without Steve Jobs at the helm.

The Apple share prices was $348 and change as of 1/14/11, and I predict a downward hit to the Apple share price as of  as a result of this new uncertainty.  Apple will continue to have stellar financial results in 2011 and beyond, but the uncertainty of Steve Jobs will likely apply downward pressure on the Apple stock price while things get sorted out.  In the mean time, I wish Steve Jobs a fast recovery.