Rafi Saar on Steve Jobs' resignation as CEO of Apple Inc.
Sometime around 3:30 AM Israel time, just as news of Steve Jobs' resignation hit the airwaves, Rafi sat down to write the thoughts that were going through his mind.
Just a few thoughts:
1) Why did Steve Jobs resign?
a - because his health doesn't allow him to continue - in that case, even as Chairman we cannot expect him to stay for too long
b - in order to make the unavoidable move in a time of success and prosperity for the company so as to minimize the negative effects of such a move. That would show that there is a clear succession, he remains somewhere at the helm, and all is good. Also, leave enough time before the next keynote.
2) AAPL: I expect it to fall and then rise again when a) people will realize that the company is still a great one and b) when people will start re-buying the stock at a "bargain" price which will drive its price back up. If the next products will continue to be bestsellers and quarterly results will be as before then there's no reason it wouldn't be less good than any other company if not, of course, much better.
Regarding buying AAPL stock, I was always worried about the day Steve Jobs will pass. But I didn't expect him to resign before. So now this unfortunate event is still something to come, even after his resignation. So if his role as chairman will still give him a heavy weight in the company's decisions then his passing may still cause yet another stock fall. Otherwise, the stock should not be too much affected by it.
Let's just hope Steve will continue to live for many more years and have a lot to say at the company so that we, the customers, will continue to enjoy from their great "magical" products.
3) What will change?
I think that's really the most interesting question of all. Steve has instilled his managerial ways into the company. Apple operates according to certain rules which will certainly continue to exist. Steve even created a course to learn "his" ways of managing the company. So I'm assuming that in the big picture we won't see too many changes.
I think it's not clear to us how much influence he really had in different areas of the company. He was clearly involved in everything, but did he come up with all these ideas? Certainly many different engineers came up with bright ideas, but Steve was probably the one to decide "which idea would live and which idea would die" or which should be changed (that option is missing from "Unetane Tokef") Could someone else make those decisions as "correctly" as Steve? And by "correctly" I mean his knack for knowing what the customers really need or what the customers would really prefer.
I actually think we will see the changes more in the little things. My feeling is we will have less of those drastic overturns where something you were trusting for years will suddenly no longer be supported because the new way is the "right" way (floppy disks, .mac, MobileMe - just to name a few). Or iOS apps rejection rules changing all the time and angering many developers and other similar brutal rejections which you can take or leave.
Another thing we will probably miss is what he certainly does behind the scenes when closing deals with mega-companies, and by that I mean what he did with the music labels, the movie studios, and now with books and magazine publishers. Certainly he played a big role in negotiating lucrative contracts for Apple.
So let's wait and see the history unfold. It will certainly be interesting.
Let's just hope that the way history will unfold will also still remain favorable for us, the customers.