Many of you may already know that Steve Jobs is not doing very well physically. Steve has been battling a somewhat public battle with pancreatic cancer since 2003 and while because of the fact that Apple’s shares revolve around his new found ideas and delivery of these new product the shares of Apple drop immediately after any bad news about him. It doesn’t seem to matter whether the talk is based on speculation or if the man himself addresses the shareholders, when the news isn’t good about Steve the stock price drops and in some cases as low as 7%.
So how did one man become so important/powerful in affecting a company’s overall value? Given that Apple’s market cap is currently $ 72 Billion dollars, one guy being able to effect the entire companies value by 7% is nothing short of amazing!
Apple was founded in 1976 and in 1985 through a power struggle with the board of directors Steve Jobs left the company to eventually start Next. Apple then acquired Next and Steve became the CEO of the company he once founded. This happened in 1997 and since then Apple has been on a tear and most of you know the rest of the story. The iPod, Mac Book, iPhone and iTunes are just some examples of the products that have been created since the company has been run by Steve Jobs.
During the most of the 90’s until Steve took over, Apple wasn’t doing very well and was teetering on the brink of losing everything to the ultra powerful Microsoft. Steve’s focus and complete understanding of Apple’s core competency which is developing great hardware that is backed by intuitive and user friendly software is what brought Apple out of the red.
Given his huge impact on the company and the electronics world what will happen to Apple and will this mark another tough chapter in the company’s history? First off he has now decided to take the next 6 months off and should his health get worse or god forbid should he loose his battle with Cancer the stock will fall. Investors are funny people and they will let this dramatically affect the stock as they have in the past. The question is over time will the company rebound?
First we have to realize Steve is brilliant but there are 32,000 employees at Apple and I have to think there are many that have been groomed by Steve himself. Every smart business man at some point needs to create and exit strategy and I know Steve and the board of directors have done this. We aren’t talking about a plane crash here we are talking about cancer and there has been time to think about and plan the what ifs.
I personally don’t own any Apple stock but one thing I can tell you is that despite the fact that I don’t have a Apple computer I certainly wouldn’t be thinking about selling right now. This is a strong company and one man can have a major impact, but can his departure spell immanent doom? I don’t think so!
Regardless of what happens to the stock I hope Steve does get better for him and his family first and a very distant second for Apple. Get better Mr. Jobs!