Wednesday, June 24, 2009
Apple’s Big Man
Apple CEO and founder Steve Jobs is back to work and Mac users around the world and apples shareholders can exhale and look forward to more years of revolutionary products. But what does it mean when a CEO is so intricately tied to his brand and has no clear succession strategy?
His mysterious five month absence from work is rather similar to that of the President Omar Bongo who, however, did not return to rule Gabon.
Hundreds of family heads, company founders, business leaders, patricians, and presidents consider themselves immortal and, like Apple, rarely entertain discussions on health or succession.
Blind Item: There are three gentlemen in Kenya who fit the equal of Steve Jobs - leaders so closely inter-wined with their brand and with no defined succession plan: one is a center of power, one is a leading revenue generator, one is a fast banker; two have disclosed medical problems, two have had recent aircraft mishaps, and two have no defined successors. All three are integral to their brand and it is important that their partners and shareholders define real succession strategies.
Finally, now that the real Steve Jobs is back to work we can resume reading communiqués from the other Steve Jobs.