Steve Jobs is seriously ill. He had surgical treatment for pancreatic cancer six years ago and last year had a liver transplant. He has recently announced he is taking leave again to fight some new complications from the cancer.
For the time being he will continue as Apple’s CEO.
He’s been one of the heroes of our age because like another hero of mine, Wayne Gretzky, he’s never bothered about where the puck was or where it is but he’s intuitively known where it’s going. (In his case, the puck was people.) He’s changed our lives.
But Apple is more than a one-man band. Jonathan Ives is a wonderful designer, Scott Forstall is a great software guy and Phil Schiller is a top marketer. TBWA Chiat Day are great advertising partners and Tim Cook is the most effective, underrated COO out there.
I’m sure all of us are hoping for a miracle and that Steve heals and can return.
I think though that the time is right for him to pass over the reigns formally to Tim Cook who ran the place through Steve’s previous two absences. If I were the Apple board, I’d encourage Steve to make the call and become Creative Chairman, and promote Tim to CEO. This would provide certainty, security and safety for employees, customers and shareholders.
Whatever happens, get well soon, Steve.