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Apple's Steve Jobs prioritizing next-gen iPad, iPhone on medical leave

post #1 of 31
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While on medical leave for undisclosed health issues, Apple CEO Steve Jobs continues to work from home, remaining especially involved in work on the second-generation iPad and the next version of the iPhone, according to a new report.

The Wall Street Journal reported Thursday that, as expected, Jobs has stayed "closely involved in the company's strategic decisions and product development" during a medical leave to focus on his health, according to people familiar with the matter.

Sources say Jobs has been holding business meetings at his home and on the phone. He has also been seen at the company's Cupertino, Calif., campus and around Palo Alto, Calif., with a company executive.

Apple announced in January that Jobs would take a medical leave of absence for the second time in two years. At the time, Jobs wrote in a press release that he would "continue as CEO and be involved in major strategic decisions for the company."

According to the Journal's sources, Jobs continues to work on "the next version of the iPad tablet computer, expected out in the next couple of months, and a new iPhone, expected to be released this summer."

Sources also reported that day-to-day operations remain "nearly unchanged" under COO Tim Cook, although some said there is a "sense of sadness" because of concerns about Jobs' health. Cook also managed operations for the company while Jobs took his previous leave, earning $59 million in the process.

Though pundits have speculated about Jobs' reasons for his leave of absence, the exact nature of his condition remains unclear. People who have seen Jobs in recent months have said that he "continues to look thin." Sources also told the Journal that Apple and Jobs "appear to be going about things in much the same way as they did during his previous medical leave, at the time of his transplant."

Jobs had reportedly been on a "down cycle" in the weeks prior to the announcement of his medical leave. An anonymous source told The New York Times that he suffers from "immune system issues common with people who have received liver transplants" and had only been coming into the office two days a week.

According to the Journal's report, some developers are holding out for the annual Worldwide Developers Conference in early June, possibly June 5 to June 9, to assess the situation. "App developers are waiting to see if Steve will come back to give the keynote at WWDC," said Vishal Gurbuxani, a co-founder of mobile-ad company Mobclix Inc.

Analysts have spoken out to reassure investors over the leave of absence. Jobs' time away "is a concern because people view [Jobs] as the head innovator, but...I feel Apple can continue down its path with or without Steve," said Mike Binger, fund manager at Thrivent Asset Management.

Shares of Apple stock fell shortly after news of Jobs' leave, but have since recovered as investors remained bullish at the prospect of continued sales growth of the iPhone and iPad.
post #2 of 31
I don't think he will be at WWDC this year, but I hope he gets well soon! Go Steve!

"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

John C. Dvorak, 2007
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"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

John C. Dvorak, 2007
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post #3 of 31
If I were in Steve's situation I would never be heard from again.
He should build his house and enjoy it. He totally needs to retire. His job is done.

Write some memoirs... or not. Long life Steve.

Life is too short to drink bad coffee.

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Life is too short to drink bad coffee.

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post #4 of 31
Exactly, how many would love to see a movie about Steve's life (now, while he can enjoy it)? It would be infinitely more interesting and factual than "Social Network", and would be about a true visionary who started the PC revolution that continues to this day, not about a lucky nerd who stole an idea about a better myspace, was in the right place at the right time, who has less than a decade of experience, and who has such limited social appeal that he makes people uncomfortable being around him.

I vote for memoirs and a movie - sooner than later, so Steve can be at the Oscars to accept his statuette. Best wishes Steve, get a good publisher and screenwriter, and please let us in on a remarkable life that continues to astonish everyone!
post #5 of 31
agree with mstone.. eat plenty of coconut oil and enjoy your new digs!

p.s. i think most apple fans know steve will have made sure apple will remain a juggernaut long after he retires (anyone remember the internal education program?)
post #6 of 31
Please, Steve, take up on the medical cannabis if you haven't already!
post #7 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by mstone View Post

If I were in Steve's situation I would never be heard from again.
He should build his house and enjoy it. He totally needs to retire. His job is done.

Write some memoirs... or not. Long life Steve.

I'm not sure Steve would know what to do with himself if he was not working. Memoirs - that would take the better part of a year. Then what?

I think he should reduce his day-to-day involvement as CEO and continue to provide strategic direction as Chairman of the Board. But, I suspect he could not resist in "helping" to get products "just right".

Whatever he chooses will be the right choice for him.
post #8 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by mstone View Post

If I were in Steve's situation I would never be heard from again.
He should build his house and enjoy it. He totally needs to retire. His job is done.

Write some memoirs... or not. Long life Steve.

It's not work or a job for him. He loves what he does, why would he want to stop doing it?

If you had a passion for what you do, you'd know what I'm talking about.
post #9 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by mstone View Post

If I were in Steve's situation I would never be heard from again.
He should build his house and enjoy it. He totally needs to retire. His job is done.

Write some memoirs... or not. Long life Steve.

I think Steve should do whatever he wants to do and whatever makes him happy. He clearly doesn't have to work so he must continue to work because that's what makes him happy. You are in my prayers Steve!
post #10 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by macnyc View Post

It's not work or a job for him. He loves what he does, why would he want to stop doing it?

If you had a passion for what you do, you'd know what I'm talking about.

Exactly.

Steve doesn't run Apple because he has to. He does it because he wants to. His salary is one dollar a year. He makes $30+ million a year in Disney dividends; he could just sit on a beach and read books. He doesn't need to work.
post #11 of 31
Though wildly successful now, Apple will be in trouble over the long term without him. They need his genius to help create or cultivate future successful products. They need his genious to direct the company through future difficult times and inflection points.

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Please update the AppleInsider app to function in landscape mode.

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post #12 of 31
Steve Jobs is definitely one of the greatest visionaries of all times. His creativity, marketing, and innovation are proof of this not to mention the terific products he has been instrumental in creating.
Steves devotion and intrique are his motivation for continuing to be active in Apple.

And make no mistake Apple is set up to continue with some of the finest talent in the industry.
post #13 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by mstone View Post

If I were in Steve's situation I would never be heard from again.
He should build his house and enjoy it. He totally needs to retire. His job is done.

Write some memoirs... or not. Long life Steve.

You don't understand. Innovation and entrepreneurship is what drives him. In a way, he is a bit like Kubica (F1), a true blooded racing driver.
post #14 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by macnyc View Post

It's not work or a job for him. He loves what he does, why would he want to stop doing it?

If you had a passion for what you do, you'd know what I'm talking about.

I think most people know what it means to love their work. But often the best way to start hating the work you love is to do it for too long. It's easy to forget, but Steve has faced new and very different challenges in his career every ten to fifteen years. He may very well thrive on that more than we realize.
Please don't be insane.
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Please don't be insane.
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post #15 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr Millmoss View Post

I think most people know what it means to love their work.

Really, you think? I think most people like their job as much as they can ... given that they "do it for the money" .... how many of us would continue to go to work each day, if they owned several billion $$$ in stocks/bonds/cash. Not many, I think.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr Millmoss View Post

But often the best way to start hating the work you love is to do it for too long.

That's just a nonsense statement. If you truly love your work you want to do it until you cannot do it anymore. You can only start to hate your work if you never truly loved it in the first place. .... not that much different than for any relationship.
Apple, bigger than Google, ..... bigger than Microsoft,   The universe is unfolding as it should. Thanks, Apple.
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Apple, bigger than Google, ..... bigger than Microsoft,   The universe is unfolding as it should. Thanks, Apple.
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post #16 of 31
Yay for Steve working on products. Now please take out half the stuff that was added with iOS 4, you had it right on the first iteration.
post #17 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by newbee View Post

Really, you think? I think most people like their job as much as they can ... given that they "do it for the money" .... how many of us would continue to go to work each day, if they owned several billion $$$ in stocks/bonds/cash. Not many, I think...

Well, I am at a stage where theoretically I can sit on my ass for about a year playing online games, then after that live off my parents.

But I'm getting dead bored so hopefully if it works out (things are in motion) I will be helping a new WiMax telco in my country with developing iOS and Android apps... I'm not too concerned about being able to code myself, since there's a lot to do as well with concept, usability, project management and so on.

Sitting here thinking what my 30's will be about, reflecting on what my 20's were. I'll be 33 this year. For me, "childhood" went up until I was 20 (I was a late bloomer, no doubt about it). Then in my 20's I was able to explore a lot of my interests and travel the world. Got in a groove with web development. But this decade app development will be the cutting edge, not web.

Apple. Mobility (beyond just phones). Other Players.

Can you imagine the days when WAP was supposed to be *the* mobile internet thing?
post #18 of 31
jeez, Steve, get some real rest dude. i'd rather have you not working for Apple for 6 months than not at all permanently. we know you love your job, but you gotta love your body/health even more.
post #19 of 31
I'm surprised no one posted this blog post yet
http://thedivinecode.com/blog/?p=61
post #20 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by matrix07 View Post

I'm surprised no one posted this blog post yet
http://thedivinecode.com/blog/?p=61

Care to summarize it for us before sending us to an external link?
post #21 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by cvaldes1831 View Post

Exactly.

Steve doesn't run Apple because he has to. He does it because he wants to. His salary is one dollar a year. He makes $30+ million a year in Disney dividends; he could just sit on a beach and read books. He doesn't need to work.

and after seeing the Dell streak 7 it certainly isn't out of fear of the competition...
post #22 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post

Care to summarize it for us before sending us to an external link?

I saw Steve personally this afternoon (Monday, January 31st, 2011) as he was leaving Apples headquarters in Cupertino, California.

....snip...

Who in their wildest dreams would expect Steve to be walking right out through the front door of the building at the precise moment we would be walking in? The one thing that really stood out to both of us(besides his trademark Levis, black mock turtleneck and sneakers) was the twinkle in Steves eyes and his full, genuine smile as he spoke on the phone. In spite of the medias negative focus on his known health issues, one can only stand back and marvel at his tenacious spirit and absolute passion for his passion.
post #23 of 31
Its really quite insulting to the hard working people at Apple that actually make the products, the way people pretend like the entire operation bends around Steve Jobs. He's a great CEO. End of story. Other people actually make these products happen.
post #24 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr Millmoss View Post

I think most people know what it means to love their work. But often the best way to start hating the work you love is to do it for too long. It's easy to forget, but Steve has faced new and very different challenges in his career every ten to fifteen years. He may very well thrive on that more than we realize.

Wow, talk about being completely out of touch with reality. Most people hate their jobs, because most jobs suck, require hard work, long hours, time away from what matters (family), and ultimately provide just enough cash to feed and clothe themselves for the next week.

That's what living is for most of Americans, and it has precisely nothing to do with laziness or education.
post #25 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by pmz View Post

Wow, talk about being completely out of touch with reality. Most people hate their jobs, because most jobs suck, require hard work, long hours, time away from what matters (family), and ultimately provide just enough cash to feed and clothe themselves for the next week.

That's what living is for most of Americans, and it has precisely nothing to do with laziness or education.

Talk about a knee-jerk reaction. Talk about completely missing the point.

If you have a job you hate (and who hasn't had one of those?), you know the difference between that and doing something you care about. A simple enough concept, I should think. Further, if you have the privilege of working at something you love, this doesn't by any stretch of the imagination mean working short hours for big pay. Hardly. And if for some reason you can't accept that idea, ask a journalist. Ask a teacher.

The second point was about doing something you love for too long, and coming not to love it so much. Even rewarding work entails the mandatory unpleasant aspects that are part of even the most rewarding occupations. Being CEO of Apple has to involve many long and dull meetings, reading boring reports, conference calls that resolve nothing, personal politics, and so on -- all of which, over time, can wear at the core of why a person cares about their job. This is one reason why people change careers.

As I said, Steve's history suggests that he thrives on new and different challenges. We know how he feels about Apple, but I wonder whether he can still be excited about dealing with the minutia of running a huge corporation, given his health situation, how long he's done it.
Please don't be insane.
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Please don't be insane.
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post #26 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by pmz View Post

Wow, talk about being completely out of touch with reality. Most people hate their jobs, because most jobs suck, require hard work, long hours, time away from what matters (family), and ultimately provide just enough cash to feed and clothe themselves for the next week.

That's what living is for most of Americans, and it has precisely nothing to do with laziness or education.

It'a already been mentioned, but you completely missed the mark on this one. Doing something you hate is a choice in itself, and not what was being talked about in the post you responded to at all.

If anyone hates their job, do something about it. Period. There are lots of options for everyone, just not lots of options lots of folks like because they require hard work to change the personal environment too. Anyone who is afraid of reasonable, honest, hard work and uses that as an excuse to hate work and/or avoid forfeits the moral authority to criticize work.
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post #27 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by jd_in_sb View Post

They need his genious to direct the company through future difficult times and inflection points.

How much of it comes from Steve directly though? People have mentioned the minutia and boring details that come with any job. There is a large number of people at Apple doing those tasks and some people will have jobs doing market research (I suspect some people will even visit this forum) to find out what products consumers want and rather than satisfy them now, analyse the trends of what people will want when the product can be shipped.

It's unlikely that he is solely responsible for the products. It seems to me he is more of an icon and an inspiring leader who encourages similarly innovative people to do great things. From what he says, it's clear he has a great depth of creative, philosophical and technical understanding but I think the stronger part of his role at Apple is his leadership, which is strengthened by those qualities.

Power and authority in an individual as anyone knows is just an illusion, we all have the same power to walk down the street and put a bullet in the head of someone we perceive to have more power and authority then we do. But that illusion helps other people define themselves openly.

One thing Steve said was that a key element to his success in business is being a good talent scout. You have to know which people share your philosophies and beliefs and be able to work with them - same when you look for a partner. Nobody can do what Apple does alone, which is why his role right now is diminished as he has found great people who can work the same way he does. Similarly, individuals can't take away philosophies, beliefs, ideas and morals that large groups of people share so Steve stepping down wouldn't change that.

There's no urgency for him to step down either if he's able to continue and can offer something to the company but they could really use another icon to inspire the people who are there as well as the fans. In many ways I wish Woz was that icon at Apple but he's too much of a wildcard and would go against their marketing tactics.

Tim Cook is just an operations guy and plans to retire from the company. The other employees just don't seem to think enough. There's not enough depth to what drives them. Finding an icon like Steve who has their heart in Apple and cannot be swayed away from it no matter what happens with the above traits that strengthen their leadership is going to be a difficult task.

Without a well-defined representative, public perception of an organisation gets fuzzy. This applies to anything - government, religious institutions, corporations and so on. Many companies have managed to cement their brand without an icon so Apple may well manage the same but there's something missing from them that sets Apple apart. Every time you visit a store, Apple products are set apart. This isn't just because of the products themselves but the way the brand is projected.
post #28 of 31
I wonder if Steve's current leave of absence is merely precautionary given the circulation of viruses during the winter months. I could certainly see him refusing a flu vaccine and opting instead to remain isolated from the hard working, driven Apple employees who would likely continue to go to work even while on death's doorstep.
post #29 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marvin View Post

Tim Cook is just an operations guy and plans to retire from the company. The other employees just don't seem to think enough. There's not enough depth to what drives them. Finding an icon like Steve who has their heart in Apple and cannot be swayed away from it no matter what happens with the above traits that strengthen their leadership is going to be a difficult task.

Without a well-defined representative, public perception of an organisation gets fuzzy. This applies to anything - government, religious institutions, corporations and so on. Many companies have managed to cement their brand without an icon so Apple may well manage the same but there's something missing from them that sets Apple apart. Every time you visit a store, Apple products are set apart. This isn't just because of the products themselves but the way the brand is projected.

I agree with most of what you say but I think Cook will prove to be more than "just an operations guy". Although he will never be an iconic leader nor will he (or anyone) have the same passion as a founder, I believe he will prove to be a more than capable leader. Though he is an operations guy, he did earn a degree in Industrial Design - not that he will have the same innate sense as Jobs but he at least understands the importance of sweating design details. I much prefer this background than someone who came up on the finance side of the business.

When you start looking beyond Cook, it does become really murky. Any outsider will have not been steeped in the Apple philosophy like in-house candidates. Sure, Steve could stick around as COB and maybe bring someone with enormous talent into the fold but I don't see that happening. It's rather interesting that up until the last year, Eric Schmidt might have been worth consideration.

If Apple taps some insider other than Cook, I'd put money on Scott Forstall, but I think that is highly unlikely.
post #30 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by penchanted View Post

When you start looking beyond Cook, it does become really murky. Any outsider will have not been steeped in the Apple philosophy like in-house candidates. Sure, Steve could stick around as COB and maybe bring someone with enormous talent into the fold but I don't see that happening. It's rather interesting that up until the last year, Eric Schmidt might have been worth consideration.

If Apple taps some insider other than Cook, I'd put money on Scott Forstall, but I think that is highly unlikely.

Apple may look in places others might think of as non-traditional. What they will need is the passion to replace Steve in the design and message area, the philosophical heart of the company. You don't find those in other businesses like you find sugar-water salesman. There are folks out there that have the right qualifications, just find those of them that have been a solid Apple user for more than a decade. Someplace in that group could be the heart and soul for the future.

The harder part will be will the rest of the company leadership accept an "outsider" and not do those little things that get in the way and add up over time as serious impediments to long term success.
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post #31 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hiro View Post

Apple may look in places others might think of as non-traditional. What they will need is the passion to replace Steve in the design and message area, the philosophical heart of the company. You don't find those in other businesses like you find sugar-water salesman. There are folks out there that have the right qualifications, just find those of them that have been a solid Apple user for more than a decade. Someplace in that group could be the heart and soul for the future.

The harder part will be will the rest of the company leadership accept an "outsider" and not do those little things that get in the way and add up over time as serious impediments to long term success.

It appears to me that Cook has been anointed.

However, you make a reasonable argument that Apple might look elsewhere. But, as you suggested, bringing in an outsider is often fraught with the acceptance issue. Do you have any idea of places where Apple might look? I'd be interested in your thoughts.

One other thing I'd like to touch on is this "passion" issue. I think to some this means high-energy people which is not necessarily any indication of passion. For instance, Jonathan Ive is passionate about what he does although he is a very low-key individual (and I doubt he has any interest in running Apple). I think that Tim Cook may be very passionate about Apple but happens to be low-key (though I don't think I'd want to be the guy who messed up his plans for something).

The biggest issue in replacing Jobs is that public face he projects for Apple. Apple may do itself a great disservice if they simply try to find someone with Steve's "voice".

Heck, this is Apple we are talking about - it's a crap shoot.
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