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Post-Steve Jobs Apple likened to departures of Walt Disney, Henry Ford

post #1 of 44
Thread Starter 
The resignation of Steve Jobs as Apple CEO is a significant event for the company, but similar to the departures of visionaries in years past like Henry Ford and Walt Disney, Apple is expected to go on without Jobs.

As news of Jobs' departure begins to settle, Wall Street analysts continue to offer their take on Apple's new era. One take from Mike Abramsky of RBC Capital Markets gave the comparison to Disney and Ford, whose companies live on long after their founders.

"Similar to the departure of Henry Ford, Walt Disney -- unique creative forces whose companies carried on for years -- Apple without Steve will go on," he wrote in a note to investors on Thursday. "However, it's hard to believe Apple won't be different; Steve was involved in every detail of product, marketing, execution, deal-making (carriers, studios, etc.) and had the vision and gravitas to bet on disruptive innovations."

Abramsky believes consumers are likely to continue to buy Apple products, while transition to new CEO Tim Cook is expected to be smooth. But in the longer term, he said investors may fret about whether the company can keep its "cool" and "wow" factor.

"Steve's departure may precipitate Apple's evolution from icon-led to team-led, from disruptive innovation to continuous innovation," he wrote. "Most innovations at Apple are created through small teams, and Steve's approach to design and execution remains steeped into Apple's culture (simplicity, discoverability, elegance, differentiation, attention to detail, ecosystem control and tight integration, secrecy)."

RBC Capital Markets has maintained an "outperform" rating for AAPL stock following this week's executive shakeup. They recommend that investors accumulate on related weakness surrounding the departure of Jobs.

RBC's Mike Abramsky compared the departure of Steve Jobs (right) to those of Henry Ford (left) and Walt Disney (center).

Other analyst takes following Jobs' announcement on Wednesday that he has resigned as Apple CEO:

Ticonderoga Securities

Analyst Brian White said the eventual resignation announced on Wednesday should come as no surprise to investors. He has advised that they should stay the course with Apple, as much of the concern over Jobs was likely already built into the stock price.

"We are not surprised that this announcement came this year, albeit the precise date could never have been known," White said. "In fact, during our marketing meetings over the past eight months, investors have indicated that if Steve Jobs stepped down as CEO or worse, the stock could correct up to 10% the next day and they would be buyers on this potential selloff."

White said that Jobs completed the biggest turnaround story in corporate history, all while reinventing the consumer electronics market, upending entire industries and destroying competitors.

"Clearly, there is no one like Steve Jobs in the tech world and Apple will never have another Steve Jobs at the helm, however, we believe he has created an incredibly talented team that can lead Apple to continued success fro many years to come," he said.

Sterne Agee

Analyst Shaw Wu said Wednesday's events, in which Cook was named CEO immediately, show that Apple had a clear succession plan in place, despite not sharing it publicly. The swift changing of the guard should relieve some investor concern, he believes.

But AAPL stock may see "choppiness" in the near future, he said, as some investors may feel that Cook needs to "prove himself and gain confidence" that he can maintain the "magic" the company has produced under Jobs.

Cook's transition to CEO could be like IBM's transition from Lou Gerstner, who was an architect and visionary, to Sam Palmisano, who carried on his vision, Wu believes.

"We see Tim Cook leading on the many principles of Steve Jobs that are ingrained in the culture of AAPL," he wrote. "In addition, we believe AAPL is clearly not a one-man show."

Deutsche Bank

"We believe Cook is a highly capable executive and deeply familiar with Apple's business plans, product roadmaps and operations," analyst Chris Whitmore said. "He has also acted as interim CEO on previous occasions and we see very little near term execution risk."

Shares of AAPL stock are viewed as attractive, he said, in the near term. Whitmore believes the greatest risks for Apple will be in 3 to 5 years, if and when Jobs permanently departs from the company. He remains with Apple as the company's chairman of the board.

For more reaction from an investment perspective, see AppleInsider's previous report: Wall Street expects smooth transition from Steve Jobs to Tim Cook.
post #2 of 44
As soon as we see an iPhone with Adobe Flash and a 16 mega-pixel camera, we'll know Apple has jumped the shark.
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post #3 of 44
I think Jobs built too well to have the company crumble without him. His philosophy seems to be well ingrained in not only their employees but their customer's expectation.

I can't say I'm sorry to see Jobs go, but I'm sure as hell glad Steve had the chance to come back to Apple to bring it back to its former glory and then surpass it by a large margin.
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post #4 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by theguycalledtom View Post

As soon as we see an iPhone with Adobe Flash and a 16 mega-pixel camera, we'll know Apple has jumped the shark.

Or a tv set with a 500 dollar MacBook being offered free at futureshop with the purchase of an iPhone...
post #5 of 44
This website is getting more and more Правда-esque with every item of 'news'....!
post #6 of 44
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Originally Posted by rosstheboss View Post

This website is getting more and more Правда-esque with every item of 'news'....!

You could take that one of two ways...
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post #7 of 44
Of course Apple will go on, but will Tim Cook push Apple employees to their potential or will Apple employees start getting lazy?
post #8 of 44
One time I hope the analyst are correct. But history IMO, of founders leaving and analyst track records does not bode well for Apple in the long term. But, thats kind of true for most companys. Short term, Apple should be fine.
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post #9 of 44
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post #10 of 44
As I see it, Apple is good for the next few years. They can just go through rounds of maintenance upgrades on their existing products -- faster processor, more megapixels, more resolution, more storage, etc -- while keeping their ear to the ground for new features to add in.

Steve may have even laid out the plans for a new product category or two. If that's the case, I give it five years before they truly reach the end of the Steve Jobs era.

The real question is, Once they've gotten beyond the direct influence of Steve Jobs, can Apple still be a visionary company? Can they still out-innovate the PC industry? Will they still take the big risks to reap the big rewards? And most importantly, will they be right about it?
post #11 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by MacRulez View Post

They Disney comparison may not be the most flattering: until Eisner came along, Disney floundered in a steady downhill pattern after Walt's death.

And there is the Edsel on the Ford side.
post #12 of 44
I'm hoping that Apple goes the way of the transition in the ol' Lockheed Martin Skunk Works, where Kelly Johnson was an iconic visionary, but when he let go of the reins, Ben Rich came in and expanded the innovation even further.

Oops, too early in the morning: got that extra "k" in there. Bad "k!"
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post #13 of 44
OK, he's not dead yet. Hopefully not for a long time. You might think he is, reading all of the sensationalist headlines around the web today, but he's still there. Its very unlikely that this will influence anything in the short term (read maybe 5-10 years). After that, who can say, but who can say this for any company? Might as well sell your oil stock on the prediction of discovery of a new, space age energy source that can be made from dandruff.

As likely as disaster, if not more likely, is the scenario that the people who have learned from jobs over the years will continue to do a good job, with his input, and that maybe the company will even continue to attract good people who will keep it going. Won't be another Steve, but that doesn't mean Apple is doomed.
post #14 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by MacRulez View Post

They Disney comparison may not be the most flattering: until Eisner came along, Disney floundered in a steady downhill pattern after Walt's death.

The difference is that Steven Jobs has both vision and class. The outcome will be quite different.
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post #15 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by IQatEdo View Post

The difference is that Steven Jobs has both vision and class. The outcome will be quite different.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ElliottScott86851759 View Post

I just paid $24,31 for an iPad2-64GB and my girlfriend loves her Panasonic GF 1 Camera that we got for $34,26 there arriving tomorrow by UPS. I will never pay such expensive retail prices in stores again. Especially when I also sold a 42 inch LED TV to my boss for $678 which only cost me $68,18 to buy. Here is the website we use to get it all from, CentSpace.com

In fact, didn't Steve play a pretty big role in bringing Eisner down? In part at least because the guy only looked to the next quarterly statement?
post #16 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by boeyc15 View Post

One time I hope the analyst are correct. But history IMO, of founders leaving and analyst track records does not bode well for Apple in the long term. But, thats kind of true for most companys. Short term, Apple should be fine.

Stock price-wise, it's likely to be the other way around. Short term drop, but long-term steady climb to the price it should have been all along.

As one of the analysts said, the Steve Jobs question is already built into the current price of the stock. There should by all rights be a short term panic sale to some degree, followed by much more stability and rational pricing once the fact sinks in that he's gone and nothing fell apart. In theory it should become a more stable stock, like Disney.
post #17 of 44
My guess is that Steve and board knew he would have to resign at some point in the "near" future.

My guess is that the timed resignation has nothing to do with his immediate health (of course it has to due with his health in general), but that they wanted certain "hit products" in the pipe-line, ready to be released fairly soon after his resignation.

This way the stock takes it hit, hit products follow a few weeks/months later.... Apple looks strong without Jobs... stocks rebound. Then the future happens with minimal fallout due to "perception." Of course the fall-out due to his absence we have yet to see... but I think they probably timed the resignation to align with dampening the "perceived" effect.

Does that make sense?

Anyway, I would be surprised if they (Jobs & Board) didn't time this hit products in the pipe-line (iPhone 5, iPad 3, iCloud).

The want the resignation to occur JUST before these occur.... not during or after.

IQ78
post #18 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by IQ78 View Post

My guess is that the timed resignation has nothing to do with his immediate health (of course it has to due with his health in general), but that they wanted certain "hit products" in the pipe-line, ready to be released fairly soon after his resignation.

Kind of the way it felt to me as well (though one can't rule out immediate health problems) -- perfectly timed to cause the minimum amount of problems.
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post #19 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by MacRulez View Post

They Disney comparison may not be the most flattering: until Eisner came along, Disney floundered in a steady downhill pattern after Walt's death.

This is true. Ford and Disney left family members and yes-men behind to 'run' their companies. Really, really bad idea. Jobs knew better, and did his best to find qualified people who not only had the chops for their jobs, but proved themselves before he left.

Also, Ford and Disney went out feet-first. (Ford wasn't quite dead, but near death, when he resigned.) Jobs is obviously quite ill, but as the article states was still capable of a full day's work when he resigned.

What Jobs accomplished in his life dwarfs the careers of both Disney and Ford. Hell, he even saved Disney's old company, and that's just a footnote to his career.

Jobs may be best compared to Edison. Like Edison, he had no idea he would end up changing the music industry - but he did. And like Edison, he had no idea he would end up changing the film industry - but he did (Pixar, Quicktime, Final Cut Pro, etc.).

For all the talk of Jobs' bad behavior, I have never seen him act out in public, as so many other top executives have done. In general, the complaints about him usually boil down to him pushing a team or an individual to achieve somethings he/they think they cannot do. We should have more 'problem' execs like this, not fewer.
post #20 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mister Snitch View Post

What Jobs accomplished in his life dwarfs the careers of both Disney and Ford.

He's earned his place beside them, but he hardly "dwarfed" them. Henry Ford changed not only the culture, but the manufacturing and business worlds as well. Jobs is a titan of the 20th century. Henry Ford is a titan of the ages.
post #21 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mister Snitch View Post

What Jobs accomplished in his life dwarfs the careers of both Disney and Ford. Hell, he even saved Disney's old company, and that's just a footnote to his career.

Yeah, he doesn't dwarf Ford or Disney, but he is right there with them (closer to Ford).

And he DID NOT "save Disney." He didn't run Eisner out either. Things were in transition at that time to begin with (behind the scenes). He was helpful, and the Pixar fold-in was a great addition for monetary/distribution reasons (more of the pie), but. although Steve was important to the transition, he didn't save it, and if he weren't there, another transition would have occurred. And Disney was still more successful in many ways during the Eisner/Katzenburg era than they are now.
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post #22 of 44
Well, he ain't going very far, since he's now board chairman. He just won't have day-to-day responsibilities, but will have long-term focus

Comparison to Disney isn't all that flattering considering that Disney floundered for many years after Walt D passed. It wasn't until they hired their first outsider, Eisner, that Disney got its groove back

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post #23 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sandman619 View Post

Comparison to Disney isn't all that flattering considering that Disney floundered for many years after Walt D passed. It wasn't until they hired their first outsider, Eisner, that Disney got its groove back

I hope post-Steve Apple can continue to raise up competent CEOs and other leadership from within. It seems that bringing in outside talent often leads to loss of corporate identity and the chasing of short-term profits & efficiencies. See HP.

May Steve spend more time with his family and enjoy a slower pace of life for a long time.

- Jasen.
post #24 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by mzaslove View Post

And he DID NOT "save Disney." He didn't run Eisner out either.

Eisner was a worthless corporate tool, and Katzenburg - please. His current company, Dreamworks, is, how can I put this - in the toilet. From Wiki:

DreamWorks had come close to bankruptcy twice. Under Katzenberg's watch, the studio suffered a $125 million loss on Sinbad: Legend of the Seven Seas,[7] and also overestimated the DVD demand for Shrek 2.[8] In 2005, out of their two large budget pictures, The Island bombed at the domestic box office...

Yeah, Katzenberg's got some mad skillz all right.

Pixar people have been credited with reinvigorating Disney's animation division - they basically started by reworking 'Bolt', which was moderately successful, and Disney's rudderless animation department found direction and life after that. Pixar's people (mainly Lassiter) have also been put in charge of 'reimagining' Disney's theme parks.

Disney was going nowhere before Pixar came along. Get a clue. Or I guess you can just keep writing in all caps. That makes it sound like you know what you're talking about.
post #25 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mister Snitch View Post

Eisner was a worthless corporate tool. Pixar people have been credited with reinvigorating Disney's animation division - they basically started by reworking 'Bolt', which was moderately successful, and Disney's rudderless animation department found direction and life after that. Pixar's people (mainly Lassiter) have also been put in charge of 'reimagining' Disney's theme parks.

Actually, having worked at Disney (you can look up my credits if you want) and worked with Eisner, he was anything but a tool. He was on the downturn of his career arc there and after Katzenberg left (another interesting guy to work with), it was a long slow downturn. You meet those guys? Work with them? Been part of the feature and TV departments before and after? I know I have. How about you?

And caps for a couple words as emphasis is a legitimate way of reenforcing the point. Sorry if it bent you out of shape.
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post #26 of 44
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post #27 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by cajun View Post

As I see it, Apple is good for the next few years. They can just go through rounds of maintenance upgrades on their existing products -- faster processor, more megapixels, more resolution, more storage, etc -- while keeping their ear to the ground for new features to add in.

Steve may have even laid out the plans for a new product category or two. If that's the case, I give it five years before they truly reach the end of the Steve Jobs era.

The real question is, Once they've gotten beyond the direct influence of Steve Jobs, can Apple still be a visionary company? Can they still out-innovate the PC industry? Will they still take the big risks to reap the big rewards? And most importantly, will they be right about it?


I suspect the jobs vision and products idea are more than two years out, when Steve was there in the 80's he had a 20 yr vision of what computers. telecom, media and content was going to look like and we living that vision today, he came back in the 90's and got apple back on track of that original vision. I suspect that there is new roadmap with a another 20 yrs or so of vision and they will just crunch along as they did in the last 10 yrs. The only difference today from when he was forces out in the 80's they brought in people from the outside to run the company according to wallstreet and mindless MBA thought a good company should be. Today, they people taking over were hand picked by Jobs so they I hope they understand his vision.
post #28 of 44
Until and unless I see Apple release a new disruptive, market-redefining product like the iPhone, I will assume those blow-your-hair-back days are over.

I'm sorry but I just really believe in the power of the individual. I do believe the iPhone 5 and iPad 3 and 2012 Macs will be sexy, and Apple will make a lot of money. But will they do the impossible any more?

Such as... when people said the cellphone market had tight competition and razor thin margins and there was no point entering, and then Steve Jobs came along and the rest is history. In retrospect the opening was obvious: the existing phones were shite. But everything is obvious in retrospect. It takes a Jobs or a Ford to see these opportunities up front.
post #29 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by MacRulez View Post

The outcome may be different, but if you believe Walt Disney had no vision you're living on another planet.

Amen to that. Having been an Apple and Disney fan for many decades I'm constantly reminded and amazed at the vision of Walt and Steve. Looking at wait-times on my iPhone app for Haunted Mansion really drives the point home!
post #30 of 44
Steve Jobs leaving Apple fills me with an intense and brooding sense of impending loss. No man who has so brilliantly led and built such an amazing business leaves it unless he has to. I don't want to suggest what Steve's departure from Apple signifies, i only wish it wasn't so.

Since returning to Apple, Steve has set out to build a company that was bigger than any individual person in it, including himself. The top team is probably the strongest of any global top business. Even so, Steve's personality is so strong, so magnetic, that Apple running without his day-to-day micromanagement style is hard to imagine.

Is Steve without faults? Of course not, he is human like the rest of us. But as humans go, he is first among equals. I think it is entirely appropriate to compare him to Ford and Disney. Jobs is also a pioneering visionary who has made life better for ordinary people. Technology for the masses. His contribution is more than just the the Mac, the GUI, the iPod, the iPhone, and the iPad. it is an approach to business that defines 21st century commerce.

I sure hope this isn't the end, whatever it is, i wish Steve the very best.
post #31 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by ascii View Post

Until and unless I see Apple release a new disruptive, market-redefining product like the iPhone, I will assume those blow-your-hair-back days are over.

I'm sorry but I just really believe in the power of the individual. I do believe the iPhone 5 and iPad 3 and 2012 Macs will be sexy, and Apple will make a lot of money. But will they do the impossible any more?

Such as... when people said the cellphone market had tight competition and razor thin margins and there was no point entering, and then Steve Jobs came along and the rest is history. In retrospect the opening was obvious: the existing phones were shite. But everything is obvious in retrospect. It takes a Jobs or a Ford to see these opportunities up front.

Yes. It's called the TV, and this disruption will happen again. Those wheels have already been set in motion.
post #32 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

"Similar to the departure of Henry Ford, Walt Disney -- unique creative forces whose companies carried on for years -- Apple without Steve will go on,"



From Wikipedia:

Henry Ford departs:

"In 1919, Edsel Ford succeeded his father as president of the company,... the company used an old-fashioned personalized management system, and neglected consumer demand for improved vehicles. ...Ford steadily lost market share to GM and Chrysler, as these and other domestic and foreign competitors began offering fresher automobiles with more innovative features..."


Walt Disney dies:

"On December 15, 1966, Walt Disney died of lung cancer, and Roy Disney took over as chairman, CEO, and president of the company....

Despite the success of the Disney Channel and its new theme park creations, Walt Disney Productions was financially vulnerable. Its film library was valuable, but offered few current successes, and its leadership team was unable to keep up with other studios, "




Were Ford and Disney really the best examples that these analysts could come up with? It sounds like misguided optimism to me.
post #33 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tailpipe View Post

Steve Jobs leaving Apple fills me with an intense and brooding sense of impending loss. No man who has so brilliantly led and built such an amazing business leaves it unless he has to. I don't want to suggest what Steve's departure from Apple signifies, i only wish it wasn't so.

Since returning to Apple, Steve has set out to build a company that was bigger than any individual person in it, including himself. The top team is probably the strongest of any global top business. Even so, Steve's personality is so strong, so magnetic, that Apple running without his day-to-day micromanagement style is hard to imagine.

Is Steve without faults? Of course not, he is human like the rest of us. But as humans go, he is first among equals. I think it is entirely appropriate to compare him to Ford and Disney. Jobs is also a pioneering visionary who has made life better for ordinary people. Technology for the masses. His contribution is more than just the the Mac, the GUI, the iPod, the iPhone, and the iPad. it is an approach to business that defines 21st century commerce.

I sure hope this isn't the end, whatever it is, i wish Steve the very best.

I prefer to see this in a much more positive light. He hasn't left the company, and if it's true his health is stable then he's gonna be around for some time.

They executed a slow succession plan that was best for the company. He's demoting himself to chairman of the board (not an insignificant role) and not actually leaving. For all we know he'll keep that role till his death in 30 years. As chairman he can still be involved in his company and it's products. He may even pick a new CEO after Tim leaves.

As chairman he can definitely guide products, although maybe only from 30,000 feet. Still if the chairman Steven P Jobs comes to your group within Apple and wants to give your group some guidance, who would tell him no?

What they did was best for the stockholders, the company and his health and probably won't change a thing in all practicality. It may help him live longer which will only help Apple.
post #34 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by jasenj1 View Post

I hope post-Steve Apple can continue to raise up competent CEOs and other leadership from within. It seems that bringing in outside talent often leads to loss of corporate identity and the chasing of short-term profits & efficiencies. See HP.

Tim Cook worked at Compaq and IBM before being hired at Apple. Should Apple only hire and promote from within? Should Apple start an internal breeding program for future Apple employees?
post #35 of 44
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post #36 of 44
I would suggest that they go out and retain Guy Kawasaki again. He's got the swagger that will be needed at the keynotes and product announcements. That was one of the hallmarks of Apple was the riveting product announcements that MADE you want to go out and buy the new product.
post #37 of 44
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post #38 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by IQ78 View Post

Does that make sense?

Yes, but that means it doesn't describe the stock market.
:-)
post #39 of 44
Ignoring their business record, Ford was a notorious anti-semite whose book The International Jew and articles inspired young Nazis and was the only American to be mentioned in Mein Kampf ("the great Ford, to their [Jewish bankers] fury, still maintains full independence"); Disney sanctioned anti-semitism without censure in his company and was an informant against others for HUAC.

Jobs is far far beyond their class as a person.
post #40 of 44
How about comparing jobs to Akio Morita of Sony who had the vision to develop the walkman. In the late 70s and 80s SONY was the top in music players and TVs. Sadly Morita left SONY and it lost its vision. A possible out come for Apple, maybe but no one can predict the future and even if Steve stayed who knows he may of run out of gas too. when you look at Apple products for the last few years they are pretty much the same with just bells and whistles added to the computers. With the exception of the iPhone and iPad which most likely won't change much from the initial design.
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