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



  • Reply 41 of 43
    axualaxual Posts: 244member
    Journalists are having a hey day with this ...

    First, a fact ... Jobs is not leaving. He is moving out of the CEO position and taking the Chairman of the Board position.

    I can assure you (with confidence), that Steve will still be very involved with Apple.

    Stop being so dramatic.
  • Reply 42 of 43
    bigpicsbigpics Posts: 1,397member
    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.

    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.).

    One can argue about whether assembly line mass production or the personal computer will be seen as having changed the world more, but as noted below Jobs doesn't "dwarf" Ford - in the sense of founding a culturally transformative corporation at least.

    Originally Posted by Conrail View Post

    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.

    As a business person perhaps. As a human being however.....

    Originally Posted by OccamsAftershave View Post

    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.

    Ford reportedly "gave away" (i.e., included) a copies of his (viciously) anti-semitic tracts with each Ford sold for years.
    ]The International Jew is a four volume set of booklets or pamphlets originally published and distributed in the early 1920s by Henry Ford, an American industrialist and automobile manufacturer.

    It is to be distinguished from The International Jew: The World's Problem which was the headline in The Dearborn Independent and is the name of a collection of articles serialized in The Dearborn Independent, a newspaper owned by Ford. It is also to be distinguished from the title of the first volume of the series, namely, The International Jew, The World's Foremost Problem (note the absence or presence of the word "Foremost" as the distinguishing mark in the subtitle). It is a compilation consisting of The Protocols of the Elders of Zion as the main and most important source.[1]

    At the Nuremberg Trials, Baldur von Schirach mentioned that The International Jew made a deep impression on him and his friends in their youth and influenced them in becoming antisemitic. He said: "... we saw in Henry Ford the representative of success, also the exponent of a progressive social policy. In the poverty-stricken and wretched Germany of the time, youth looked toward America, and apart from the great benefactor, Herbert Hoover, it was Henry Ford who to us represented America."[2] In 1922, the New York Times reported that Adolf Hitler's office contained a large picture of Ford.[3] A well-thumbed copy of the International Jew was found in his library.[4]
    This connection (and the story of the Model T) also informed Hitler's approach to building the Volkswagen (the "people's car), and in 1938, Ford was presented with the award of the Grand Cross of the German Eagle, the highest medal Nazi Germany could bestow on a foreigner. (To his "credit" Ford, near the end of his life, was reportedly "ill-stricken by the atrocities" taking place in the German death camps, FWIW.)
  • Reply 43 of 43
    bigpicsbigpics Posts: 1,397member
    Originally Posted by AppleLover2 View Post

    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.

    Possibly. No matter what the planning, when such a charismatic founder/leader leaves, a company always faces moving in one of two basic directions with the follow-on leader:


    1. "What would Steve Jobs Do?" That is, opting for a CEO who tries to carry the founder's vision forward smoothly (altho' he has no internalized passionate vision of his own). Apple's opted for this approach with Tim Cook. The problem is that this will carry the company about as far as the road has been mapped out in some detail by the founder, and begins to break down as the tech advances, the competition evolves and other new variables emerge.

    (Though Apple will have the advantage of Steve in the Boardroom, hopefully for many years - which could make the Cook years go well indeed.)

    2. "The Steve is Dead - Long Live the New Steve" That is, opting for someone with a strong, iconoclastic vision of their own. The problems being, a) it will be - if a real visionary - a very different vision, b) it will be being spear-headed by someone who did not build (or own) the operation and does not automatically command the loyalty of the legion of troops built up by the founder, and c) since the new visionary will never have been in such a position, the validity of the vision is necessarily unknown, and thus suspect and much in danger of being second-guessed both within the company, in the media and by consumers.

    This certainly will never happen until Steve relinquishes his Chairmanship, but it will likely HAVE to happen someday.

    Nearly all companies of the Ford, Edison, Disney and IBM stripe have periods of eventual drift after their iconic CEO's move on to the Great Executive Washroom in the Sky.

    (Tho' I again hope Steve still has years of a successful Chairmanship and a rewarding personal life left to him.)

    Some companies weather it better than others. Some go through a number of wrenching transitions, whether shortly after the change, or in some cases years down the road.
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