RBC: Apple CEO’s departure won’t scare customers

Data from a survey released by RBC Capital Markets on Wednesday suggests that Apple customers’ buying intentions will not be impacted by Apple CEO Steve Jobs’ eventual departure from his role as chief executive. While pundits and analysts continue to panic over the possibility that the Apple chief may relinquish his role while on medical leave, RBC’s survey suggests customers aren’t quite as worried. 3,091 Apple customers responded to RBC’s survey between January 31st and February 9th, and 93% said they would continue buying Apple products once Jobs steps down. These results differ from data obtained from a similar survey conducted when Jobs took medical leave in 2008. At that time, 18% of respondents said they would be less likely to buy Apple’s wares. RBC suggests that the results indicate “Apple may be bigger than its CEO,” and that the company will continue to thrive in his absence. During Jobs’ last medical leave, Apple stock rose 144% and revenue rose 20%. RBC does note a potential long-term negative impact however, as Jobs is currently viewed as “Apple’s chief innovator, dealmaker, leader, motivator, and is deeply involved in minute decisions.”

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