If a leader’s resignation from his or her CEO role at a company doesn’t have an impact on that company’s business, the leader was ineffective. As such, it seems odd to think analysts and pundits are spending time debating whether or not Apple founder Steve Jobs’s departure from his chief executive post will change Apple. The obvious answer, of course, is that Apple will remain largely unchanged in the near term — product roadmaps always extend for multiple years and Jobs will now sit at the head of Apple’s board — but over time the company will grow and evolve under now-CEO Tim Cook’s lead. After all, a company that does not grow and evolve is doomed to fail. And if there is one thing Apple is good at, it’s evolving. Read on for more.
In a note to investors on Thursday morning, RBC Capital Markets Managing Director Mike Abramsky wrote that short-term risks are minimal as Jobs steps down. “We see low near term investor risks to Steve Job’s [sic] resignation as CEO as: 1) investors and company had time to prepare; 2) product roadmap and product franchises remains strong; 3) management transition expected smooth under Tim Cook’s leadership and executive team; 4) pending catalysts and financial outperformance remain ahead.” Of course as years roll on, an Apple without Jobs at the helm will inevitably change. “It’s hard to believe Apple won’t be different,” Abramsky wrote. “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.”
Yet Abramsky is confident in Apple’s new leader, Tim Cook. “Under Tim Cook, operational excellence will likely be an elevated focus, thus — beyond innovations yet to be unveiled — key drivers of growth may become global distribution, future product cycles and channel expansion. Pending catalysts include iCloud, iOS5, iPhone5, PC share gain, others. We remain Outperform and would accumulate on related weakness surrounding Steve’s departure.” In other words, don’t expect Apple to relinquish its role as analysts’ darling any time soon. More importantly, don’t expect much of a shift in ideology when it comes to the products, methods and vision that have catapulted Apple to the top of the tech world.