On Wednesday night, longtime Apple CEO Steve Jobs announced he would resign, making way for the ascension of COO Tim Cook. The news shook the tech world – and prompted more than a few retrospectives on the career of the "Podfather." But in a letter to employees obtained by Ars Technica, Cook sought to reassure his staff that Apple would remain Apple.
"I want you to be confident that Apple is not going to change. I cherish and celebrate Apple’s unique principles and values," Cook wrote. "Steve built a company and culture that is unlike any other in the world and we are going to stay true to that – it is in our DNA. We are going to continue to make the best products in the world that delight our customers and make our employees incredibly proud of what they do."
This is no doubt true – not least because Steve Jobs, as Joshua Topolsky writes in a trenchant piece at the Washington Post, will retain an active role in the company. ("Tim will receive the official title of CEO and continue to manage day-to-day operations at Apple, but Jobs will be there, as Chairman of the Board, as Apple employee number two," Topolsky writes. "Still leading, still giving cues, still brainstorming and critiquing.")
There's also the fact that Apple has built up a lot of momentum in recent years, and that momentum will not immediately dissipate.
"Apple’s product development road map stretches into multiple years ahead and has been shaped both by Jobs and by the organization he built," Forrester analyst JP Gownder wrote in a recent blog post (tip of the hat to eWeek). "Jobs’ departure won’t affect Apple’s product portfolio, quality or competitiveness for a long time – if ever."
Furthermore, Gownder added, while Jobs "will go down in eventual history as an outstanding innovator, leader and world-changer, Apple is actually much more than its leader alone." Thoughts? Drop us a line in the comments section below. And in the meantime, for more tech news, sign up for the Monitor's weekly BizTech newsletter, which ships every Wednesday.