In a letter to Apple employees, CEO Steve Jobs announced that he would be taking a medical leave of absence until June due to complex health issues. While the rest of the web works itself up in unnecessary speculation, it’s important to stay grounded.
First of all, Apple is not going to officially release a succession plan for Jobs, at least not at the moment. The timing of recent events, pulling out of the Macworld Expo, saying that Jobs was fine, and now this latest release don’t necessarily mean that things are as dramatic as they may seem.
Second of all, it’s important to put a few things into perspective:
• Jobs’ health should be number 1. He has given his life and soul to this company, and if his health is declining, he needs to focus on that. Bottom line.
• Steve has plenty of people he can turn to who have been in similar situations for advice and guidance. Warren Buffet is one of Jobs’ biggest influences, and he is still actively involved into his seventies.
• Apple will still have the chance to prove itself after Jobs retires, one product announcement, or one mind-blowing device and headlines could shift to “Apple has done it without Jobs!”
For some people, until they see Jobs gain 20 lbs, happily bounce on stage and unveil the next “it” device, they will never be satisfied. Which is awful within itself. The reality is, Jobs may not return to Apple, and this may in fact be Apple’s succession plan put into motion. Would anyone really expect them to announce or breakdown the steps they are taking? If so, they are mistaken as to how Apple handles public and private information.
On the contrary, Jobs may fully recover from these ongoing health issues and run the company for another 5-10 years. It seems like a stretch, but he is indeed the type of person to claim control for as long as he can. I think we just need to call Dr.House.