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Shareholders Push Hard For Apple Succession Plan

timothy posted more than 3 years ago | from the oh-and-one-more-thing-aaaaaaaaaghhhh dept.

Businesses 233

eldavojohn writes "Apple has been a couple weeks now sans their iconic fearless leader and the shareholders are getting restless without a succession plan. Essentially the Institutional Shareholder Services (ISS) is saying that there hasn't been enough disclosure in why exactly Steve is absent and they'd like an annual succession plan delivered to shareholders. Apple is recommending that on February 23 at its annual company meeting, its shareholders vote against the proposal for a succession plan. Apple may have a plan for life after Steve Jobs but if they do they are not sharing it with anyone — not even their financiers!"

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233 comments

Here's your plan (1, Troll)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 3 years ago | (#35096474)

Next in line of succession will be Steve's own ego, which by the time he dies will have become a world-sized entity unto itself, making Skynet look like a Sinclar ZX81. And you *will* obey Steve's ego--or else!

Re:Here's your plan (1)

DoofusOfDeath (636671) | more than 3 years ago | (#35096508)

Next in line of succession will be Steve's own ego,

They were going to make it into a product, "iEgo", but that seemed redundant.

Re:Here's your plan (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35097012)

I don't know, we already have youTu(be), but weNos and youVos are still available.

It hasn't been revised for a few years... (2)

Jeremiah Cornelius (137) | more than 3 years ago | (#35097248)

The succession plan reads:
"Gil Amelio".

Re:It hasn't been revised for a few years... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35097762)

haha, but in all seriousness, it actually reads "Tim Cook".

Re:Here's your plan (2)

WrongSizeGlass (838941) | more than 3 years ago | (#35096542)

Oh please. Enough with this "Steve's Ego" stuff. We all know he's using Disney's animatronics labs to give him the closest thing to immortality he can get until the revamped iLive is released in 2017.

Re:Here's your plan (1)

mangu (126918) | more than 3 years ago | (#35097182)

Oh please. Enough with this "Steve's Ego" stuff.

Well, who knows? It could be better than Mubarak's ego [wikipedia.org]

Re:Here's your plan (1)

Sponge Bath (413667) | more than 3 years ago | (#35097492)

Through a tragic mistake, animatronic Steve Jobs will be added to the Country Bear Jamboree display.

Re:Here's your plan (1)

nonguru (1777998) | more than 3 years ago | (#35097902)

Will they stick him in the same freezer as Walt?

Re:Here's your plan (1)

Torodung (31985) | more than 3 years ago | (#35096574)

Next in line of succession will be Steve's own ego, which by the time he dies will have become a world-sized entity unto itself, making Skynet look like a Sinclar ZX81. And you *will* obey Steve's ego--or else!

"If there's anything bigger than my ego in here I want it caught and shot right now"--Zaphod Beeblebrox

Oblig.

Re:Here's your plan (1)

starworks5 (139327) | more than 3 years ago | (#35096670)

I bet he is working on a way to transfer his conciousness to the cloud, so he can continue leadership of apple, until the end of the world as we know it. They will release a DRM'ed version of the i-ego software, that will only interface with other apple products, and will require that you use I tunes.

Re:Here's your plan (1)

t2t10 (1909766) | more than 3 years ago | (#35096722)

Apple can't even transfer iTunes to the cloud, let alone anything as massive as Steve Jobs's ego.

Re:Here's your plan (1)

starworks5 (139327) | more than 3 years ago | (#35096904)

But you still wont get an SD card on an Ipad, or be able to recover your data for less than $1000

Don't see a need for a plan (0)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 3 years ago | (#35096798)

When they ousted Steve in 1985(?) they didn't have any problem finding a replacement. I doubt they'll have a problem finding a replacement when he eventually passes on.

Random Thought:
- the visionary men that made computers what they are today:
- Nolan Bushnell (gaming & multimedia computing)
- Jack Tramel (mass marketed the #1 and #2 best-selling computers - C=64 and A500)
- Steve Jobs (obvious)
- Bill Gates
- probably left some off but those are the ones on top.

Re:Don't see a need for a plan (1)

khallow (566160) | more than 3 years ago | (#35097062)

When they ousted Steve in 1985(?) they didn't have any problem finding a replacement.

I disagree. Sure, they found a replacement rather easily, but had a great deal of problems as a result (and those problems were the reason that Jobs ended up returning to Apple). They can find someone to run the company into the ground, but finding a replacement for Jobs that's good for the business is going to take more work.

Re:Don't see a need for a plan (1)

mini me (132455) | more than 3 years ago | (#35097238)

Arguably, Apple returned to Jobs. The technology is all NeXT. The people on the board are mostly ex-NeXT people. Apple is really only Apple in name today.

Re:Don't see a need for a plan (1)

khallow (566160) | more than 3 years ago | (#35097332)

Arguably, the Moon is made of green cheese. The bottom line is that Apple was in big trouble as a result of the CEO that replaced Jobs. So it's not enough to find a superficial replacement for Jobs.

Re:Don't see a need for a plan (1)

msclrhd (1211086) | more than 3 years ago | (#35097100)

- Major Grace Hopper
- Tim Berners Lee (the internet)
- Lady Ada Lovelace
- Charles Babbage
- ...

Re:Don't see a need for a plan (0)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 3 years ago | (#35097192)

Okay I'll add a few more, just randomly:

- The programmers at Activision and MicroProse like David Crane and Sid Meier (military sims/RPGs)
- Engineers Bob Yannes and Jay Miner (Atari, Commodore, Amiga)
- Jeff Bezos (amazon)
- Sergey Brin and Larry Page (google)
- Marc Andreessen (ported the web from Unix to Home Computers via creating Mosaic, then Netscape, and finally Mozilla)

Re:Don't see a need for a plan (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 3 years ago | (#35097264)

Wrong Apple Steve. That one is just an ad man.

Re:Don't see a need for a plan (1)

mirix (1649853) | more than 3 years ago | (#35097694)

How about the boys at bell labs?

They came up with marvellous inventions like UNIX and C, not to mention the transistors to run them on.
I don't think you'd be doing much gaming on a UNIVAC.

Re:Here's your plan (1)

Stregano (1285764) | more than 3 years ago | (#35097282)

But will his ego wear those crappy black turtle necks?

Stock Price (2)

Enderandrew (866215) | more than 3 years ago | (#35096476)

Publicly saying you're concerned and don't have confidence in your company is a sure-fire way to drive your stock price through the roof.

Re:Stock Price (2)

arth1 (260657) | more than 3 years ago | (#35096546)

It could be interesting to see the volume of short sales for the last week or so.

Lowering the price? (1)

hellfire (86129) | more than 3 years ago | (#35096822)

You speak with much sarcasm, but who's to say they aren't gaming the system a bit here?

Speak ill of the company, the stock price begins to slide, the company complies, and you rush in with a bunch of automated orders that you had queued up to scoop up the stock as the announcement is made.

I am not a stock broker, but this is a conspiracy that I might bite on.

Re:Stock Price (2)

bluefoxlucid (723572) | more than 3 years ago | (#35096926)

Most companies are run by the guy who invented the damn thing. Microsoft was driven by Bill Gates; when Gates went away, so did Microsoft. Ballmer's Microsoft is living on the Microsoft Monopoly, but Ballmer is running the company into the ground; the cunning, foresight, and business sense that made Microsoft what it was is partially Bill Gates' leadership. When the CEO becomes a check-collector or just gets replaced by someone else, the company loses his insight and falls apart.

Apple without Steve Jobs will be Apple without Steve Jobs. It'll be run by a board-elected CEO who has some ideas on improvements to be made, which is just as well because he won't have Jobs' wit with the market. He might have other wit, and might be able to make Apple live; it won't be like today's Apple, the company direction will be at least a little off true and aligning to a new heading, but it might not be a huge change. On the other hand, it's likely he won't be able to make Apple run like Apple, and then Apple will fall apart.

Re:Stock Price (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35097088)

All civilized men should study the use of semicolons.

Re:Stock Price (1)

ocdscouter (1922930) | more than 3 years ago | (#35097336)

Ah, semicolons. An elegant weapon, for a more... civilized age.

Re:Stock Price (1)

drb226 (1938360) | more than 3 years ago | (#35097888)

The beauty of grandparent comment's use of semicolons is stunning; the related sentences flow so well together with semicolons.

Legal or no? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35096522)

Isn't that a tad bit illegal?

Juche Idea (2)

MrEricSir (398214) | more than 3 years ago | (#35096534)

Even in death, Steve Jobs will always be Apple's Eternal Leader. He can appoint his son as the Dear Leader.

What they'll do... (2, Funny)

vell0cet (1055494) | more than 3 years ago | (#35096562)

If Jobs dies, they'll just string him up and move him around "Weekend at Bernie's" like

Re:What they'll do... (1)

ion++ (134665) | more than 3 years ago | (#35097308)

If Jobs dies, they'll just string him up and move him around "Weekend at Bernie's" like

What if they already did that?

Re:What they'll do... (2)

markass530 (870112) | more than 3 years ago | (#35097404)

Why is the parent modd'd funny. Oh because there isn't a "sad but true" mod....

Re:What they'll do... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35097424)

If Jobs dies...

Well, there are many, many ways to acquire the necessary organs to stay alive. I half expect to hear that Apple has "donated" a computerized monitoring system for the political prisons in China...

Owning stock - so? (2)

dazedNconfuzed (154242) | more than 3 years ago | (#35096564)

I'm puzzled by the market cap of Apple being ~$0.3T ... when the company never issues dividends. What's the point of owning stock then? it's like owning shares of the moon: yeah, it's there, and you may be legal owner of a miniscule fraction thereof, but you don't get anything from it and those doing anything with it won't consult you.

Re:Owning stock - so? (1)

bsDaemon (87307) | more than 3 years ago | (#35096648)

Because people hope that they can hold onto it juts long enough for it to get really, super expensive and then sell off for a huge payout. Also, maybe it'd split? Some day Apple may offer dividends, so some people will likely hold onto it, however since a lot of people seem to look at dividends as a sign that a company has no more growth potential that'd kill them right now.

Re:Owning stock - so? (1)

bluefoxlucid (723572) | more than 3 years ago | (#35096854)

Those people are stupid. Dividend-paying companies almost always do better than non-dividend-paying companies. Dividends are a sign that a company is run well, has great liquidity, great financial stability, and is turning a profit. IMB paid great dividends and was doing well until the banking crisis; when it fell into dire straits, its stock price dropped, its dividends shriveled, and they continued to work hard to keep it stable. It eventually failed when Schumer said that they were "falling apart" and "should be shut down," which resulted in hundreds of millions of dollars a day in depositor withdrawals (bank runs, remember the great depression when people withdrew all the money from the banks and they collapsed?). Down it went.

I thought they were doing a fine job... they survived Schumer's idiocy for a while, under pressure of bank runs... they had a few million in cash at some point, which they had raised to about $4 billion cash on hand, propping the company up here and there, smoothing out business operations, getting things straightened out so they could live through the housing market madness.... then bang, bank runs, and $4 billion goes away quick when you're paying out $0.1 to $0.25 billion per day because everyone who sank money in your savings accounts wants it back (that's how banks operate: they're holding your money).

This is how dividend-paying companies die. They're run well, and they die in catastrophic, impossible-to-survive disasters beyond their control. They don't go down without a fight, either.

Re:Owning stock - so? (1)

rudy_wayne (414635) | more than 3 years ago | (#35097350)

Because people hope that they can hold onto it juts long enough for it to get really, super expensive and then sell off for a huge payout.

Which is pretty much the exact definition of a Ponzi scheme.

Re:Owning stock - so? (1)

iluvcapra (782887) | more than 3 years ago | (#35097588)

People get this wrong a lot. A Ponzi scheme is when someone takes your money and promises you a return and lies to you about how they're going to get that return. A Ponzi scheme is a kind of fraud. When you're holding a piece of property for appreciation, you know exactly what you have and how you're trying to make money.

Re:Owning stock - so? (3, Informative)

alexander_686 (957440) | more than 3 years ago | (#35097698)

The value of a stock is all future cash flows [i.e. dividends] discounted [i.e. interest rate + risk of owing a stock] back to today.

Apple has not paid any dividends because it believes that it can grow future profits and the current cash faster then if the owners were to take there money and invest in something else. That being said, Apple is sitting on a LOT of cash, so I have a hard time believing them – but your mileage may very.

And because Apple is a growing, profitable concern – i.e. the value of the company is growing – it makes sense that the stock is worth something. Once again I am not sure I would agree with the current stock market value – but there are people who do. It’s not a ponzi scheme which requires new investors to support the old.

Re:Owning stock - so? (2)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | more than 3 years ago | (#35096664)

What, you've never heard of "trading"? Buy low, sell high?

Re:Owning stock - so? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35097558)

The point he's making is a long term one. Apple hasn't hinted that it will ever again pay dividends, which in the long run makes its stock useless. Sure, you can sell it to someone else, and they can sell it, but that does absolutely nothing to the net amount of money for those involved. The only thing that makes people think that this makes more sense than a pyramid scheme is that some day apple may sell off part of itself or pay a dividend. I don't see either happening ever with Stevie in charge.

Re:Owning stock - so? (1)

aristotle-dude (626586) | more than 3 years ago | (#35097904)

The point he's making is a long term one. Apple hasn't hinted that it will ever again pay dividends, which in the long run makes its stock useless. Sure, you can sell it to someone else, and they can sell it, but that does absolutely nothing to the net amount of money for those involved. The only thing that makes people think that this makes more sense than a pyramid scheme is that some day apple may sell off part of itself or pay a dividend. I don't see either happening ever with Stevie in charge.

Well if you made a long term investment in MSFT "after" the bubble, you would be losing money per share even with dividends because of the stock dropping to below 28 dollars if you needed to sell right now.

If you invested in AAPL a long time ago, you would have made your money many times over if you sold them right now.

Re:Owning stock - so? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35097676)

Yes, but if there isn't any chance that holding it will give you something, why would anyone buy it?

Is it just me, or are we going to experience an Apple bubble soon?

Stock Market 101 (1)

tverbeek (457094) | more than 3 years ago | (#35096700)

Um... the point of owning the stock is that you can choose to sell the stock, hopefully for more money. My motorscooter, my computers, and my collection of erotic Hummel figurines don't pay dividends either, but I own them, which means I can sell them.

Re:Stock Market 101 (1)

exomondo (1725132) | more than 3 years ago | (#35096836)

Um... the point of owning the stock is that you can choose to sell the stock, hopefully for more money. My motorscooter, my computers, and my collection of erotic Hummel figurines don't pay dividends either, but I own them, which means I can sell them.

I know what you mean but that is an awful analogy. You can't do anything with stock but trade it, at least your motorscooter and computers have uses - which is most likely what you got them for anyway.

Re:Stock Market 101 (1)

Chapter80 (926879) | more than 3 years ago | (#35097304)

Um... the point of owning the stock is that you can choose to sell the stock, hopefully for more money. My motorscooter, my computers, and my collection of erotic Hummel figurines don't pay dividends either, but I own them, which means I can sell them.

I know what you mean but that is an awful analogy. You can't do anything with stock but trade it, at least your motorscooter and computers have uses - which is most likely what you got them for anyway.

Wrong. I can borrow against stock (and even buy a motor scooter or a computer).

I can also buy more and more of the stock, so I eventually own 51% of the company. Then I can do a LOT of things.
If the stock were selling for fractions of a penny, I most certainly would do that.
If the stock were selling for $50/share, some huge company would certainly do that.
That's why it's not so low priced.

Re:Stock Market 101 (1)

exomondo (1725132) | more than 3 years ago | (#35097736)

Wrong. I can borrow against stock (and even buy a motor scooter or a computer).

I suppose, but the analogy to a motor scooter and computers still fails, you certainly don't buy stock for the same reason you buy those items since they depreciate, the idea is generally that stock you own will go up in value.

I can also buy more and more of the stock, so I eventually own 51% of the company. Then I can do a LOT of things. If the stock were selling for fractions of a penny, I most certainly would do that.

That depends on how much stock there is, and if the stock is that low the company is likely going under so what's the point of owning it, it is - obviously given the stock price - almost worthless.

Re:Stock Market 101 (1)

Antisyzygy (1495469) | more than 3 years ago | (#35097488)

Stocks are imaginary. Without actual ownership of a company, i.e. sharing profits/losses, it seems pointless. Its the same thing as gold in World of Warcraft, it has some "real" money value to people but essentially it means nothing because it cannot actually do anything useful at all. That's only a counter-argument, not necessarily my belief. I hold some stock actually.

Re:Owning stock - so? (2)

jfengel (409917) | more than 3 years ago | (#35097106)

The company does make revenue, and you own a share of it. In principle, it could be handed out as dividends, but the shareholders collectively decide to reinvest it instead.

They could, in theory, divide it all up and hand it out. They don't ever actually have to do it; the company is worth more alive than dead. But that they could is the fundamental source of value.

The price of Apple's share's isn't completely out of line with its revenues. Even after its run-up, its price is only 18 times the revenues for the last 12 months. They could in theory be distributed, and if they were (and continued to do so for 18 years) you'd double your money. That corresponds to around 4% interest; not a huge win, but way better than the miserly .05% I'm getting in my bank account (or the .8% I could get by moving it to a CD).

As a whole, the company is very valuable, but illiquid. The stock market provides liquidity. It's a bit of a consensual hallucination; in theory, the other buyers could all dry up. But in practice, as long as the company holds underlying value, there will always be people willing to bid against each other to take your shares off your hands. And because they bid against each other, the price corresponds (roughly) to the amount of money the company expects to take in over time.

Re:Owning stock - so? (2)

Antisyzygy (1495469) | more than 3 years ago | (#35097380)

This is something I actually agree with. Stock was supposed to be that you actually own a portion of a company. Whats the point in owning a portion of the company if you don't share some of the profits from the company? I suppose the counter-argument would be you should share some of the losses, however you are essentially giving money to the company so if the stock tanks then its like the company defaulting on a loan. I realize that if a company makes more money the stock goes up in value, but frankly a non-dividend stock seems as imaginary as derivatives. Speculation for the sake of speculation is all it is.

Re:Owning stock - so? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35097466)

Yeah. And banks too...what's with them? why do they exist. I put my money into them, but why?

Re:Owning stock - so? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35097656)

I'm puzzled by the market cap of Apple being ~$0.3T ... when the company never issues dividends. What's the point of owning stock then? it's like owning shares of the moon: yeah, it's there, and you may be legal owner of a miniscule fraction thereof, but you don't get anything from it and those doing anything with it won't consult you.

That because you're holding it wrong.

Seriously, buy and hold. 6 years ago if you bought it at $50 you would have made 700% on your money. It's called intrinsic value, no dividends required.

Re:Owning stock - so? (1)

Animats (122034) | more than 3 years ago | (#35097770)

I'm puzzled by the market cap of Apple being ~$0.3T ... when the company never issues dividends.

Right. The value of a stock is the present value of future dividends. (Maybe adjusted for stock buybacks.)

IBM pays dividends. Microsoft pays dividends. Disney pays dividends. Companies which pay diividends historically have a higher return than those which don't. [fool.com] Companies in their startup phase usually don't pay dividends. Apple is an old company, now 35 years old, and well past that point.

There's investor pressure on Google to pay a dividend. Google's growth phase is over. Their stock peaked in 2007. They're a mature company. It's time to start paying the stockholders back. Especially since Google is a one-product company. (97% of Google revenue is from search ads and AdSense ads. No other Google product has ever produced significant revenue.)

Being a cool company isn't enough. If you'd bought Playboy at the IPO, and sold when Hefner took the company private last month, you'd have lost 75%. Before inflation adjustment.

/. News Network (1)

Even on Slashdot FOE (1870208) | more than 3 years ago | (#35096586)

A prominent company, Apple, told investors today that it was not in their best interests to know the company's plans for the time after Steve. Unsurprisingly, this is causing questions as to why knowing who is planned to be the next CEO is a bad thing, and hurting stock prices.

I don't think so (1)

sideslash (1865434) | more than 3 years ago | (#35096610)

Apple's so-called "financiers" are also the benefactors of its remarkable success. If Jobs digs in his heels and decides to keep it secret, I predict they're not going to actually do anything. Or at least not until after Jobs might (unfortunately) pass away.

I've got a solution. (1)

orphiuchus (1146483) | more than 3 years ago | (#35096644)

I'll do it.

Take his place that is.

Problem solved!

So, do I get payed via check or direct transfer or what?

Re:I've got a solution. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35096706)

How about in change? If I'm not mistaken, Jobs compensation last year was $1.00

SB

Re:I've got a solution. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35096734)

Last I checked Steve doesn't have a salary (or maybe just a very very small one). I'm not sure he'd just hand his stock over to you.

Speculation (2)

Ensign_Expendable (1045224) | more than 3 years ago | (#35096686)

Rumor mill says Eric Schmidt.

Re:Speculation (1)

monoqlith (610041) | more than 3 years ago | (#35097252)

Eh. Not sure if he fits the profile. Schmidt seems to fulfill more of a management and supervisory position to execute what the visionaries - who are not him - want to get done. I think they're going to probably want someone like Jobs who - in addition to Schmidt's manamagent style - has a very clear idea of what he's aiming for, and is often the only one who has that idea sufficiently clearly to effectively direct the organization beneath him

NO!! (2, Insightful)

gbrandt (113294) | more than 3 years ago | (#35096724)

No corporation is required to have a succession plan. Why should Apple?

You are going to say that Steve is so important to Apples success and continued success that a plan should be required.

I'm going to say that Steve is one man that relies on many people to come up with a successful product.

If there is no law that requires a succession plan, then Apple should not be made to make a plan.

Re:NO!! (4, Insightful)

SydShamino (547793) | more than 3 years ago | (#35096922)

If there is no law that requires a succession plan, then Apple should not be made to make a plan.

So you're saying that the shareholders - the owners of the company - cannot direct any actions of their company? Only the government can direct action via law?

Re:NO!! (5, Informative)

Lev13than (581686) | more than 3 years ago | (#35096978)

No corporation is required to have a succession plan. Why should Apple

Because shareholders own the company. If the company's owners want a succession plan then Apple had better well get cracking.

Regardless, your assertion is false - most large companies will have succession plans for key staff. Many willl go so far as to take out hefty life insurance policies to cover short-term risk if their CEO, chief product designer, star analyst etc... gets hit by a bus.

Re:NO!! (1)

wondafucka (621502) | more than 3 years ago | (#35097510)

. Many will go so far as to take out hefty life insurance policies to cover short-term risk if their CEO, chief product designer, star analyst etc... gets hit by a bus.

Many companies take out life insurance policies on all of their employees. It's called "dead peasant" insurance. (Albiet, the janitor doesn't get a hefty policy).

Re:NO!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35097648)

Shareholders do not "own" the corporation. A corporation is a legal person and no one can "own" a person. The corporation owns all of its own assets. Shareholders have certain rights as shareholders. These rights include voting rights, rights to dividends IF the corporation chooses to pay them, and rights to a share of the assets if the corporation is broken up. It is never correct to say the the shareholders "own" that corporation because that is patently false.

Wait, what? (2)

Rossman (593924) | more than 3 years ago | (#35097290)

"No corporation is required to have a succession plan. Why should Apple?"

Because their shareholders want one, and the shareholders pay the bills.

Re:NO!! (1)

exomondo (1725132) | more than 3 years ago | (#35097382)

If there is no law that requires a succession plan, then Apple should not be made to make a plan.

The company is owned by shareholders and they are the ones who want the succession plan.

Re:NO!! (1)

Xuranova (160813) | more than 3 years ago | (#35097734)

What are they going to do if upper management doesn't provide one? Fire them? Lawl.

Re:NO!! (1)

Draek (916851) | more than 3 years ago | (#35097806)

Abandon ship en masse. Quite likely the worst thing that could happen to a publicly traded company such as Apple.

Oh, but YES !! Re:NO!! (1)

siddesu (698447) | more than 3 years ago | (#35097824)

I'm going to say that Steve is one man that relies on many people to come up with a successful product.

I don't follow Apple very closely, but my impression is that Jobs is the only public person in the company that matters. He's the chief salesman. The guy with the hype.The person that is interesting enough to the broad spectrum of media so that they engage in massive brouhaha over even minor stories -- like this one. When he's gone, unless he is replaced by someone who can command similar attention, Apple will lose out.

I'd also venture a guess that only Jobs' charisma and leadership is what makes possible to put and hold the team at Apple's that outputs successful products together, manages investor impatience, etc. etc.

When he's gone, it is anybody's guess what will happen internally. Leadership change is a huge challenge for a corporation. Investors that don't worry about that aren't smart investors.

Re:NO!! (1)

Captain Spam (66120) | more than 3 years ago | (#35097886)

If there is no law that requires a succession plan, then Apple should not be made to make a plan.

Whoever said anything about a law? The shareholders have stated they want to see one due to uneasiness about the situation and/or lack of faith the company has any preparations for what happens after Jobs leaves. If they don't get one, they may take their cash and leave. It's their money, they're perfectly in their rights to do so, and there's also no law that says they must keep their money with Apple.

Now, a law probably DOES enforce the part of the scenario involving the shareholders taking their money and leaving, but of course there's no law forcing Apple to provide a succession plan for their shareholders. This does not, however, mean there are no consequences for not doing so. If, for instance, you stood somebody up on a date, though there's no law against it, there certainly are still consequences for it.

Apple treats its shareholders like garbage.. (1)

intellitech (1912116) | more than 3 years ago | (#35096726)

Seriously, we all know that Steve Jobs eternally obsessive management is what has primarily led to Apple's success, and depriving its shareholders of adequate information regarding his health AND not giving them an appropriate succession plan is almost certainly pure arrogance.

Re:Apple treats its shareholders like garbage.. (5, Insightful)

Caerdwyn (829058) | more than 3 years ago | (#35097460)

In at approx. 75. Currently 340-ish. Yeah, they're treating me like garbage. I need more people to treat me like garbage like that.

He has a serious illness. That's all the info I need on his health. Seriously, does anyone on Planet Earth NOT know he's living on borrowed time (and livers)?

Succession plan? Tim Cook. Done. Again, does anyone with any interest in who leads Apple not know this?

Fox News of Tech (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35096736)

Slash has become the Fox News of tech.. Pandering to its most rabid fanbase.
On a day when Verizon's servers are melting because of the iPhone pre-orders, we get a report making fun of their fearless leader.

Re:Fox News of Tech (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35097534)

So get involved with the filtering, submitting and posting of stories. It's a community effort you useless idiot.

posting as AC because I don't want the job. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35096762)

They don't need an executive to fill his position.
They need someone with a vision.
They need ME.
-AC

Jobs knows best? (2)

stimpleton (732392) | more than 3 years ago | (#35096770)

"saying that there hasn't been enough disclosure in why exactly Steve is absent"

Friggin' boards and share holders. I hate them. I am biased obviously. I am in the trenches, so they probably look at me with equal distain.

This is the generic problem, boards and shareholders poke their governance noses in, not trusting senior operational to make the best decisions. Steve Jobs, and I suspect those around him, would go to their graves doing the best for Apples long term goals.

Jobs himself will be well aware of consequences of his absence but I am guessing is managing the fact his return is best. I am not a Jobs fanboy, but shareholder boards fuck off and count pennies somewhere else.

Re:Jobs knows best? (1)

Lev13than (581686) | more than 3 years ago | (#35097014)

Friggin' boards and share holders. I hate them... This is the generic problem, boards and shareholders poke their governance noses in, not trusting senior operational to make the best decisions.

Yeah, because the biggest problem facing corporate America over the past few years has been excessive self-governance.

Re:Jobs knows best? (1)

mini me (132455) | more than 3 years ago | (#35097402)

Shareholders own the company. If you don't like your boss(es), maybe you should find work elsewhere?

Re:Jobs knows best? (1)

Dhalka226 (559740) | more than 3 years ago | (#35097512)

Apple, unlike most other companies, has experience with how things go with and without him. Apple was nearly destroyed when Steve Jobs was gone, and his return made the company one of the most powerful in the world. That is a big damn jump.

Of course, that's not to say it's all him, nor is it to say that it would happen that way again. That doesn't mean investors shouldn't be concerned about the possibility and want to know what the company is doing to make sure it doesn't happen that way again. If Apple the Juggernaut is about to turn back into a pumpkin, I would certainly want to know that if I have money invested there. Being as that is what happend last time, asking for a plan for how they plan to prevent it going forward hardly seems unreasonable.

I hope you can join me in wishing... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35096794)

If you care about freedom, love the internet and computers and aren't a big fan of Murdoch then I hope you can join with me in wishing Steve Job's a swift exit from this world, for the sake of us all (all except a few vacuous and ignorant mac fanboys of course.)

Re:I hope you can join me in wishing... (1)

Servaas (1050156) | more than 3 years ago | (#35097338)

How can you even post something like that on a site as drenched in technology as Slashdot? Do you really know so little of the world to not just dislike their products but to really wish that on someone who has pushed technology as forward as like Steve Jobs? I don't care if your a fanboy or a diehard hater but you just can't say you are a technology lover and wish one of the big three dead, (Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, Linus Torvald being the three imo.) they have more vision then anyone of us here will ever have and even if you disagree with what they have to say, people should listen when these people speak.

Re:I hope you can join me in wishing... (1)

Caerdwyn (829058) | more than 3 years ago | (#35097496)

And may they bury you, AC, face-down so you can see where you're going. You fail at humanity.

Oh the worries (1)

McTickles (1812316) | more than 3 years ago | (#35096868)

of the iChurch. Please let not our fearless leader fall! we cannots lives withouts the One!

Seriously though, this sort of attitude from shareholders is what you get from capitalism... "Jobs is unwell, oh noes! I am gonna be poor! quick lets get rid of him and put someone else in charge so i dont get the poors!" instead of "Jobs is unwell... sigh lets hope for the best"

Capitalism has failed get that thru your heads

we know who it won't be (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35097030)

Jobs' successor won't be

  • a mysterious consumer marketing whiz who knows nothing about technology (John Sculley)
  • a dogged lab bench engineer's engineering manager (Michael Spindler)
  • a seasoned CEO, operations/cost cutting guy with successful tenures at old school Fortune 500 companies on his resume (Gil Amelio)
  • ? (Jean Louis Gassee) - he would be an intriguing choice, but I don't think it will him either

I'm confused? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35097124)

How did I end up on eldavojohn's blog?

If I have learned 1 thinking from Steve Jobs (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 3 years ago | (#35097186)

it's that he has a plan. And a plan to implement that plan.

Apple is usually quit on these types of matters.
Persoanlly, I don't think he can be replaced, and think it will rot after he leaves. Very few peoplea re smart, and motivated, and understand what people want, AND listen to experts in specific fields and let them what they do best.

Apple has many talented people, but a frontman and driver? That's going to be hard to get.

Re:If I have learned 1 thinking from Steve Jobs (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35097890)

AND listen to experts in specific fields and let them what they do best.

Oh, he listens to experts? I seem to remember otherwise: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2010-07-15/apple-engineer-said-to-have-told-jobs-last-year-about-iphone-antenna-flaw.html [bloomberg.com]

Apple has many talented people, but a frontman and driver? That's going to be hard to get.

Bill Gates, any of the Google founders. Pretty much every top tech company has (or had in Gates' case) the "front-man and driver" combo you speak of.

If I have learned one thinking (sic) from Steve Jobs, it's to be a control freak/egomaniac. That's how you run a successful company.

succession plan = competitive disadvantage (4, Insightful)

BearRanger (945122) | more than 3 years ago | (#35097232)

Why would Apple want to publish a plan if they have one? The top executives who aren't in line to move up will become dissatisfied and will look for opportunities elsewhere. The executives who are tapped won't have a timetable to move up, and will be sniped at and sabotaged by the executives who aren't in line in the hopes of improving their positions. It's a recipe for internal dissent and distraction.

Apple is right and should resist this call to appoint a successor. If the shareholders don't like it they always have the option of selling their shares.

Re:succession plan = competitive disadvantage (1)

rudy_wayne (414635) | more than 3 years ago | (#35097524)

Why would Apple want to publish a plan if they have one? .

Because the shareholders -- THE PEOPLE WHO ACTUALLY OWN THE COMPANY -- say they want one. If Apple management doesn't like taking orders from the owners of the company they always have the option of working elsewhere.

Re:succession plan = competitive disadvantage (1)

omni123 (1622083) | more than 3 years ago | (#35097874)

No -- Apple are taking it a vote and strongly encouraging their shareholders to vote against it.

If the shareholders vote for it I am sure they will make efforts (slowly most likely) to appease the shareholders. That being said Apple management will know what is best for their company--likely more so then the few hundred thousand shareholders, bar a few key holders--and the reason is as GP suggested.

Succession plans reveal weaknesses in your line-up and create dissent between your top execs and this is a recipe for a falling stock price, which is bad for everyone.

If the screaming child REALLY REALLY wants to pour the detergent in to his mouth do you let him, despite knowing better?

Solution (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35097236)

Cybrog.

Oh, the corporate irony (1)

rudy_wayne (414635) | more than 3 years ago | (#35097452)

Whenever a company gets complaints about a move that is controversial or unpopular, management's answer is always the same: "We have an obligation to our shareholders to ________ (whatever)".

So now, the shareholders, those people whom management cares about so deeply, are saying "We want to know what the succession plan is" and management's answer is "F.U. it's none of your business".

$1 CEO wanted (1)

tekrat (242117) | more than 3 years ago | (#35097538)

Seriously, who's up for a job at Apple that pays only one dollar per year? That is Steve's official salary boys and girls, and it's going to be very difficult to find someone talented and innovative who will accept such an offer at such low pay.

All that said, I vote for Woz -- get the other founder to take over and that's a story Wall Street would love... for about 5 seconds.

I only hope the board has some brains and finds someone willing to run the company as Steve would, and NOT some MBA idiot who's only goal is to maintain profitability by cutting, while building his golden parachute. In other words, NOT Carly.

Steve Jobs could only approve of Steve Jobs (2)

erroneus (253617) | more than 3 years ago | (#35097782)

I was going to say that Steve Jobs had better start cloning himself to take over, but then I remembered what happened the last time there was an Apple clone -- they were sued out of existence and then Apple took the clone and called it "Apple IIe" So I'm guessing a Steve Jobs clone wouldn't last long either.

There's an App for that (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35097848)

By now everyone should know Steve Jobs is eternal and will just ascend to a new plane of being. The creative headhoncho's will simply make a statue that links into the App store that allows communication with His High Jobs.

Simple.

There is always an App for that!

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