Can there be an Apple without Jobs?

Apple CEO Steve Jobs

TEXT OF INTERVIEW

Scott Jagow: Shares of Apple are sliding this morning. CEO Steve Jobs announced he's taking a few months off to deal with health problems. But some people wonder if he'll ever come back to the company. And if he doesn't, those are some pretty big shoes to fill. By most accounts, he's a creative genius with great vision.

We're joined by our reporter in New York, Jeremy Hobson. Jeremy, CEO's get replaced all the time. What is so unique about this situation?

Jeremy Hobson: Well, the analyst I was speaking to this morning could not come up with a CEO that could be compared with Steve Jobs. They had to go back to people like Carnegie and Rockefeller, and even those people are not exactly the creative and marketing minds behind everything their company does. And one of the problems for Apple is that they have let the focus be so much on Steve Jobs that it's not on the company, and shareholders are unable to see the way forward without Jobs.

Jagow: So what might Apple do to first of all calm investors a little bit, and second of all prepare a strategy for life without Steve Jobs?

Hobson: Well, the first thing they can do is a serious PR job on Tim Cook. This is the COO who's gonna take over through June. Nobody knows much about him. What we do know about him is he makes the trains run on time, he's an operations guy. An analyst I talked to this morning says, you know, he doesn't have the same vision as Steve Jobs. But the bottom line for Apple is they have got to take the focus off of Steve jobs in the near term and put it back on the company and the products that they're putting out.

Jagow: All right, Jeremy Hobson in New York. Thanks.

Hobson: Thanks, Scott.

About the author

Jeremy Hobson is host of Marketplace Morning Report, where he looks at business news from a global perspective to prepare listeners for the day ahead.

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