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JEREMY HOBSON: Apple reports earnings today. But even gang buster sales of the iPad in the last quarter won’t take the attention off yesterday’s news that CEO Steve Jobs is taking his second medical leave of absence in two years.
For more on this story, let’s bring in Henry Blodget — he’s CEO of Business Insider and he joins us now. Good morning.
HENRY BLODGET: Good morning
HOBSON: So why is this such a big deal? I mean it seems like Apple will be able to make a lot of money for a long time on the products that it’s already selling?
BLODGET: Apple’s in great shape for at least a year. I think the things that caught people were first the surprise. Steve had been acting and looking very healthy so everyone was surprised. And the second, I think the wording of Steve’s note to the staff really worried people because it did not have the certainty of a return that he had in his prior note.
HOBSON: So people are worried he’s not going to come back?
BLODGET: That’s right. And this is a company that is the middle of sailing through a collision of the technology, media and communications market. And no company has navigated that better than Apple. And I think that is in large part due to Steve’s vision on the product side. And that will be hard to replace. Perhaps not impossible but no certainty.
HOBSON: Does he need a Charlie to his Willie Wonka here? Doesn’t Steve Jobs need to find someone who can run the company the way that he does and why hasn’t he done that yet.
BLODGET: I don’t know that he is replaceable. There’s some people that just simply aren’t. And obviously the challenge is to build a really strong team around him, and they have done that. But there is an open question about how steadily and aggressively the ship can sail without Steve. And we may learn the answer to that question unfortunately.
HOBSON: Henry Blodget CEO of Business Insider. Thanks so much for your time this morning.
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