Steve Chiotakis: From Shanghai to London, Sydney to California. People around the world are reacting to the death of Steve Jobs, and the legacy he leaves behind. Certainly for Apple executives, there is a difficult road ahead.
They need the company to move on, while trying not to upset the chemistry and spark that made Apple one of the most productive and profitable companies of the 21st century.
Let’s begin this morning with coverage now from Marketplace technology reporter Steve Henn, who joins us from Silicon Valley. Good morning Steve.
Steve Henn: Good morning.
Chiotakis: For Apple — as an institution and as a business — the goal has been to make great stuff. Is there a difference between yesterday and today?
Henn: Yeah, I think there is in a couple important ways. It’s been widely reported that Apple has a product road map in place that goes out years, but until very, very recently, Jobs was the final arbiter of what those products would actually look like and feel like. He would have the final say before they were unveiled or shipped and most folks who follow Apple closely don’t see Tim Cook — Apple’s new CEO — stepping into that role.
Here’s Brian Cooley from CNET.
Brian Cooley: I don’t think anybody at this point has the belief that Tim Cook has the singular personal vision.
Chiotakis: So what does that mean then, Steve, for Apple?
Henn: Well, you know, Jobs built an incredibly talented team, and there are lots of people on it who have very strong ideas and instincts about what makes great design and how users should experience technology. You know, one of the strongest is Jony Ive. He was the creative force behind those candy-colored Macintosh computers in the late 90s, and he’s widely expected to step into a larger role.
But whatever happens to Apple’s leadership team, it’s going to have to work more collaboratively and without, you know, a charismatic leader who they all defer to. So, I think the dynamics are bound to change and I think one of Tim Cook’s biggest challenges is going to be figuring out how to make that work, how to retain the best people, settle disagreements, and keep the company focused.
Chiotakis: Marketplace’s Steve Henn with us this morning from Silicon Valley, thank you so much.
Henn: Sure thing.