This past week, Steve Jobs, CEO of Apple, the popular computer brand and the 56th largest company in terms of revenues in the world, announced that he would be taking an indefinite medical leave of absence. Jobs, 55, successfully recovered from pancreatic cancer in 2004, only to require a six-month leave of absence in the first half of 2009.
With a company that has grown to be as powerful and as large as Apple, is it likely investors will lose their faith in the company so easily? Fat chance.
Jobs, known for his hands-on approach and active participation in his company affairs, is considered by many to be the brains and brawn behind Apple’s success over the past decade. Jobs fuses his visionary marketing strategies with powerful and well-designed products.
Jobs announced his leave of absence in the wake of some of Apple’s most promising economic news: The company’s popular iPhone 4 is to be released on Verizon Wireless, ending a three-year contract which gave AT&T the exclusive right to market and sell the product.
This news put Apple stock on the rise once again, with the company’s stock reaching its highest point ever upon the market’s close last Friday, Jan. 14.
But with the news of Jobs’s medical leave, it is speculated that the company’s stocks are about to fall dramatically. Shortly after his announcement, Apple shares opened 6 percent lower on Wall Street on Tuesday. Though the shares recovered to close down 2.25 percent from the start of the day, many are concerned about the future of the company.
But Apple investors, employees and customers have no reason to worry. Jobs reshaped the company from the ground up, ultimately creating an infrastructure that is arguably capable of withstanding even the most disastrous of events, including the resignation of the company’s CEO.
Jobs built Apple with all the bells and whistles needed to keep the company healthy, even if he is not. The company is now in motion, and despite Jobs’ leave of absence, Apple appears to have so much momentum that it is doubtful it will slow down anytime soon. If for no other reason, Jobs’ empire will continue to move forward simply on inertia.
Aron Theising is a sophomore majoring in economics.