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Aug 26, 2011, 01.21 PM IST
It's the end of an era as Apple's chief executive officer Steve Jobs calls it a day as CEO of the iconic company he founded. Will Apple lose its shine post Jobs exit? Carolina Milanesi, research VP, Gartner Mobile Devices Team, answers.
Jobs will, however, continue as Apple's Chairman. Jobs enormous successes are well-known and documented, but he has seen his share of failure as well.
The big fear though is, ‘will Apple lose its shine post Jobs exit?’ In an interview with CNBC-TV18’s Menaka Doshi, Carolina Milanesi, research VP, Gartner Mobile Devices Team, answers.
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Below is the edited transcript of the interview. Also watch the accompanying video.
Q: Can Tim Cook, trusted aide of Steve Jobs, fill Steve Jobs shoes?
A: I really don’t think he should even try to do that. He is taking over the position of CEO, he is not replacing Steve Jobs. I really don’t think that you can replace Steve Jobs, but what you can do is to be Apple’s new CEO. I think in that respect Tim Cook has a good pedigree and has demonstrated that he has the trust of the board, the trust of the Apple’s employees. He has been growing the company while covering for Steve Jobs leave of absence.
Q: He is a great operational guy as we all know. Is he the visionary that Steve Jobs has become for the world of technology? What do you see as some of the challenges that face Tim Cook over the medium-term because at least the short-term product pipeline seems full? And within that, would you count the fact that he has got USD 76 billion in cash reserves to either return or deploy?
A: I think you made a very valid point about the kind of strength that he has as a leader which is more operational than visionary. I think that’s the question that most people have for which we don’t have an answer apart from saying time will tell. I think we need to look at the team that he (Jobs) has built behind him. Can they (team) do it? I think time will tell.
Q: Steve Jobs is still Chairman of Apple. So, he is still associated with this company, he can still take his vision and convert them into great products. They do have a product pipeline that will help Tim Cook sail through may be the next three-four years. What happens when that product pipeline runs out and may be Steve Jobs stops being chairman as well?
A: From a portfolio perspective, thinking longer than a couple of years would be too much. So, I think they probably have an idea of what is going to happen in the next couple of years. They obviously know very well that what's happening before the end of this year because we know what we can expect.
After that, I think that it would be a little unreasonable to think. You don’t know how the market is going to change. They dictate a lot. If you look at the tabular market, they have created new markets. There are other things that are outside of their control that they will have to react to.
What's going to happen when Steve Jobs is no longer there? People will move on. They will go back to the question, ‘does the current team continue to have that drive and vision to continue to keep Apple at the edge of innovation, as they have done so far?’
Q: Do you believe Tim Cook was the best man for the job, both from the inside and from all the candidates available outside?
A: I think he was the best man for the job. He has proven that he was able to cover during Steve Jobs absence. He has done a lot for Apple, he has worked with Steve for a long time. I think for continuity reasons as well people will feel comfortable working with him.
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