The (second) Jobs era at Apple ended exactly 10 years ago: On August 24, 2011, Steve Jobs resigned from his position as CEO: He could no longer fulfill his “duties and expectations at Apple,” wrote Jobs, who had been ill for a long time in a personal message. But he is looking forward to “being able to observe and contribute to Apple’s success in a new role.”
The health of the Apple co-founder had previously caused speculation. Jobs had to take time off several times due to a serious cancer disease, and COO Tim Cook, who is responsible for operations, already took over the helm, who officially became Apple’s new CEO in August 2011.
Jobs at the Apple wheel twice
Jobs founded Apple in 1976 with Steve Wozniak and Ronald Wayne. In 1985 he had to leave Apple after an internal power struggle and did not return until 1997 – when Apple bought Jobs’ new company Next.
Jobs then turned the bankrupt company upside down and, together with chief designer Jony Ive, delivered several pioneering and extremely popular products – from the colorful iMac and Mac OS X to the iPod to the iPhone and later also the iPad with iOS. Steve Jobs passed away a few weeks after retiring from his position as chief executive officer.
Looking for the “next big thing”
Jobs did not choose a product visionary as his successor, but rather an operations specialist: In recent years, Tim Cook did not even try to follow in Jobs’ footsteps, instead he concentrated on optimizing the group around the extremely successful iPhone and developing new ones Business sectors such as services and wearables – and transformed Apple from a medium-sized computer manufacturer into one of the largest corporations in the world.
Cook’s Apple has not yet delivered the “next big thing”, but the company is researching and working intensively on artificial intelligence, autonomous systems, augmented reality, a mixed reality headset, health products and, last but not least, an electric car.
In a recent interview, Cook surprisingly stated that in ten years he will probably no longer be Apple’s boss. The end is not yet in sight, but another ten years is a very long time. Internally, Apple is already preparing for the successor – but has so far been silent publicly.