Analysis: Steve Jobs leaves Apple, but legacy remains

Even though Steve Jobs will no longer be at the head of the revolutionary company he helped create, Apple will continue to be a Steve Jobs company.

For many die-hard Apple fans, it seemed like Steve Jobs would take the title of Apple CEO to his grave. Clearly, though, his health has prevented him from taking the leadership that propelled the company to where it is today.

After the news of Jobs’s resignation, Apple stock dipped by less than $10 a share; when you’re looking at a stock that sits at around $360, that’s a very minor change (less than 3%).

Clearly, Jobs has already made his mark on the company. The most important things Jobs did was to inspire his employees to be as creative and forward-thinking as possible. That job is done. 

Sure, it will be very weird to see the next iPad press conference with Jobs nowhere in sight, or to think that the tag “Steve Jobs” will slowly fade away from the blogosphere, but every company eventually needs a changing of the guard.

While Jobs was arguably more valuable to his company than any other single CEO has ever been to a consumer electronics company, he is after all only a small part of the Apple story, especially the story of the 2010s and beyond.

Jobs will be replaced by Tim Cook, previously Apple’s COO. Cook clearly doesn’t have but a sliver of Jobs’s name recognition, and it would be very difficult to imagine Cook getting a standing ovation at one of his presentations.

But it is exactly because Jobs was the embodiment of Apple that the company is likely to push on just as stong without him – that mindset, that dedication to the company is intoxicating and no doubt rubbed off on everyone else in Cupertino and Apple offices around the world.