The reality is that Steve Jobs won’t be at Apple forever. Whether he never comes back from this current leave of absence or he ends up retiring one day, the company will have to eventually move on without him.
I predict that if and when Apple needs to replace Steve Jobs, it’ll consist of a couple minor internal management moves and little else. Provided the existing executive team stays together and keeps focused on what they’ve been doing over the past decade, Apple will continue to flourish.
An Apple without Steve Jobs will likely still function according to the philosophies he’s put in place since his return to the company in 1997. It took a drastic overhaul to get Apple back on track back then but there’s no reason that anything needs to change behind the scenes in the foreseeable future.
We won’t see him the few times per year that he appears at Apple media events, hear from him on random earnings calls, or read his rarely published blog posts, but his legacy and influence at Apple will live on long after he’s no longer with the company.
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