Apple shareholders demand CEO succession plan
What happens when Steve goes?
Later today Apple's board will be asked to reveal its plans for replacing the company's absent boss Steve Jobs.
The current CEO is on medical leave from Cupertino for the third time in the past seven years.
The Apple chief told staff in January that the company board had agreed to his taking time off from the Mac and iPhone maker on medical grounds, however it didn't reveal any further details about his health.
"I will continue as CEO and be involved in major strategic decisions for the company," he said at the time, and confirmed that Tim Cook would take care of day-to-day operations at Apple.
Jobs returned to the tech vendor in June 2009 after receiving a life-saving liver transplant. But his most recent absence has sparked more questions from shareholders keen to know Apple's plans to manage the eventual succession.
Last month, just seven days before Jobs announced his most recent, open-ended medical absence, the company's board advised its shareholders to vote against a proposal to reveal a CEO “succession-planning policy”.
Apple doesn’t want to publicly disclose any such plan because the company is worried that it could affect retention of its top people, who might be lured away by rivals.
The Apple board will use the same argument today, according to a notice about the annual shareholder meeting, in order to avoid disclosing what it sees as sensitive information to its competitors. ®
The board ...
Is worried about the share price.
When you have a cult of personality you have to suffer the drawbacks.
I'm taking over from Steve Jobs & I'm going too...
... take the shareholders money, fly to Vegas & put it all on black, on the roulette table.
I have either doubled their money or they will fire me & I will get a big pay off.... so its a win, win situation for me.
Jobs losing his grip: named successor will acquire power
Cook has been alongside Jobs since for ever so he is a natural to take over.
The board will find it tougher this time around since some the larger shareholders are also demanding he details apart from the union shareholder that first raised the matter.
Once Cook is named permanent CEO we will then find out whether he supports the 30% skim enforced since last week.
They could follow the North Korean practice and name Jobs 'Eternal President', as they did with Kim Il-sung who moved on in 1994. To preserve the body, placing the corpse in a glass bath with potassium acetate, alcohol, glycerol, distilled water, and as a disinfectant, quinine does the job and will require an 18 month repeat cycle. Then they could keep it in a glass box to wheel out on appropriate occasions. Russians are the experts in this.
The share price will drop...
The only question is when and how much. If they start talking about it now, the share price will drop, but not a huge amount. As time goes on it will recover somewhat. When Steve Jobs leaves, no matter how, it will drop. The amount it drops will depend on how scared everyone is. If they have a public succession plan, then it won't drop by a disasterous amount and should recover in a moderate amount of time. If there is no known succession plan then it will drop a lot and if the board looks like it doesn't know what to do, it will drop a disasterous amount and may never recover. Not only that, but if it drops enough, it would be a very tempting take over target for a lot of larger companies.
The smart thing to do is to start talking about it now, publicly, to calm fears. Unfortunately this involves long term planning and risk mitigation, something we americans are very, very poor at. Most companies can't plan or think more then three months ahead, let alone years.
Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity.
It seems particularly appropriate in this situation.
All this speculation depends on whether or not ...
Jobs will even heed the call of the Grim Reaper, given that he is used to people following him.
Americans make death such a fetish: all fancy coffins, urns, etc. Death is natural, so why fear it or treat it as being so 'special'?