Without Steve Jobs, an analyst predicts Apple will slowly succumb to mediocrity and eventually decline.
|CEO Tim Cook runs Apple in Steve Jobs’ shadow|
Forrester Research’s CEO George Colony has penned a provocative blog post detailing Apple’s eventual decline, predicting Apple will follow in the footsteps of struggling Sony.
To date, Apple is currently the world’s richest company with its bank account holding in excess of $104 billion, (that’s right: billion.) But Colony doubts the longevity of such prosperity in an era where Apple’s founder Steve Jobs no longer exists.
In his blog post titled Apple=Sony, Colony attributes Apple’s success to Jobs’ charisma. His ‘gift of grace’ was the talent that made Jobs a successful leader, uniting Apple employees and inspiring them to place their trust in a vision that only Jobs could see. Colony details the void left by Jobs in his April 25th blog post:
“When Steve Jobs departed, he took three things with him: 1) singular charismatic leadership that bound the company together and elicited extraordinary performance from its people; 2) the ability to take big risks, and 3) an unparalleled ability to envision and design products.”
But in the wake of Jobs’ death, Tim Cook has been burdened with the responsibility of filling his shoes. Colony describes Cook as a “proven and competent executive,” but doubts the office bureaucrat could inspire product innovation the way Apple’s founder did. To Colony, Cook sees things in numbers and right angles, lacking the kind of romance that birthed the iPhone.
“Apple’s momentum will carry it for 24-48 months,” Colony predicts. “But without the arrival of a new charismatic leader it will move from being a great company to being a good company, with a commensurate step down in revenue growth and product innovation. Like Sony (post Morita), Polaroid (post Land), Apple circa 1985 (post Jobs), and Disney (in the 20 years post Walt Disney), Apple will coast, and then decelerate.”
Instead of the pragmatist, Colony believes Apple needs a magnetic leader for it to continue its rampaging growth.
“Without knowing them personally, I would look to Apple executives Jon Ive or Scott Forstall to be CEO. From on far they appear to have some of the charisma and outspoken design sense to legitimately lead the company.”