When the resignation of a company’s CEO wipes $17 billion
dollars off its value, then you know you are dealing with
a significant moment in history.
The eventual fallout of the stepping down of Steve Jobs as CEO of Apple won’t be known for many years but the
fact that Apple share prices tumbled by 5 per cent following the announcement
shows just how important he had become to the company.
Whether you love him or loathe him, there is no doubting that Steve Jobs has
had an unparalleled influence on the world of technology and he will be remembered for many years to come.
Back in 1976 Steve Jobs co-founded Apple Computers Inc, along with Steve Wozniak and Ronald Waynem, and from this small start, Jobs and co.
drove the personal computer revolution which would end up with the majority of
us having a PC in our homes.
However disputes with then-CEO John Sculley led to Jobs
losing his role as head of the Macintosh division in 1984 and this in turn led to him to founding
another computer company called NeXT Computer.
While at NeXT, Jobs strove for aesthetic perfection – to the
detriment of the company – but it was an early indicator of the importance he
would place on design during his second stint at Cupertino.
It was in 1996, with Apple suffering in the PC market, that
the company purchased NeXT for $429 million and Jobs returned as de facto CEO. The purchase of NeXT paved the way for its technology to be
used to create Mac OS X and under Job’s guidance Apple grew exponentially in the next 15 years.
Stories of Apple employees being afraid of encountering the cantankerous Jobs in
the company’s office are numerous, but it is the control he exerted over the
innovative products the company produced – from the iPod through to the MacBook
and iPad – which will be his legacy.
While Jobs has been the driving force behind the remarkable
rise of Apple in the last 15 years, it will now be down to another man, new CEO
Tim Cook to carry the baton.