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Fortune: who is next Apple CEO, Jobs' successor?

updated 06:50 pm EDT, Tue June 24, 2008

Fortune: Steve's successor

With concerns about Steve Jobs' health surfacing again after his gaunt appearance at Apple's World Wide Developers Conference earlier this month, Fortune has put together a list of 11 possible successors -- all of them from inside the company. While Apple has said Jobs made a complete recovery from a rare form of pancreatic cancer following surgery in 2004, it hasn't stopped widespread speculation in the media, and may be impacting Apple's stock price. So, it's not surprising that even the old media financial press is asking who could fill Jobs' shoes. At the top of Fortune's list: Jobs' right-hand man Tim Cook, Apple's Chief Operating Officer.

Cook's "deep knowledge of Apple operations has won him the respect of the board of directors and the investment community," Fortune writes, but some are concerned he lacks the charisma needed to run Apple. Cook has already been put to the test once, he ran the show while Jobs was recovering from surgery four years ago.

Next on Fortune's list are three more top Apple Lieutenants: Tony Fadell, Ron Johnson and Phil Schiller. Fadell is senior Vice President of the iPod division. According his Apple biography, Fadellwas the first member of the iPod engineering team when it was formed in 1991. Before that, he held a variety of positions mostly dealing with Windows Mobile devices. Fortune says it was Fadell who came up with the idea of combining a Napster-like music store with a hard-drive mp3 player, and successfully sold the idea to Apple.

Ron Johnson has an equally impressive track record in a different specialty: retailing. Already a sucessful executive at Target, Johnson joined Apple in 2000, and is the driving force behind Apple's hugely-profitable retail stores. The report notes Johnson gets points for being a charismatic speaker.

Anyone who has watched a Steve Jobs Keynote speech over the past few years probably knows Phil Schiller's name. His Apple press bio credits Schiller with helping restore Apple's reputation as an innovator by "delivering breakthrough products such as the iMac, MacBook, Airport, Xserve, Mac OS X, Safari, Apple TV, iPod and iPhone. But if his Keynote performances are any indication, Schiller looks more like Ed MacMahon than Johnny Carson.

Next on the list, three more Apple executives with impressive resumes: Scott Forstall, Jonathan Ive and Peter Oppenhiemer. Forstall left NeXT along with Jobs when he returned to Apple in 1997 and sheparded the team that created Mac OS X Leopard, and is currently Senior Vice President of iPhone Software. Design guru Jonathan Ive is credited as a major force behind Apple's much celebrated and award-winning product design, but Fortune says he is an unlikely candidate to replace Jobs -- even though Apple employees strongly support him -- because of his intense shyness and desire for personal privacy. Ives is so private, says Fortune, that Apple's HR Deparment doesn't even know his exact birthdate. Rounding out this group is Apple's Chief Financial Officer Peter Oppenhiemer the former Coopers & Lybrand executive who replaced CFO Fred Anderson during the stock-backdating scandal.

The bottom four on Fortune's list of possible sucessors to Steve Jobs: Bertrand Serlet, Senior VP of software engineering, Sina Tammaddon, VP of applications, Daniel Cooperman, Senior VP , General Counsel and Secretary and Bob Mansfield Senior VP of Mac hardware engineering. With Job's powerful grip on everything Apple -- when the time does come for him to step down -- his successor is going to have no easy time filling Steve's shoes.



By Electronista Staff
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Comments

  1. armwt

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Aug 2006

    0

    Might want to proofread..

    "first member of the iPod engineering team when it was formed in 1991"

    Really? That long ago, huh?


  1. dimmer

    Mac Enthusiast

    Joined: Feb 2006

    0

    IMHO

    Cook: No - he's good with cents and dollars but his "vision thing" isn't only lacking, it's not there.

    Fadell: Who?

    Johnson: Nope again: Ron helped Apple take a GAP'ish approach to Retail but his own contributions were almost always wrong (We want a internetwork that's up 100% of the time!) Has no technology bollox at all.

    Schiller: as old as Steve, with even more health issues, and is "just" a marketroid.

    Forstall: see Fadell.

    Ive: great design guy. Paranoid as ten hippies smoking a haycart of weed. Can play in the paddling pool of technology stuff, but not much worse.

    Oppenhiemer: Dat bum!

  1. BelugaShark

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Aug 2007

    0

    RE: Might want to

    I really doubt that, it might've been the Newton engineering team but definitely not the iPod.

  1. BelugaShark

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Aug 2007

    +3

    RE: IMHO

    How about Steve Ballmer??
    C'mon he's go enthusiasm, I'm sure deep inside he's a nice guy. Cute monkey boy running Apple, it'll be fun :D

  1. MeandmyMac

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Feb 2008

    -4

    You mean Fortune...

    ...didn't look to Al Gore?! He is highly qualified. He invented that whole internet thing and the movie "Love Story" was about him and his wife Tipper, and he's got the mindset of a Steve Jobs where once he has made up his mind there is no debating him as with that Global Warming tripe, plus he's got a great sense of humor (appears in a hot tub on SNL), never takes the blame (monk fundraising is okay because according to Veep Gore "their is no legal controlling authority", he's got the big house that is filled with environmentally correct energy devices that takes more energy to operate then a house without all that c***, and finally (starts to hum)... "'cause he's got personality, Walk, Personality Talk, Personality Smile, Personality Charm, Personality Love, Personality And of Cause youŽve got A great big heart So over and over Oh, IŽll be a fool to you Now over and over What more can I do ?"...with apologies to Lloyd Price and his 1959 hit "Personality" : )

  1. MeandmyMac

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Feb 2008

    -5

    You mean Fortune...

    ...didn't look to Al Gore?! He's highly qualified. He invented that whole internet thing and the movie "Love Story" was about him and his wife Tipper, and he's got the mindset of a Steve Jobs, where once he has his mind made up, there is no debating him (as with that Global Warming tripe), plus he's got a great sense of humor (appears in a hot tub on SNL), never takes the blame (monk fundraising is okay because according to Veep Gore "there is no legal controlling authority", he's got that big house filled with environmentally correct energy devices that takes more energy to operate then a house without all that c***, and finally (starts to hum)...
    "'cause he's got personality,
    Walk, Personality
    Talk, Personality
    Smile, Personality
    Charm, Personality
    Love, Personality
    And of Cause youŽve got
    A great big heart
    So over and over
    Oh, IŽll be a fool to you
    Now over and over
    What more can I do ?"
    ...with apologies to Lloyd Price and his 1959 hit "Personality" : )

  1. coldfusion1970

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Nov 2004

    0

    Reporter coldfusion1970

    I'm chuffed.
    I saw this story on digg.com and emailed MacNN to suggest they cover it on their site.
    Its like i helped create the news :-)

  1. amper

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Nov 2003

    +1

    Me.

    I hereby announce my intention to become Steve Jobs' successor as CEO of Apple, Inc.


  1. testudo

    Forum Regular

    Joined: Aug 2001

    -3

    Re: Me!

    That's a horrible decision. I think I can safely say that most people on these boards that there's only one person who knows how to lead apple out of the morass of profits and success of the last 10 years.

    ME! CEO Testudo, reporting for duty!

    (Hey, just hope icahn doesn't try to get his hands on the company!)

  1. paulc

    Junior Member

    Joined: Aug 2000

    -1

    testudo?

    Testudo would be a bad choice as he'd have to start NOT being testudo.

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