David Prosser: Apple's awkward changing of the guard
Outlook One of the most regularly quoted perspectives on the recent stock market crisis is that Apple has become a more valuable company than every single bank in the eurozone combined. But over the past 36 hours or so, its stock has proved almost as volatile as the paper of an under-fire French bank – and it need not have been this way.
The resignation of Steve Jobs came as a surprise (though maybe it shouldn't have done given his well-documented health problems). But there was a bigger shock in Mr Jobs's resignation letter to the board. "I strongly recommend that we execute our succession plan and name Tim Cook as CEO of Apple," he said. Apple had a succession plan? Who knew?
Not most shareholders (or if they did, they weren't impressed). Mr Jobs's departure prompted a 5 per cent sell-off in Apple shares in late trading on Wednesday, which was followed by another 2 per cent in early trading yesterday.
That 7 per cent was only marginally better than the 8 per cent decline seen in January when Mr Jobs said he was taking a leave of absence from Apple. The company has had eight months to address what that fall reflected – a lack of confidence in its plans for life after Mr Jobs – but it has failed to do so.
Succession planning is a vital part of modern business strategy and there is no excuse for failing to do the job properly.
Is the cult of Steve Jobs overdone? Almost certainly: this is a company that is far too large and wide-ranging for the departure of even its most senior and long-serving executive to justify investors' collective anxiety attack. But Apple has only itself to blame for the market's misjudgement.
International Women's Day 2014: The shocking statistics that show why it is still so important
Feminist quotes to inspire you on the International Women's Day
Oscar Pistorius trial: Never mind a media scrum – murder case becomes bizarre safari following the tracks of a wounded lion
Belle Knox: How the porn star student from Duke University became bigger than Justin Bieber
International Women's Day 2014: Mothers and daughters describe their hopes and dreams in touching photographs
Apple's Tim Cook: Business isn’t just about making profit
Thousands of young people forced to go without food after benefits wrongly stopped under 'draconian' new sanctions regime
Ukraine crisis: New navy chief 'defects' and surrenders Crimean HQ as Putin claims ultranationalists forced intervention
Britain's top vet sparks controversy with call for ban on slashing animals' throats in 'ritual' slaughters for halal and kosher meat products
Ukraine crisis: Russia dismisses '3am ultimatum' as 'total nonsense'
If you're horrified by a flame-roasted dog, you should be shocked at a hog roast
- 1 International Women's Day 2014: The shocking statistics that show why it is still so important
- 2 Saudi preacher who 'raped and tortured' his five -year-old daughter to death is released after paying 'blood money'
- 3 Orgasm machine to deliver climax at the push of a button
- 4 Too upsetting? Academy members voted for Oscar-winning 12 Years A Slave 'without watching it'
- 5 Liam Neeson turned down James Bond role because Natasha Richardson said she wouldn't marry him if he took it
iJobs Money & Business
£12000 per annum: Inspiring Interns: The company works with Tier 1 FTSE 100 Ba...
£32000 - £36000 per annum + generous benefits: Pro-Recruitment Group: * TAX * ...
£37000 - £40000 per annum + £20000 benefits package: Pro-Recruitment Group: **...
£30000 - £35000 per annum + generous benefits: Pro-Recruitment Group: Mixed Ta...