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Posted by JP Gownder on August 24, 2011
First off, let me say this: I hope that Steve Jobs' health improves, and that he comes out of whatever challenges he's going through in the best of health. He's an amazing, visionary leader of a dynamic company -- and he's also a person with a family. Let's all wish him well.
While famously a CEO, Steve Jobs is also, it should be known, a product strategist par excellence. He's clearly been involved, in a deep way, in the development of Apple's product ideas, product designs, business models, go-to-market strategies, and responses to competition. These are the job responsibilities of product strategists. In his (and Apple's) case, product strategy has risen to the very top of the organization.
Product strategists of two different flavors are wondering how they might be affected by his resignation as CEO (and concomitant request to become chairman):
Finally, a lot of our clients ask whether Tim Cook (as the new CEO) can live up to Jobs' legacy. To this, I say: I've never engaged in armchair psychoanalysis, and I don't know the man. But Apple has recruited talent in all of its major areas (technical and managerial) for a long time. While Steve Jobs will go down in eventual history as an outstanding innovator, leader, and world-changer, Apple is actually much more than its leader alone. For the immediate future, product strategists should go about their daily lives and work to find innovations that will help them compete with Apple's formidable, tech industry-leading position.
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