Friday, 11 September 2009

Could Apple survive without Jobs?

Steve Jobs crash landed back in San Fransisco on Wednesday with a new liver, some new products and instantly breathed new life into Apple. His speech immediately sparked a rally in the company's share price and earned him a standing ovation from his employees. However it begged the question could Apple survive without Steve Jobs?

It's a question that has raised its head many times since his well documented health problems came to light. Commentators have suggested they simply can't see Apple fans flocking to the Apple keynotes without the charismatic frontman. However it looks like Jobs may be planning for succession, he's clearly still not fully fit and although he's back it's almost certainly not full time. So however long he remains he now has the opportunity to transform the company from a one man show to a vibrant employee led organisation (a bit like Google maybe).

There is an obvious need for Jobs to develop a second in command however the way the company embraces social media is becoming a key issue for customer engagement. Apple hasn't run with the pack when it comes to social, they have been notably absent from conversations that they should have been contributing to and unless Apple employees are empowered to start involving themselves and emerge from Jobs' shadow the brand can only sustain it's reputation for so long. Social media needs engagement from brands and Apple ignore it at their peril.

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