In my opinion Steve Job’s decision to step down from the top spot at Apple is the most important news story in the investment world today. I don’t care about Warren Buffet investing $5 billion in Bank of America. BofA has $1 trillion in customer deposits — which makes Buffet’s investment a drop of water in a very large bucket. Who cares.
Today Apple lost an icon. Steve Jobs turnaround of his company is more impressive than Lee Iacocca’s turnaround of Chrysler a few decades ago – which was also something very special. Steve Jobs accomplishments are legendary, and well documented. There’s no reason to recount them here.
However, when a company loses an iconic leader like Jobs it’s never the same. It’s never an easy road. And it’s never business as usual – as General Electric shareholder’s experienced with the retirement of Jack Welch, and Microsoft’s with the resignation of Bill Gates. Visionaries like Steve Jobs are special. They don’t come around everyday. And they are, in fact, irreplaceable.
This is not to say that Apple is headed for the same lifeless performance that GE and Microsoft experienced. I think Apple has a strong pipeline of products in development, an ingrained culture of innovation and creativity, and brand equity that can sustain above-average performance.
But times change. Markets change. And investments change. Mr. Jobs replacement, Tim Cook, is a capable operator. No one argues that. But is he an innovator? Is he a visionary? Becasue that’s what they need to maintain Apple’s market dominance.
Only time will tell. But if Apple is in your portfolio as it is in the 15-51 Indicator, you should reconsider its positioning and allocation. This is prudent.
Apple is a different ballgame from here on out.
On this very sad day in investment history, I send my best wishes and prayers to Steve Jobs, his health, and his family and friends. Godspeed!