Steve Jobs has temporarily stepped down from his position as CEO of Apple, but this isn't the beginning of the end for Apple.
Jobs has given Apple enormous momentum in the marketplace. He's pulled the company into the best position it's ever been in, and it's a company that continues to attract great talent, with passionate, skilled designers and engineers such as Jonathan Ive crafting behind the scenes.
People familiar with Apple's history will worry that if Jobs leaves, we could see a downfall as severe as we saw in the mid-90s, after Jobs was fired. I say not so. Apple has grown to be a consumer electronics mastodon, eclipsing every one of its previous successes, with insanely popular product lines, billions in the bank and not a penny of debt.
The famously incessant micro-management Jobs employs ensures everything gets approved by him, sure. But he doesn't design every product, nor does he sit and craft them himself. And stepping down from CEO -- which he only claims to be an interim move until the end of June -- doesn't even mean he'll leave Apple. Remaining in an influential directorial position will ensure his continual input.
Over the next few months, Apple will be driven by Tim Cook, Apple's chief operating officer. Cook is the head of the Mac division, and took care of Apple when Jobs stepped down to undergo his cancer operation several years ago. He's a capable man to steer the Apple ship, with over a decade of experience at IBM before he joined the company in Cupertino.
I'm confident Jobs will return to the helm in June. The time to really start considering he might not, is if, come spring, Jobs extends his leave. Until then, I'm adamant Apple might appear to have lost a great deal of personality, but it won't lose its business, and it won't lose its ability to innovate.
We wish Steve all the best, and sincerely hope he spends the next few months putting his health first.