January 17th, 2011
06:54 PM ET

The Legacy of Steve Jobs

For the second time in two years, Apple's CEO is taking a medical leave of absence. Steve Jobs sent an email to employees... letting them know that COO Tim Cook would be taking over for an unspecified period of time.

This news broke just as News Stream ended. The team decided to stay late and provide analysis for World Business Today.

We gathered images of Jobs through the years to use in our coverage. I admit that I would not have recognized pre-2004 pictures of the man had he had not stuck to such a strict dress code. Apple aficionados know he  was battling pancreatic cancer by then.

Jobs' appearance has been scrutinized for clues about his wellbeing ever since. In 2008, investors even demanded full disclosure of his health status on the lines that the company's share price is somewhat tied to its CEO. The timing of today's announcement can be seen as no coincidence. U.S. stock markets are closed for a holiday... and Apple puts out its highly anticipated quarterly results on Tuesday (though after the closing bell).

In many minds, Jobs is Apple. But the company has done fine even during the time he was not at the helm. Jobs announced a 6-month leave of absence on January 14, 2009. If you take a look at Apple's stock you'll see it has been on an upward path ever since.

Jobs' letter to his staff ended with these words, ""I love Apple so much and hope to be back as soon as I can. In the meantime, my family and I would deeply appreciate respect for our privacy."

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  1. Samuel El Guapo

    Steve Jobs absence will definitely put a dent in Apple's ability to provide the products that revolutionized society. He is indispensable as it is his vision that provides direction and innovation. Not his talent or skill which can be learned by others. Without Jobs, we will see Apple's share's drop in the near future. Until a new visionary like Job's can be found, Apple will be an aimless juggernaut of talent and innovation.

    Likewise, Job's should approach his health with the same attitude of vision and innovation. He is better of engaging in physical training and trying oriental medicine as well as a more effective long term solution. I'm sure all Apple fans would love Job's to be around for a very long time.

    January 18, 2011 at 6:40 am | Reply
  2. A R


    January 18, 2011 at 7:00 am | Reply
  3. Brooke

    I don't understand the big deal. Yes, he is a strong force in design and product innovation at Apple, and I understand all of what the means, but its a bit ridiculous I think that there is so much value and emphasis on his importance to Apple. To be clear, I have not and will not purchase Apple products. I like buttons, hate fingerprint smeared screens, I have never found the products to be "intuitive", and I feel that most Apple products are way overpriced for what you are getting. Dunno, just never got into them. I don't consider them as revolutionary as some other people do.

    I am aware there is a massive loyal following of Apple though. You see their products everywhere, it was a status symbol for awhile to have an iphone when they first came out. Phrases like "Apple Fanboys" don't get coined if there are not some major fans. And they all sing the praises of Steve Jobs like he is the Guru of Technology here to enlighten all our lives and make it better somehow. And that's also fine, I'm a big fan of some things myself.

    However, these very people that idolize Apple and Steve Jobs, have made both so important, raised them up so high, placed such emphasis on how innovative and gifted Steve Jobs is, and now more than ever the Apple-Steve Jobs connection is stressed....and all they have done is made it out that Apple would be adrift without Steve Jobs there to save the company! This might have been true in the past, but now Apple is back, and could stand on their own now, so much of a powerhouse they have become.

    Instead, everyone makes such a big deal about Steve Jobs. He gets sick and the company stock takes an okay tumble. Apple, as a company needs to take steps to remove the image that without Steve Jobs around they are going to be in real trouble. Not to be mean spirited or anything, but Steve Jobs is just a man, and he's going to die one day, and there will be no clone of him to take his place.

    What should happen then? Will Apple go out of business because Steve Jobs isn't there to tell them what the next product should be? People need to get real. I wish Mr. Jobs all the best in getting better, but it would be better for both him and the company if everyone would stop hyping both up to the 1000th degree. Talk about stress for him having to constantly exceed everyone's expectations. Now the man gets sick and the company stocks drop in value equivalent to 20 million dollars...does anyone else not see this and think its strange?

    Again I understand he is important, like Sam Walton was to Walmart, but rarely is a founder so tightly bound to his company, in my opinion.

    January 18, 2011 at 9:16 am | Reply
  4. Seremb

    I think Job's should think of his health first. We all are replaceable. No one is irreplaceable?. My message to Job's is: Take care of yourself, than you can take care of others-http://seremb.blogspot.com

    January 18, 2011 at 9:17 am | Reply
  5. Moses Karugaba

    Organisations just like states should not rotate around one person. For continuity let the COO lead apple. I reckon Jobs is not the one that comes up with the designs but the strategic direction. In synergy, the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.

    January 18, 2011 at 9:40 am | Reply
  6. Erewa K Mene

    I appreciate Jobs contribution the” Apple” operating system. He had proved his onus with the passage of time to be a part of the global solution in the ICT world. I pray the lord heal him totally. Erewa Kelvin Mene writes from Lagos Nigeria

    January 18, 2011 at 9:55 am | Reply
  7. scndv

    I can honestly say it won't have any impact on my life. That being said, best of luck Steve.

    January 18, 2011 at 10:06 am | Reply
  8. yeng

    praying for your recovery Steve Jobs!

    January 18, 2011 at 12:00 pm | Reply
  9. Nanaunique

    Truly a sad day. Steve Jobs and Apple have touched the life of eveoryne. I have iTune account. I carry iPhone in my pocket. My son loves his iPOd so dearly. I know I hav my eye on iPad 2 and Mac Air as well. Steve Jobs and apple have redefined Cool in the digital world. As the media put it, he is truly the rock star of Silicon Valley, a great inventor and CEO. So sad that he had to die at this young age. I just hope Apple would continue inventing so we will continue to address the needs that we do not even know we have.

    September 8, 2012 at 10:31 am | Reply

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