Steve Jobs Needs to Step Down

But not in a permanent way. He needs to stop being the only face of Apple.

He can and should still be the reining champion at Apple Computer, but in a very big way he needs to be grooming a protege. And publicly. He needs to step down from being the only person in the public spotlight.

If I were Steve Jobs, I would let each of the product managers announce and introduce their own products. Instead of Steve Jobs announcing the newest products, it should be Steve Jobs watching.

One argument against this is that Steve Jobs has a presentation style that totally rocks and his audience loves it. I agree, but it doesn’t matter. He should not be the only public face of Apple. It can’t be all about him otherwise when he leaves, it all ends.

Steve Jobs will need to move on at some point. Why doesn’t he give somebody else a chance? The way things are going, if he ever decides to move on, or something happens to him, the company he has labored for will have no public persona. I’m not saying that Steve Jobs needs to go away, but in a very big way he shouldn’t be the only person we the public see and hear from.

Anyways, there’s my rant of the day. If you want to read a different point of view go read Leander Kahney’s piece in Wired.

10 responses to “Steve Jobs Needs to Step Down”

  1. Agreed. But I think Jobs’ has gotten himself into a bit of a catch 22. He is the Apple brand. He is the energy, the charisma, the creativity, the coolness…everything.

    He steps down, or even just out of the spotlight, and everything that is attached to him vicariously “steps down” a notch as well — which won’t be good for the brand.

    It’s be like going to a tribute band concert, instead of seeing the real deal.

  2. I agree Mark. I unapologetically drink his Kool-Aid and subscribe to the infamous reality distortion field every chance I get, but even I can admit that Jobs shouldn’t be THE brand that is Apple.

  3. P.S. – I think he started a little of what Chris is suggesting in the lastest Keynote at the WWDC. Different managers did get to inro new features/products…

  4. Absolutely. In fact, I think he should go and take his power at Disney (he’s the single top shareholder now because of the merger between Pixar and Disney) and make a drive for CEO there. I think that would propel him personally to unfathomable heights and possibilities.

    Imagine what that would do for Disney, as well.

  5. So for protege would you pick Phil who we have seen around a bit, or Scott who is younger (but think of the face of mac on the latest ads) and was doing the duet with Steve at WWDC?

  6. I don’t know about stepping down but I think sharing the limelight with Scott would be a great move. Scott seems to be much more comfortable than Phil.

  7. Is scott the one showing off Leopard’s features? He reminds me of a younger Christopher Walken, with the hand motions 😛

    I haven’t seen anyone yet at Apple with the combination of design perfectionism and genuine enthusiasm which Jobs portrays so sincerely. I was just reading a former (15 year) veteran Apple employee who was saying that most of the managers are just slugs doing the minimal to get by (just cutting costs wherever possible) and then cash in their options as soon as they can. He says this is part of the reason Apple is having to restate their earnings now for the past several years and it’s really hampering the engineers and innovators who aren’t getting the support they need from the managers. (I wish I could find his blog but I can’t right now)

  8. I have to say that i have become quite the apple fanboy and I think that Jobs has done great things for apple. I dont know that i would say he needs to step down. But i agree that he should be having a protege who is just as cruel and hard hearted and charismatic as he is. They definately need someone who is young and a visionary. Maybe Al Gore could take over.

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