Oh Lordy did my man Shawn King stir up a nest of MacMacs with his opinion piece today titled Steve Jobs Should Not Come Back to Apple. And, since it’s not in my nature to let any decent shit-storm remain unstirred, I think I’ll add my two cents.
First though. fair warning to those who only read this blog to see me froth at the mouth and call people “cum guzzling ass weasels.” Since Shawn is one of the vanishingly few writers on the whole gods damned Internet who’s capable of stringing together more than one cogent thought without resorting to a cornucopia of logical fallacies and link-baiting idiocy, I’m inclined to engage in actual discourse. Yeah, I’m disappointed too.
Anywho, moving on to matter at hand.
Shawn makes two propositions in the article. First, that Apple does not need Steve Jobs as CEO, and second, that Steve Jobs would be better served by not returning in that capacity.
On the first proposition, you will hear no argument from me. I’ve always maintained that the sturm und drang from the so-called “media” regarding Steve’s health and his role within Apple was absolute idiocy. To quote Shawn:
Tim Cook, from all outward appearances, has done his usual calm, cool and collected job as the replacement CEO as he has in the past as the company’s Chief Operating Officer. We have not heard one single word questioning his ability to lead Apple through not only the internal turmoil Jobs’ absence may have caused but also the external turmoil of the world economy at large.
Cook’s leadership seems to have calmed investor’s fears regarding the company. The stock has closed above US\$100 for the past week with no signs of collapse on the horizon. Developers are pleased with the course of the iPhone 3.0 software announcements, due later this summer, and Snow Leopard is making steady progress.
I couldn’t say it better myself. Although, I probably would have used the word “fuck” more often.
To the second proposition, let me quote Shawn, then I’ll opine.
So while Jobs may want to run the company, he doesn’t need to.
Wouldn’t Jobs be happier as a “Big Picture Guy?” A guy who doesn’t need to deal with the minutiae of the day to day operations of the company. Doesn’t need to deal with the media’s seeming obsession with his health, his wardrobe, or where he parks. A guy who can focus, behind the scenes, on creating the next Great Product for one of the most remarkable companies in the world.
Why come back and subject himself to all of us peons questioning him, second guessing him, prying into his private life and his health? Why not be a “behind the scenes advisor” or even the company’s official “Chief Idea Officer?” After all, it seems like he’s already doing something similar. He said in his January letter, “As CEO, I plan to remain involved in major strategic decisions while I am out.” Does anyone believe that Jobs is completely hands off during his recuperation?
Once again, I’m going to agree with Shawn. Steve Jobs would a much more valuable asset to Apple in some sort of “Wise Aged Elder” role following the lead of Bill Gates at Microsoft. Here, though is where I somewhat disagree with Shawn. While I agree with Shawn’s assessment, I’m basing my recommendation as to what Apple should do on one simple fact. Steve Jobs is an arrogant mofo, who can hold a grudge like no one else.
Why is that a factor? Well, let’s cast our memory back to the days of yore. Once, long ago Steve Jobs allowed himself to take the role of the “idea guy” while someone with, putatively, more business acumen took the CEO role. And, what happened boys and girls? That’s right, Steve got booted the fuck out of the company, and a series of “business guys” proceeded to run Apple straight into the ground. I honestly believe that Steve Jobs will never willingly let go of control of Apple again.
So, given that, here’s what I thing that Apple and Steve should do.
When Steve’s health permits, he should return to Apple in all the ostentatious glory that the MacMacs demand. I mean call a special media event. Have Steve ride into the auditorium on a white stallion. Fuck, have him descend bodily from heaven. Go absolutely fucking nuts with it. Hell, announce a netbook while you’re at it. Then, once everyone has been duly schooled that “the Steve” is back on the job never let him out in public again, with one exception.
And what is that exception you ask? Simple, Steve should still appear at the yearly shareholder meetings and be present (but silent) during the quarterly earnings calls. That way, none of the Jim Cramer wannabe slug-fuckers in the financial “press” can try to spin that Steve is not running the show.
Let the MacMacs howl, it’s what they’re good at anyway.