Imagine if Steve Jobs resigned as Apple CEO several years ago, when he was first diagnosed as suffering from cancer of the pancreas. Remember that there was no iPhone then, nor an iPad, though both were being designed in Apple’s testing facilities. Mac sales were growing at a reasonable clip, but they were still using PowerPC processors. Intel Inside was nowhere in sight, other than another Apple lab where a version of Mac OS X for Intel was being tested.
Yes, if Jobs departed Apple then, the company might not have had the strength or vision to become number one in the tech industry and the largest company in the world by market cap, ahead of Exxon. Nobody knows.
Without possessing the inside details of Jobs’ actions after his illness was discovered and revealed to the board and key executives at Apple, it would seem sensible that they devised succession plans in earnest. Maybe there were there previously, but the reality of Jobs departure became a near-certainty.
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