Steve Jobs: Apple’s board looking into possibilities for succession is "hogwash"

According to an article in The Wall Street Journal from the unusually accurate Kane, a few members of Apple’s board have discussed possibilities for Steve Jobs future replacement. The members are believed to have spoken with executive recruiters as well as at least one head of a high profile tech company. The source of the information is “people familiar with the matter”. The Wall Street Journal even managed to get an email from Steve Jobs in response to its questions.

Mr. Jobs said Monday in an email, "I think it's hogwash." An Apple spokesman declined to comment.

If this turns out to be true, the directors don't appear to have been acting on behalf of the full board or with the knowledge of Steve Jobs either. Always a dangerous game to play in any business; especially one as high profile as Apple! On the other hand, it would be foolish for any business with its CEO on a medical leave of absence, not to have long term plans in place.



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UK editor at iMore, mobile technology lover and air conditioning design engineer.

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Reader comments

Steve Jobs: Apple’s board looking into possibilities for succession is "hogwash"


" it would be foolish for any business with its CEO on a medical leave of absence, not to have long term plans in place."
Right on, Chris!
Actually, Apple should have succession plans for several layers of management ... and anyone who is surprised about that is obviously clueless about how businesses work and has no right writing about them!

Apple already tried without Jobs. And got nowhere the stacks for Apple went from $50 to $370 since Jobs came back. Jobs is the face of the company that people trust and respect. They will bring a new CEO in a suite that will never get as far as Jobs because they will concentrate only on the $$ not the product. Apple please save yourself a emberasment

What would you have them do? Clone Steve? This reply shows really no confidence in the team that Steve has assembled to run tings when he is gone. If that is your feeling... And many others here from the looks of these replies, what does that say about the dear leader after all? Not very confident in his choices for this company?

Actually I can answer that myself... It was Steve who hand picked john Scully from Pepsi to run Apple wasn't it?.?. Yeah i believe it was. You have good cause to worry then.

You're probably right in that he's irreplaceable but the reality is he will not be around forever not matter how much we would like him to be. So we have to get used to the fact that some day (again) there will be an Apple without Steve Jobs.
If it were my pick, my vote would be with Scott Forstall. The other senior execs are no doubt very talented at what they do but I don't think they have the skill set to be a CEO of Apple.

I would think Johnny ive. CEO + a great design mind. Jobs might have turned down a lot of his ideas.

If various board members are actually talking to headhunters without Jobs' knowledge, and they actually talked to the WSJ about it, sounds like some board members should be fired.
It's responsible to be developing plans for succession, but not divulging the fact to the board chairman, the CEO, and the company cofounder, and then talking about it with a newspaper, is tantamount to a serious breach of trust. They should be fired. Board members leaking any company plans at all is an irresponsible actor.

Who knows. Jobs certainly views AllThingsD and WSJ as a prominent media outlet and gives Mossberg proper respect due to that.
This is from Yukari Iwata Kane. We "know" Apple purposely leaks to him. But Jobs is purportedly on record as saying "hogwash". So either the WSJ is totally misrepresenting the situation or some board members are leaking information they shouldn't. Or maybe it is all sourced from the headhunters. If it is that, fine. But if it was board members, that's a serious breach of trust on a topic that materially affects AAPL valuation.

It's actually a smart move for them to look for a new CEO. Steve Jobs is irreplaceable so they're probably looking for someone that has the same qualities he has.
I say it's a smart move because Steve Jobs won't be around forever and with his health deteriorating it's actually a good move to look for a replacement so if he dies, they will have someone ready to take charge of the company.
They're not looking to replace him now, they're looking to replace him when he dies.