On August 24 2011, Apple's late CEO Steve Jobs resigned. One year later and Apple is going from strength to strength, with its share price closing last night at $662, compared to $372.12 a year ago, and the news last week that Apple had beat Microsoft to become the most valuable company in history with a market cap of $623.5 billion on 20 August.
In the year since Jobs' resignation Apple has launched the MacBook Pro with Retina Display, new MacBook Airs, the iPhone 4S, the New iPad, and OS X Mountain Lion. Within the next few weeks the company is expected to launch a new iPhone (frequently referred to as the iPhone 5, despite it being the sixth iPhone), and iOS 6. There are also rumours that Apple may launch an iPad mini, and eventually a television. There is certainly a lot of confidence that Apple will continue its ascent.
Back when Jobs resigned, there was some concern that without Jobs at the helm, Apple would some how loose its way. Gartner analyst Michael Gartenberg disagreed, he said: "This definitely marks the end of an era, but there's much more to Apple than Steve Jobs."
Jobs had "strongly recommended" that the board of directors appoint Tim Cook as his successor. Cook had effectively done the jobs before, covering Jobs' various medical leaves of absence while he was fighting the cancer that eventually killed him. Apple granted Tim Cook a "promotion and retention award" valued at $376 million when he took over as CEO (although much of that is tied up in shared that Cook can't vest until he has been at Apple for another ten years).
"I believe Apple's brightest and most innovative days are ahead of it. I look forward to watching and contributing to its success in a new role," wrote Jobs in his resignation letter, adding: "I have made some of the best friends of my life at Apple, and I thank you all for the many years of being able to work alongside you."
It was generally thought that as Apple CEO Cook faced a daunting task succeeding Jobs. A year later and it seems to be a good time to examine the successes, and failures, of his Jobs' successor.
Announcing Cook's appointment, Apple board member Art Levinson said: "The Board has complete confidence that Tim is the right person to be our next CEO. Tim's 13 years of service to Apple have been marked by outstanding performance, and he has demonstrated remarkable talent and sound judgment in everything he does."
Now aged 51, Cook joined Apple shortly after Jobs' return in 1997 having previously worked for IBM and Compaq. He became chief operating officer in 2007. Cook first came into prominence when he covered Jobs' first medical leave of absence in 2004.
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