July 22, 2011

WSJ: Apple Board Ponders ex-Jobs Era

Yukari Iwatani Kane, Joann S. Lublin and Nick Wingfield, writing for The Wall Street Journal:

“Since Steve Jobs went on medical leave this winter, some members of Apple Inc.’s board have discussed CEO succession with executive recruiters and at least one head of a high-profile technology company, according to people familiar with the matter.”

(Via @gruber on Twitter.)

Jobs says it’s hogwash, but this is only the smart thing to do.

There’s been a hush around Steve Jobs’ leave of absence. Few tech industry pundits are willing to discuss what’s an open secret: his cancer has likely returned. He’s been sighted exiting a regional cancer treatment center, after all.

When a company is hitting on all cylinders, gaining market share and piling up cash, it only makes sense that its board of directors would seek to preserve that momentum. Steve Jobs is Apple, and losing him, when that day comes, will be a blow to its execution.

Apple’s board is acting prudently, forming a plan for tapping their next corporate leader.