Steve Jobs will stay on as Apple's Chairman
...but alas has given the CEO seat to someone else. I do feel bad for Jobs and his family - particularly since I can see his clavicle under his sweater in this photo. I deeply suspect, like many others, that he is stepping into the chairman position because he will soon be too ill to continue as any executive. An intermediate move to chairman will help keep the company stable during what will be a very rocky end of week and months for the market.
He has been lucky. While most patients with a pancreatic cancer diagnosis get a few weeks, he has been very fortunate to have nearly a decade. I didn't think I would feel like this, because, well, I don't know him. I do genuinely feel remorse for Jobs and his family.
While Mr. Jobs and his family and company are preparing for his move to the backseat, I can't help but wonder what this will do to the markets Thursday and Friday. Apple is a cornerstone of the American markets right now (more money than the U.S. Treasury apparently). Thursday was predicted to be a swell of trading and setting up positions ahead of Bernanke's speech Friday. The Jobs resignation might change that - hasten it, introduce additional instability. It's odd to think that such a horrible event for one person and their family could actually affect what the exchange rate will be....how much money I will be able to put aside...what my retirement savings will be worth next month.
I'm not very consumerist, but I do enjoy having a stable and speedy laptop, a simple and tiny machine that carries my music, an apple store that I can walk into 24/7 to fix my computer problems no questions asked. My work life is easier because of simple perceptions of ease and subsequent alterations to personal electronics. It's kind of sad to see the master of taking the complex and sophisticated and making simple and accessible, step away from the helm.
Dear Mr. Jobs - my best wishes to you. In the last ten years, you have changed my life for the better. Thank you, and Mr. Wozniak and Wayne.