Steve Jobs was one of the most innovative and forward thinking business leaders in history, and he also made tons of money for Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) shareholders by revolutionizing several industries with disruptive products and technologies. The question of who may be the next Steve Jobs is not only an intellectually stimulating one; it can also lead to some very profitable investment decisions for investors who position themselves for growth by betting on the right companies and CEOs.
Tim Cook was chosen by Steve Jobs himself to be in charge of the company he founded, quite a distinction for anyone in the business world. Few people got to know and understand Steve Jobs like Cook did over the years, and the trust that Jobs deposited on his successor is a powerful statement on itself. However, Cook comes more from a business background than one of innovation and design.
When it comes to “product guys,” Jonathan Ive, Senior Vice President of Industrial Design at Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL), could be a more likely candidate. Ive is a designer behind many of the company´s most successful products, and he used to work side-by-side with Steve Jobs in the creative process when conceiving products like the iPod, the iPhone and the iPad. On the other hand, he hasn´t demonstrated the kind of leadership and entrepreneurial talent that made Jobs such a unique person, at this stage in his career he has proven to be an amazing designer, but not necessarily a corporate leader or entrepreneur.
Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) has not delivered any disruptive new products after Steve Jobs. The iPad Mini is a big commercial success, but hardly an aggressive innovation in comparison to previous iPad models. Tim Cook has been quite explicit about the fact that Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) is working on new product categories, which should hit the markets in the middle term
, categories being the key word here, as opposed to new versions of existing products.
These new launches could be crucial when it comes to evaluating the company´s innovative drive without Steve Jobs. However, even if Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) delivers another blockbuster product, it will most likely be the result of team work combining the talent of designers, engineers, and people in areas like marketing and operations, not so much of a single visionary mind. The next Steve Jobs is not likely to come from Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL).