by Anton Shilov
01/19/2009 | 12:48 PM
Chief executive officer of Apple – Steve Jobs – recently announced that he would take a temporary leave of absence because of health problems. As a result, many observers expressed concerns over Apple’s abilities to release new and innovative products in a timely manner. But the co-founder of Apple, Steve Wozniak believes that at least in the short-term there will be no issues with product launches.
“Unfortunately, the curiosity over my personal health continues to be a distraction not only for me and my family, but everyone else at Apple as well. In addition, during the past week I have learned that my health-related issues are more complex than I originally thought. In order to take myself out of the limelight and focus on my health, and to allow everyone at Apple to focus on delivering extraordinary products, I have decided to take a medical leave of absence until the end of June,” Mr. Jobs said last week in an email to all employees of Apple.
While Steve Jobs is taking his temporary leave of absence, chief operating officer Timothy Cook will serve as chief executive. Mr. Jobs plans to remain involved in major strategic decisions.
The temporary leave of chief exec happens during very hard times for the whole industry, when a number of crucial decisions need to be made. These days Apple’s product line is a family of rather expensive products, which sales may collapse once consumers engage more aggressive cuts of their spending. As a result, the leave of the CEO with industry-acclaimed abilities to envision customers’ needs may be a significant issue for Apple. Moreover, Apple's current success is closely associated with Steve Jobs.
However, the co-founder of Apple, Stephen Wozniak, claims that all the products that are about to launch in one or one and a half years from now are already in development, hence, there will be no issues with Mr. Jobs’ leave.
“The products coming out of Apple, out of tech companies, have a long tech pipeline. They work their way through for a year, year and a half. Those products are in the pipeline, they're not going to be disturbed,” Mr. Wozniak said in an interview with NBC channel (excepts from the interview were published by Gizmodo web-site).
In fact, according to the person who co-founded Apple over thirty years ago, Mr. Jobs’ temporary leave may help him to spend more time thinking about the next big products.
“To me, you know, if that’s what he says then I take it at face value. He wants a rest. The rest and peacefulness. What do you so when you rest? Sometimes your mind floats. A person like him works out better concepts and products and ways the future could be and way we live or lives better than any individual could. Probably a great thing for Apple,” added Stephen Wozniak.