Steve Jobs Steps Down as Apple CEO: Women React

BlogHer Original Post

Steve Jobs' resignation as CEO of Apple generated a huge response. There are plenty of sites reporting on reactions, but apparently the default reaction is a male one. What are women saying?

Steve Jobs Waves
Credit Image: © Qi Heng/Xinhua/ZUMAPRESS.com

Before we get to the reactions, let's review the basics. Although Jobs is no longer CEO, he's still chair of the board. His presence will still be felt within Apple.

The mythology surrounding Jobs has always been that Apple couldn't survive without him. He's been the chrismatic face of one of the most valuable companies in the world in his black turtle neck and jeans. Indeed, Apple did seem to stumble when he left briefly. When he came back he helped Apple introduce iTunes, the iPod, the iPad, Apple TV, and a number of computer interface innovations that have been copied by other OS manufacturers. Even if you don't own an Apple product, the tech products you do own have been influenced by Apple and Steve Jobs. The way products look and operate, no matter the manufacturer, all show the influence of Steve Jobs.

Jobs wants to be followed by Tim Cook as the new CEO. Cook, 50, has been at Apple since 1998 and led the company briefly and well a couple of times when Jobs was away for health related reasons.

Steve Jobs and Tim Cook
Credit Image: © Julian Stratenschulte/DPA/ZUMAPRESS.com

Jobs' health has been troubling him for some time, and apparently has worsened. He didn't mention health in this brief resignation letter, but it is implied between the lines.

To the Apple Board of Directors and the Apple Community:

I have always said if there ever came a day when I could no longer meet my duties and expectations as Apple’s CEO, I would be the first to let you know. Unfortunately, that day has come.

I hereby resign as CEO of Apple. I would like to serve, if the Board sees fit, as Chairman of the Board, director and Apple employee.

As far as my successor goes, I strongly recommend that we execute our succession plan and name Tim Cook as CEO of Apple.

I believe Apple’s brightest and most innovative days are ahead of it. And I look forward to watching and contributing to its success in a new role.

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.

Steve

Women React

Geek Sugar has a number of posts looking at Jobs from various perspectives. Check out Steve Jobs Through the Years, a slide show, and Steve Jobs Keynote Bloopers for a blooper video.

On Worker Bees Blog, Elisa Camahort Page said,

Sad because, while I believe Apple will survive and continue to thrive, Jobs is an inspirational and iconic figure in the Valley...a symbol of the great come-back, the wronged entrepreneur who proved the others wrong, a symbol of rewarding risk-taking and genius, not only bottom-line thinking. Is everything he symbolizes accurately describe or define everything he is? Well, most of us can never know.

But symbols are about meaning, not pure facts.

At Mashable, Christina Warren put together several videos of Iconic Steve Jobs Moments. Here's one of those videos, showing that even in 1984, Jobs knew how to stage a dramatic product introduction.

We love Jobs and Apple just as much now as we did back in '84, maybe even more. I hope Tim Cook can keep Apple innovating as it always has, but nobody can do a keynote like Steve Jobs. Showmanship, drama, and charisma are hard for a replacement to duplicate.

Cindy Royal had a huge amount to say. Here's just one bit of her reaction to his keynotes:

And while Apple is a big company, it’s Steve Jobs that set that tone for the entire organization, and more so, several industries. I have watched just about every black turtleneck keynote since 2001, followed the live blogs intently for those that were not broadcast. I marvel at the way Jobs is able to captivate, calmly, yet with enthusiasm.

Laura Scott shared her reaction on Google+, saying,

Some megacorporations dominating the business world touch our lives in obscure ways we never see. Think Lloyds of London. Some in ways we see but only through the wrong end of a telescope. Think Standard Oil. And some touch us in ways we see every day, in surprising ways that delight us and entice us. That's Apple. Steve Jobs touched us more than any other CEO. That's really something.

TNW has an ongoing and ever building page of reaction to Jobs' resignation – some of it from women.

On Google+, Liz Henry pointed to a story at Stirrup Queens called Life Changing Emails. It's a story from last April about an email that Steve Jobs sent to The Stirrup Queen's son. She's talking about it again in Steve Jobs is Apple's Dumbledore. If you haven't read it yet, but sure to – it's a great story.

Sarah Granger's Google+ comment was,

Unlike everybody else who's posting tonight, I don't have any memories of Steve Jobs to share having never met him, but I did come across my Apple II+ receipt this past weekend while going through old paper files and just seeing the old logo brought back fond memories from childhood. Great products create loyal customers for decades and I definitely appreciate all that's being said about Apple's commitment to innovation and Jobs's eye for detail. There are many reasons I still buy Apple products and own Apple stock. Brilliant engineering is just one of them.

Regarding a page of Jobs' patents at the New York Times, @ChelseaVPeretti asks,

Is it normal for this http://t.co/p4GEpXg to make you want to cry? #stevejobsThu Aug 25 15:04:02 via web

City Mama wrote Steve Jobs a Thank you letter. She said, in part,

Thank you, Steve Jobs. Thank you for creating products that make our lives easier. Thank you for imbuing each and every one with your passion and enthusiasm. Thank you for never having to make me deal with printer drivers. Thank you for iTunes. Thank you for my MacBook which is sheer magic to use. Thank you, even, in some way, for Toy Story and Cars.

I wish you happiness and peace and much better health, and hope you are around to continue inspiring us for a long, long time.

For the sake of an opposing viewpoint, A.V. Flox made a funny video with her non-Mac product.

Do any of these reactions match your own? What do you think about Jobs' resignation?

Speculating on Apple's Future

Of course, everyone from owners of the smallest iPod Shuffle to major Apple stockholders want to know how Apple will fare under Tim Cook's leadership. We want more wonderful products, more innovation, and more time with Apple as the world's most important company. What we don't want is change. We're loyal to Apple as it is now.

I haven't linked to any of the business people who are talking about Apple's future, because it A) is mostly men, and I'm looking for women's reactions, and B) it's all just guesswork. I'm taking a "time will tell" approach. I'll give Tim Cook the benefit of the doubt and hope that he can keep the Apple legacy moving along the way Steve Jobs would.

I'll be loyal to Apple to a long time to come. What about you?

Virginia DeBolt, BlogHer Section Editor for Tech
virginia.debolt@blogher.com
Virginia blogs at Web Teacher and First 50 Words.

Recent Posts by Virginia DeBolt

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