Monday, February 7, 2011

Steve Jobs: Apple's CEO


"What will happen to the world of innovation without Steve Jobs?" This is the most famous question thrown lately by market brokers referring to the latest illness of Apple's CEO and chief architect, Steve Jobs.


Born on February 24, 1955 in San Francisco, California to a Syrian father and American mother, Steve Jobs (later adopted by Paul and Clara Jobs) is an American inventor and co-founder of Apple Incorporated. 

He is the current Chief Executive Officer of Apple and its chief software architect. In 2006, he became a member of the board of The Walt Disney when his other company, Pixar Animation Studios, merged with Disney. He also acquired the computer graphics division of Lucas Film Ltd. He also worked as a technician at Atari, a manufacturer of video games.

Apple Computer was established on April 1, 1976 by Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak and Ronald Wayne, it was incorporated in January 3, 1977 without Wayne whose share in the company was sold to Jobs and Wozniak. But thirty years later, the company decided to drop the word “computer” to reflect their ongoing expansion into the consumer electronic market. The company's best known products are macintosh, ipod and iphone. In 2009, the company recorded an annual sale of $42.91 billion. The company’s headquarter is located at Cupertino, California, USA.

In 1970s, Jobs and his co-founders produced and marketed Apple II series, one of the first commercially successful brands of personal computer. In 1980 he saw the potential and mouse-driven graphical user interface which eventually led him to invent Macintosh. In 1986, he temporarily left Apple and founded NeXT Software, when Apple acquired the company, Jobs was back as its CEO until present.

Jobs's rise to success can be attributed to the ambitious and individualistic principles of entrepreneurs around Silicon Valley, California (which counts Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook and HP'S founders Bill Hewlett and Dave Packard) emphasizing the crucial importance of design and invention for mass appeal which commensurate Jobs’s passion in developing products that are both trendy, functional and elegant often matches with the present lifestyle of the people. In other words, he thinks outside the "box" and responded to consumers’ needs and expectations. Currently, Steve Jobs holds more than 300 patent applications. Just like other inventors, Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg, Steve Jobs did not finish college. He dropped out from Reed College in 1972.

His important innovations at Apple propelled the company to greatness. For a third straight year in a row, Fortune magazine named it as the world’s most admired company topping over Berkshire Hathaway, Google, Johnson and Johnson and Amazon.com. What makes the company admirable? According to Fortune magazine’s report, it’s Apple’s highest style of innovative products itself and the company's unique management and marketing techniques. Products like iPods, iPhones, the game-changing iPad help elevated Apple’s reputation in the highly dominated technological market in the present generation.
In December 2010, Jobs was named by Financial Times as Person of the Year and CEO of the Year by Fortune Magazine.

But lately, he is suffering from a chronic health problem, though the prognosis is “excellent” it is still uncertain how long he could stand this personal battle.

It started in 2004 when he was diagnosed of a cancerous tumor in his pancreas, in August 2009 he took a medical leave and underwent a liver transplant. In 2010, the Wall Street reported that Jobs went to Switzerland to seek further treatment for his tumor, because an effective procedure called peptide receptor radionuclide therapy is not yet approve in the United States. 

The news on Steve Jobs’s health problem created so much tension in the United States's central trading district: Wall Street. We all know that Apple continue to dominate the world market when it comes to technology, the company is on top, all products become an envy in the electronic industry, but how can the company and its invention sustain without Steve Jobs? 

One expert commented: “What will happen to the world of innovation without Steve Jobs?”. In his interview Leander Kahney, editor of the Apple-centric blog Cult of Mac, said Apple without Jobs "won't be quite as bright and magical", he continues "for the past ten years Apple has been more than a great company, it is the place were magic was made". Following the announcement of his medical leave, Apple shares in the world market significantly drop sending enormous worries to investors.

Steve Jobs's unique approach in brand positioning strategies and keen mind to predict the future of technology gave Apple a competitive edge against competitors. But the CEO's health made people nervous regarding the future of innovation. Granting the outcome of most patients who had undergone a liver transplant, according to Newsweek "there's a good reason why everybody would not be worried". Let's just hope and pray Steve Jobs is strong enough to overcome this battle. The world needs him badly.

Steve Jobs is married to Laurene Powell whom he has a son, Reed Paul Jobs, he has also a daughter named Lisa from a previous relationship. Steve and Laurene lived in an old Palo Alto house in California next to Mark Zuckerberg's rented house. His religion is buddhism. His trademark outfit (even during conference and product presentation) is a black long-sleeved turtleneck, Levi's 501 blue jeans and white rubber shoes.

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