Steve Jobs still heavily involved at Apple, but micromanaging less

Tue, Aug 2, 2011


When Steve Jobs most recently took a leave of absence from Apple about six months ago, investors and Apple fans alike were left to wonder how involved Jobs would remain while tending to personal health issues.

With COO Tim Cook dutifully filling in for Jobs, Apple has stayed the course as it continues to release innovative products and rake in money hand over fist in the process. And somewhat auspiciously, Jobs has reportedly been more involved with the company than many people initially assumed.

Looking back over the past few months, Jobs personally introduced the iPad 2 this April and conducted the WWDC keynote this past June. Following that, Jobs appeared before the Cupertino City Counsel where he made Apple’s case for building a large spaceship-style campus to better accommodate Apple’s always growing workforce.

Looking forward, we can only assume and hope that Jobs himself will take the stage yet again to unveil the highly anticipated iPhone 5.

This is Jobs’ longest medical leave to date and while Tim Cook is still tasked with handling the day to day tasks at Apple, Jobs is still quite involved, albeit a little bit less intensely. Prior to the iPad 2 launch, for example, reports surfaced that Jobs had been spotted on campus and that he was intimately involved with every last detail regarding the iPad 2 launch.

In a recent Mercury News article, Patrick May relays a quote from analyst Tim Bajarin who reportedly engages quite regularly with Apple’s top brass.

Bajarin talks regularly with upper management at Apple and the impression he gets from those conversations is that while Jobs does not physically punch in every day at 1 Infinite Loop, he’s virtually there much of the time.

“They tell me he calls in regularly, he talks to Tim, he talks to the top guys, he talks about the Apple Stores,” said Bajarin. “But while he used to micromanage everything in ways that most CEOs would not, right down to issues with the company cafeteria, the big change with his latest leave is that there’s less micromanagment and more management of his executive team and the big-picture issues.”

Either way, the formula works.


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