January 17, 2011 / 2:56 PM / 7 years ago

Instant view: Apple's Steve Jobs takes medical leave

LONDON (Reuters) - Apple Inc Chief Executive Steve Jobs has been granted medical leave to concentrate on his health, he said on Monday.

During his leave of absence, Chief Operating Officer Tim Cook will be responsible for day-to-day operations.

Below are reactions to the news:

DANIEL ERNST, RESEARCH ANALYST, HUDSON SQUARE

”This time around you have to question his ability to bounce back. They’ve never discussed a succession plan, but it’s pretty clear that Cook is the guy.

”I feel like they’re being more prompt and upfront about the issue. They have clearly named who’s in charge, Tim Cook. Apple clearly has a very deep bench, it’s not just Jobs any more.

“I think that people undersell the depth of the team at Apple. There’s no operational risk to the story, but there’s perceived risk.”

BENEDICT EVANS, ANALYST, ENDERS:

”In the short and medium term Apple will continue as usual. Tim Cook is extremely highly regarded, the pipeline for stuff that will be announced this summer has probably already been locked down, so its not as though everything is going to fall apart in the next six months.

”The role Mr Jobs plays is the editor of last resort. He is the guy who looks at a products and says ‘it’s not good enough, you have to go away and make it better’.

”The editing and the quality control he provides on what they ship has been so crucial to Apple’s success, and so on a two and three and four-year view, that is where Apple would really start to feel his absence.

“If he isn’t able to play the role in Apple he has in the past, it is in the two to three year view the product line will be affected.”

TIM SHEPHERD, ANALYST, CANALYS:

“This is bad news for Apple in as much as investors will be concerned about Steve Jobs’ position longer term. But the real impact on the company and its operations will be limited. Jobs is continuing to be involved in major decisions and Tim Cook has good experience of the day to day running of the company.”

FRANCISCO JERONIMO, ANALYST, IDC:

“Apple is still performing very well sales-wise and I don’t believe people will stop buying their products because Steve jobs is taking a sick leave.”

ALEXANDER PETERC, EQUITY ANALYST, EXANE

”It wasn’t expected, this will come as a surprise to Apple investors and definitely take some shine off the Apple stock.

”But even if Steve Jobs never returns to Apple, I would not expect a visible, tangible impact on how Apple is executing over the next couple of years.

”In the long run, you could suspect that because Apple is becoming a very large organization, it might lose some of its innovative edge. Also the fact that every product that Apple put out to the market was closely monitored by Jobs, also meant something for what they brought to the market.

“But that is something that might pan out over a couple of years. What they have in store now is enough to keep them going for quite a while.”

JAMES CORDWELL, ANALYST, ATLANTIC EQUITIES:

”It’s surprising and not great for Steve himself obviously.

“We’ve been here before at the start of 2009, so it’s probably going to be similar to that. Operationally the company coped very well last time, but there’s a certain Jobs premium in the stock, and that will be the concern.”

RICHARD WINDSOR, GLOBAL TECHNOLOGY SPECIALIST, NOMURA:

”Honestly, the effect on the company will probably not be that great in terms of fundamentals.

“Perception of the company is another matter. Steve Jobs is seen by the market to be a major force in Apple’s strategic direction. If his pancreatic cancer has returned, one could be quite worried.”

BEN WOOD, HEAD OF RESEARCH, CCS INSIGHT:

“The knee-jerk reaction is likely to be negative. However, I think that Apple is clearly a much bigger company than one person and we now have a proof point from last time that the company was in safe hands under the sure step of Tim Cook and I don’t think they’ll deviate from their current course.”

Reporting by Georgina Prodhan, Kate Holton and Paul Sandle; Editing by David Holmes

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