In Jobs’ second act with Apple, a dramatic revival

From PhysOrg:

Steve Jobs' resignation as Apple Inc.'s CEO on Wednesday was freighted with sentimental significance, the curtain call on a dramatic 14-year performance in which he rescued one of the world's most beloved brands from the brink of technological irrelevance.

Job As second chances go, Jobs' stewardship of Apple since returning in 1997 to the company he created with a high school friend in a Silicon Valley garage in the 1970s is widely seen as nothing short of first-class. And his job isn't done; he's staying on as chairman, where it remains to be seen how meaningfully his role in product design will change. As mercurial as many employees and suppliers and business partners have found Jobs, few can deny how deeply his ideas have transformed the consumer technology world. Jobs' contributions to the world of technology are numerous. He led a fierce battle against Microsoft's Windows stronghold on the front lines of the personal computer revolution; he changed the way people listen to music; he essentially created the consumer smartphone market and turned tablets from objects of derision into lusted-after luxury items. The innovation attached to the brand is something that might be impossible to replace. Investors expressed their concerns with a selloff that knocked Apple's stock down $19.08, or 5.1 percent, to $355.58 in extended trading Thursday, following the announcement that Tim Cook, Apple's chief operating officer, would be assuming full-time CEO duties. “Apple is Steve Jobs, Steve Jobs is Apple, and Steve Jobs is innovation,” said Trip Chowdhry, an analyst with Global Equities Research. “You can teach people how to be operationally efficient, you can hire consultants to tell you how to do that, but God creates innovation. … Apple without Steve Jobs is nothing.”

Jobs has now stepped down twice as Apple's leader, both times under unfavorable circumstances. Whereas unmatched technical innovation and single-mindedness defined Apple's early years, and unchecked hubris and micromanaging helped doom Jobs' first go-around as CEO, he has redeemed himself, pulling off one of the most remarkable turnarounds in corporate history.

More here.