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Succession Planning Case Study

Case Title:

Apple Computer Inc. After Steve Jobs: The Succession Dilemma

Publication Year : 2010

Authors: N Mathen, J Thadamalla and S Gollapalli

Industry: Engineering, Electrical and Electronics


Case Code: SUP0015IRC

Teaching Note: Not Available

Structured Assignment: Not Available

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Steve Jobs, the iconic CEO of Apple Computers Inc and the company's public face for more than a decade, had reportedly been unwell since 2003. He was supposed to deliver his annual keynote address at the Macworld conference scheduled for January 2009, but was substituted by Senior Worldwide Marketing Vice President, Phil Schiller. Speculations were rife about who would eventually step into Jobs' shoes. Apple, on the other hand, had always maintained silence on its succession plans for its own reasons. Management experts opined that organisations that mature to be embodiments of judgment, values and decision, should avert the dangers of approaching motivational and management vacuum to revitalise, refresh and reposition them in a rapidly changing environment. As an organisation depends on its stakeholders - workforce, leadership and clients / customers at large, a succession planning in place becomes a chief characteristic of a successful business enterprise. It remains to be seen as to how Apple resolves its succession dilemma.

Pedagogical Objectives:

  • The importance of succession planning in an organisation.
  • To Apple's profile and its inspirational leadership.
  • To business transformation.

Keywords :  Apple Computer, Disney, Succession planning, Steve Jobs, Leadership, Electronics, NeXT Inc, CEO, Pixar, Mac Computers, Toy Story, Retail store, Tim Cook, Macworld, iPod and iPhone

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