(Katie Durkin) Last Monday’s announcement the Steve Jobs would be taking an indefinite medical leave from Apple has left the Internet reeling with questions about the company’s future. Jobs, a god of the Silicon Valley, is the face of Apple whose charisma and vision is credited for the company’s wild success. The news of his absence pushed Apple’s stock down 2.25% on Tuesday. In a 2008 New York Times article, financial analyst Charles R. Wolf speculated, “Apple is Steve Jobs and Steve Jobs is Apple. I think the stock would drop 25 percent or more if he were to leave the company unexpectedly.”
However, in light of a banner year for the company and his previous medical leave, its unlikely Apple’s bottom line will suffer in 2011. Apple’s net income rose 78% last quarter thanks to holiday sales of the iPad and iPhone 4. It also reached the milestone of its 10 billionth application downloaded this week from the App Store. During Jobs’ six-month hiatus in 2009, Apple’s stock price rose 60% under the leadership of chief operating officer Tim Cook. Cook will once again take control of the day-to-day operations in Jobs’ place.
While his current leave is temporary, Steve Jobs will eventually leave Apple permanently. I believe when that day comes, the legacy and company he has built will remain a powerful force of progress and innovation in the technology industry far into the future.