Appoint Me Bad Apple of Apple’s Eye

Posted on September 5, 2011


Last week, Steve Jobs announced his retirement from Apple in a short statement:

“I have always said if there ever came a day when I could no longer meet my duties and expectations as Apple’s CEO, I would be the first to let you know. Unfortunately, that day has come. I hereby resign as CEO of Apple. – Steve.”

The following day he announced his retirement again with an even smaller and faster statement:

“I have always said if I could no longer meet my duties as Apple’s CEO, I would be the first to let you know.  I hereby resign as CEO of Apple. – Steve.”

The day after that he announced:

Resign CEO Apple

On the fourth day he released this statement:


I didn’t comment on the story at the time because I expected Apple to continue releasing statements that would be half the size of the previous statement, twice as fast, double the storage space, with a sleeker design, and made available in an assortment of colors, but no further messages have come forward, although it’s possible the most recent statements are too small to be seen with the naked eye.

Steve Jobs suggested his handpicked successor, Tim Cook, be made CEO, and Cook is expected to take the reins of Apple after undergoing a trans-formative operation to add sleek curved lines to his head and to make his face more user-friendly and responsive to touch.  Cook was immediately awarded stock worth $300 million, contingent on his remaining as Apple CEO for a period of 10 years, although I’m not sure why it was necessary to pay him $300 million for a job I would have done for only $100 million.

Tim Cook Pre-operation

Tim Cook has his work cut out for him to follow quite possibly the greatest CEO of all time.  In his second stint at Apple, Jobs was brought back with Apple near bankruptcy and in fourteen years turned it into a company with a market value of $375 billion.  How do you top that?

Here’s the short answer: You can’t.  Don’t even try.

Running Apple after Steve Jobs will always be a thankless task, similar to watching pets while someone takes a vacation.  I’ve watched pets for other people, and when they return to pick up the pet, they always say the same thing, “I’m pretty sure my pet wasn’t dead when I gave him to you.”  This is the problem with watching pets: he’s alive when entrusted to your care and that pet can only exit your care as still alive or dead.  No matter how hard you try, the pet is not going to get more alive, he can only remain alive or get dead.  Watching a pet has no upside but a tremendous downside.  Running Apple is the same.  Tim Cook isn’t going to make Apple any more alive, but he can very easily make it closer to dead.

My suggestion to Tim Cook is to name me Apple CEO, allow me to run the company into the ground for a year until the stock price is down 100%.  Then I’ll appoint him CEO and he can take the pressure off by following a big fat failure.  Even if he can manage to avoid sexually harassing the office computers–a trap his predecessor immediately fell into (those computers are so sleek and sexy)–he will look like a big hero.

Paul Apple CEO : )