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Jobs' health worth $25 billion to Apple?
Monday, March 29, 2010 @ 11:30am

The health of Steve Jobs may be extremely critical to Apple's monetary worth, a new Barron's report claims. Compiling its annual 30 Most Respected CEOs list, on which Jobs is present, the publication notes that stock value dropped when word came out of the CEO's medical problems; the executive was forced to take a six-month leave of absence during 2009. Particularly considering that Apple's market value recently topped $200 billion, Jobs' life is estimated by Barron's to be worth about $25 billion.

The report otherwise highlights Jobs' rescue of Apple in the late '90s, and the havoc the CEO has wrought in the movie, music and cellular industries as a result of the iPod, the iPhone and the iTunes Store. The iPad and the iBookstore are expected to have a major impact on books, magazines and newspapers, despite being forged in part during Jobs' downtime. Simultaneously, Barron's also observes that Apple workers both revere and fear their boss, who is infamous for micromanaging the company to suit his personal vision.

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  • Reader reaction
    Found 8 comments
    Oh please 278633
    $25 billion?

    I can't read the entire article because it requires a subscription. I'm going to go out on a limb and guess that Jobs' value to Apple (or, more precisely, AAPL) is very similar to the concept of 'goodwill' as an asset on a company's books.

    If Jobs' dropped dead tomorrow, the market would freak out for sure... and smart people would dive into AAPL, because the company will do just fine without him. Yes, it's better to have Jobs than not, but the days when Jobs was the alpha and omega of Apple are long gone.
    Comment posted by: climacs
    Long gone? 278634
    Hardly. Yes, Apple would survive for a while on his legacy, but unless they find someone to replace him that had the same sort of tunnel vision, the result would be Apple eventually becoming like every other company out there.

    It wouldn't happen overnight, but eventually would. Just look what happened when he left the first time around. Instead of being run by someone that wants insanely great products, Apple was run by CEOs that only understood profit. How did that turn out for them the last time?

    Finding someone that can have the vision to select products that are insanely great AND profitable is quite rare.
    Comment posted by: bjojade
    When Steve first left. 278635
    Steve left because the board would not back him. They did not back him because the Mac was hemorrhaging money. Scully put it in the black by traditional CEO actions, cutting costs and layoffs. It saved Apple, which most people seem to want to forget. Steve was not the great CEO then, but certainly learned to be since then
    Comment posted by: Outdo
    Lessons learnt 278649
    You can presume that lessons have been learnt from last time - it's pretty obvious to them where their success comes from (i.e. original product development). Outside observers can see that's Apple's strong point.

    But there is still a big gap between delivering good products, and great ones.

    If Jobs was to die tomorrow, I'd leap on the shares after they plummeted, but I would seriously consider selling within a couple of years, because I think we will see a slow decline (not within 2 years, but maybe 5-10 years after). It won't be like the mid-90s nadir, it's more likely to be a decline to boringly good.

    The other alternative is that Apple becomes eroded to merely a hardware company, if the next decade sees open (web/Android) software catch-up with and replace single-platform development. It's not happened yet, but there are powerful forces pushing it.
    Comment posted by: JulesLt
    Tunnel vision is good 278650
    When the tunnel is aimed at the right place.
    Comment posted by: Paul Huang
    Crap 278659
    Why do you print crap like this story.
    Comment posted by: starwarrior
    I think Steve Jobs is important because 278662
    he knows how to "dumb down" products even if the designers say they can pack in more features. Designers and engineers will bring a product to Steve and he probably tells them "Take this extra stuff off. It's not necessary." I think that's a good thing although most geeks will say he's trying to rip off users. Steve probably likes to pare things to the bone just to make things easier for the user. Most companies try the kitchen sink approach of adding on everything just in case a few geeks need those functions. That's why most products end up with feature overload for most consumers. I'm sure it's not easy deciding which features to keep and which features to dump. I guess he understands exactly what "keep it simple" means.

    I just hope Steve stays healthy and with Apple at least three or four more years and lifts the share price up to $350 or so. At least long enough that Apple surpasses Microsoft's market cap. Steve will definitely have earned that one.
    Comment posted by: Constable Odo
    Guess Steve 278671
    doesn't need Obama's health care plan....
    Comment posted by: tortenteufel
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