Perhaps as a testimony to how strong a foundation Steve Jobs has built -- or an indication that shareholders saw this coming -- Apple stock (Nasdaq: AAPL) has declined only 5% in after-hours trading on news that Jobs is stepping down as CEO.
Softening the blow are numerous factors. Apple has a strong leader in COO Tim Cook, the company has been planning for this moment for some time, and Jobs wants to remain chairman of the board and an employee, according to the release [whatever "employee" means]. Remember when Bill Gates stepped down, he remained very much involved for a few years. Also, Apple has a very long and detailed roadmap given that the iPad was a decade-long project dating back to the Newton.
The question now, as morbid as it is to discuss it: Is this move driven by Jobs wanting to be around for a few years to assist in the leadership transition, or is it occurring because his health has gotten worse?
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