The $23 Billion Man
Is Steve Jobs really worth that much for Apple?
A genius CEO
He's a charismatic, creative genuis, whose words are worth more than gold. His innovations and inventions have changed the world and likely the lives of each one of us. He is one of the world's best CEO's, able to predict consumer trends better than anyone else in the technology sector and has somehow managed to make one of the most valuable corporation in the U.S., second only to Exxon Mobil, cool.
Despite all that, Steve Jobs remains a humble man. In a world were CEOs were vilified following the market crash of 2008, Jobs was placed on an even higher mantle. He is the antithesis of what large corporate CEOs are. Despite his finanical status, he wears simple clothes, carries himself without pretension, and seems to lack any desire for materialism (well, except for Apple products, of course). Steve Jobs is the face of Apple, and is one of the main reasons consumers like the image the company projects.
Wealth and Health
Jobs has wealth, but unfortunately, he wasn't blessed with the best of health. He is only 55 years old and has already recovered from pancreatic cancer and liver transplant. Yesterday, news broke out that Jobs had sent a letter to Apple staff notifying them of his medical leave. The reason was not given, which for investors is a cause for even bigger concern.
Is he a $23 billion man?
The markets were closed yesterday in New York due to Martin Luther King day, so there was no immediate effect on Apple's shares in the market. However, the European markets reacted aggressively and Apple shares lost nearly 7.2 per cent in the Frankfurt Stock Exchange (German DAX).
If apple's shares will respond respectively today in New York (NASDAQ- AAPL), then the corporation's market value will fall from nearly $320 billion to $297 billion. The question we should all ask: "Is Steve Jobs worth $23 billion to Apple as a CEO?"
When speaking of a dead decade in the NASDAQ, Apple is another story. Its stock surged by 4,000 per cent in ten years, it means that if in 2000 you invested $10,000 in Apple, you'd have $400,000 today.
The company has over 300 Apple centres around the world, it employs nearly 50,000 people, it has a bureau of successful managers which all together have helped Apple reach a record $14 billion profit for 2010, and increase of 72% from the previous year.
The 2011 outlook for Apple is even brighter. With a full year of iPad sales, the upcoming release of the iPad 2 and iPhone 5, the much overdue release of the iPhone on the Verison network next month, and the continued success of the Mac platform and iPod line, it's not a strech to predict that 2011 could be another record breaking year.
And while Jobs is the face of the company, is the first one to always introduce new products and services to the public, and is the most well known Apple personality, he is not the company. Job has taken medical leave in the past and Apple continued to innovate, grow and proper, and will continue to do under the leadership of Tim Cook, Apple's Chief Operating Officer, and Jobs' replacement.
So if Apple is bigger than just its CEO, then why did its shares dive by over 7 per cent in Europe? Investors like stability and certainty. A CEO is a symbol of stability. When a CEO has shown a history of success, the foresight to predict the market, and a well executed plan to exceed his, and investor's, goals, then investors fear any type of change at the top.
Many investors have probably decided that Apple will be facing a period of uncertainty and will suffer from bad sentiments. Others are more grounded and understand that these events will not affect Apple in the short or long-term. These two opposite attitudes will reflect the financial markets today. I'm more than certain that the average daily trading volume of $15 million will break before noon.
This article does not recommend investing in the capital market.