Steve Jobs letter to employees (courtesy Marketwatch):
I am sure all of you saw my letter last week sharing something very personal with the Apple community. Unfortunately, the curiosity over my personal health continues to be a distraction not only for me and my family, but everyone else at Apple as well. In addition, during the past week I have learned that my health-related issues are more complex than I originally thought.
In order to take myself out of the limelight and focus on my health, and to allow everyone at Apple to focus on delivering extraordinary products, I have decided to take a medical leave of absence until the end of June.
I have asked Tim Cook to be responsible for Apple's day to day operations, and I know he and the rest of the executive management team will do a great job. As CEO, I plan to remain involved in major strategic decisions while I am out. Our board of directors fully supports this plan.
I look forward to seeing all of you this summer.
Executives are severely overrated. This is especially true if you factor in their compensation. I personally don't put much weight into executives when evaluating investments. I just try to make sure there is nothing shady going on. In contrast, Warren Buffett places heavy emphasis on executives (then again, he had high expections of Jeffrey Immelt and Jack Welch of G.E. and I suspect very few think highly of those two right now; Buffett also likely had high opinion of executives of Moody's, who are partly at fault for the financial crisis.)
However, there are a few exceptions. Steve Jobs of Apple is one such person. Apple seemed like it was heading into irrelevance, before Steve Jobs took over about a decade ago after being pushed out from the company he co-founded. He, along with the rest of the employees, not only turned around a sinking ship, but also made it one of the largest technology companies in the world--a title Apple once had. He shifted the company from a computer company to a consumer company. Steve Jobs' primary strength was to focus on marketing, particularly limiting leaks and capitalizing on the buzz factor surrounding new products, and to match or surpass the usability of past leaders such as Sony.
I do wish him a good recovery and all the best. Although he says he will return in the summer, it is possible that we may never see him lead the company ever again.
With Steve Jobs likely withdrawing from the scene, and Bill Gates out of Microsoft, America has seen two of the pioneers that built the personal computer industry ride off into the sunset. Some called them the pirates of Silicon Valley...
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- Sivaram Velauthapillai
Steve Jobs letter to employees (courtesy Marketwatch):