Investing

Apple's Steve Jobs: The MOST Entrenched Corporate Leader

Apple (AAPL-NASDAQ), or Steve Jobs & Co. for the purposes of this story, is showing what a great company can do under great leadership.  The company is hosting an analyst meeting and the stock is up on a day where almost everything is trading lower.

After having run many features on “entrenched CEO’s” and even on “CEO’s that need to go,” it is obvious that Steve Jobs is probably the most entrenched CEO in corporate America right now.  Apple and Apple shareholders are most certainly better off with Steve Jobs than without, and the only people that would really like to see him leave are top Microsoft (MSFT) executives and Wong Hoo Sim of Creative Technology Ltd. (CREAF).  Could you imagine hearing someone try to claim he isn’t that great of a creator or that great of a CEO?  They would be laughed out of the room.

Barron’s recently tagged him as the TOP CEO of the 30 Best CEO feature they ran a few weeks ago.  We have noted in the past about how options issues inside Apple may have been an issue, but this has dribbled on long enough now that if there was some smoke then the fire would have already erupted.  Even with the ex-CFO doing a finger-pointing attempt it is quite evident that almost nothing serious is going to come out of any options inquiry.  To us the real risk was the options inside Pixar before Disney bought them because it was almost Steve Jobs Animation, Inc.; but right now it really seems like he could go prove how backdating there helped keep the talent needed to drive the company and that EVERYONE made money investing in the name (and short sellers can’t sue because you drove the stock up).

He has been the creative force behind iPod, iTunes, further Mac expansions, operating systems, Apple TV, and the soon to be iPhone.  On a corporate level he has survived what was a wholesale rip-off of an operating system long ago.  He was ousted and then brought back in.  If you go back to the lows within the last 5-years, the rise in iPods and Macs that were both driven by Jobs & Co. have helped run this stock up more than 14-fold and now this beast has a market cap of over $90 Billion. 

He survived a rare form of pancreatic cancer, which he even sent a memo to employees about from his hospital bed.  Wall Street loves Steve Jobs just as much as Main Street, and from where it sits right now it would take something more than drastic to unseat Steve Jobs.  We even ran a piece long before Barron’s (back in December) that Steve Jobs was worth $30 per share of Apple.

Why did we not run this one sooner?  You gotta save the best guy for last!

Jon C. Ogg
May 10, 2007

Jon Ogg can be reached at jonogg@247wallst.com; he does not own securities in the companies he covers.