Over the last year a lot of people at Apple -- and a lot of analysts -- have said that Apple will be fine after Steve Jobs leaves the company. But if this Wall Street Journal article about Apple is correct, and Mr. Jobs freaked everyone on the "tablet" project out when he came back, then don't you think Apple will be hurt when he's gone?
When I owned my company, I felt very good when I got the company to a point where I felt like the company wouldn't be hurt much when I left. I intentionally let other people make decisions so they would be used to doing that when I left. But this excerpt from the WSJ article would concern me if I held Apple stock, and Mr. Jobs left the company:
"Mr. Jobs's focus on the tablet has been jarring for some Apple employees, who had grown accustomed to a level of freedom over strategy and products while the CEO was on leave, said a person familiar with the matter. 'People have had to readjust' to Mr. Jobs being back, this person said."
If this quote is accurate, it tells me that there will be some problems at Apple when Mr. Jobs leaves, specifically that he disagreed with decisions that were being made about strategies and products while he was away for six months. Mr. Jobs is given a lot of credit for the resurrection of Apple since 1997, so if you agree with that premise, and follow that up with him disagreeing about the way things were handled in his absence, well, I'd be a little concerned about that if I owned Apple stock.
Perhaps the bright spot for Apple is that they had this six month "trial run" (sorry for lack of a better phrase there) during Mr. Jobs absence, and they can now take time to correct what he thinks their mistakes were before he leaves the company for good.
To be clear, I have owned Apple stock in the past but I do not own any at this time. (I also work almost exclusively on Mac computers these days, and own an iPhone, so I think I know their products fairly well.)