TechnoFile: World Loses Jobs

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I made my first stock purchase ever yesterday. With the money I stashed away from being a child model and some my parents saved for me since birth I was able to call a broker and become a financial grown up. I bought Apple (their products are so shiny and pretty!) Suffice to say I “took a hit” as the parlance goes after Steve Jobs announced he’d be taking a leave of absence from the company, oh, about two hours after I bought their stock.

The 53-year-old Jobs had a case of pancreatic cancer back in 2004, but insists this isn’t a recurrence but rather a hormonal deficiency that makes it impossible for him to absorb necessary nutrients from food. Analysts and reporters started to seriously speculate about Jobs’ future with the company when he failed to show up and deliver the keynote address at the Mac World conference. (You know, that thing they show on the news in which Jobs wears a black turtleneck and stands in front of a screen showing you the new shiny thing you’re going to have to buy that year.)

Jobs says he plans to return to Apple at the end of June and will “remain involved in major strategic decisions while [he is] out.” What does this mean in the short term? And what if he never comes back?

Jobs is handing the reigns over to Apple COO, Tim Cook, a man in charge of the company’s day-to-day operations. The NYT reminds us that Jobs is “an obsessive visionary” who involves himself in every detail of the company, but they question if that’s always a good thing:

Steve Jobs can be replaced, even if he can’t be duplicated. There are lots of ways to run successful and innovative companies. And Apple couldn’t be in better shape, financially or in its public image, to withstand a change.

Fortune Mag even called Cook the “the genius behind Steve Jobs.” It has yet to be seen if he can perform up to the high standards Jobs has set, but in the mean time Wall Street is freaking out and my sad portfolio is getting sadder.

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