While the news has knocked the company’s stock down 3%, it could be worse.
There’s never been a CEO as interwoven with a brand as Steve Jobs is with Apple.
But, Apple is more than just Steve Jobs. It’s filled with talented executives that keep the company moving one step ahead of its rivals.
So who are the executives that keep Apple in good shape? Read on to find out …
Tim Cook keeps the trains running on time at Apple. He's not a visionary like Steve Jobs, instead he's the guy in charge of executing the plans. When it's time for the next iPhone to be rolled out, Tim will make sure its in stores on time with as few errors as possible. Tim also deals with wireless carriers.
Scott Forstall is the SVP of iOS software, Apple's most important product. This year Google and HP are gunning for iOS, putting their mobile software on tablets.
At this point, the mobile wars are almost entirely about software. If Apple is going to maintain its innovation lead, it needs Forstall to do great work.
Phil Schiller is the product marketing boss, so he's doing a lot. From hammering out contracts with Google to protecting the App Store, Phil is a key executive at Apple.
After Tim Cook, Schiller is probably the next most visible executive at Apple. Last time Jobs was out, Schiller revealed the iPhone 3GS. If Jobs is out for a while, expect Schiller to reveal the iPad 2, and the iPhone 5.
Eddy Cue is in charge of Apple's internet services ... so he's the one trying to put iTunes in the cloud
Eddy Cue ran iTunes for years before being promoted to lead Apple's Internet division. Eddy is in charge of iTunes, the App Store and MobileMe. He's leading Apple's charge into cloud computing.
Hopefully, Cue gets some sort of streaming iTunes deal sewn up in time for the launch of the next iPhone.
Jony Ive is the lead designer for Apple. When Apple revamps the iPad and the iPhone this year, much of the look of the product will come from Ive's mind.
Bob Mansfield is in charge of hardware engineering. That means it's on him to make sure there's no 'antennagate' ever again.
Previously he was in charge of engineering for just Apple's Macintosh division. He was given the extra responsibility of running the iPhone hardware when Apple fired Mark Papermaster last year.
Brian Croll is a VP of software marketing. Last year when we wrote about Apple's execs we heard that if Apple were to build its own Maps or search engine, it would come out of his shop.
It's unlikely Apple builds its own search engine, but we think it's only a matter of time before Apple has its own Maps product to differentiate itself from Google. While Jobs is out, Croll should make an amazing maps product to 1. impress his boss and 2. show the world that Apple is more than Steve Jobs.
Image: 9 to 5 Mac
Michael Fenger comes to Apple from Motorola, and he reports to Tim Cook. He'll be negotiating international deals for Apple's iPhone. This is key for Apple.
If Apple is ever going to beat Android it needs to be on as many carriers as possible.
Michael Tchao is VP marketing for the iPad. He joins the company from Nike, and was once in charge of the Apple Newton.
The iPad is obviously a huge product for Apple in 2011. As we said, HP and Google's Android partners are coming after the iPad this year. Tchao has to keep Apple one step ahead of them.
Andy Miller is the VP of Mobile Advertising, which means he's running iAds, one of Apple's newest products. Without Steve Jobs' star power, it's going to a lot harder to get advertisers on board with Apple's expensive ads. It's up to Miller to sell the ads, and make them work.
Peter Oppenheimer is Apple's CFO ... for now. He's done a fine job as far as we can tell, but Bloomberg recently reported Apple is in the market for a new CFO, or at least it reached out to a Blackstone executive about the job.
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