Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak lauded Steve Jobs as “the greatest technology business leader of our time,” saying the the company will be just fine as Jobs steps down.
Wozniak spoke out to Bloomberg in response to Jobs’ resignation, praising him for his leadership and successes with a variety of services and products.
“He’s always going to be remembered, at least for the next hundred years, as the greatest technology business leader of our time,” Wozniak said.
As Apple’s co-founder in 1976, Wozniak, along with Jobs and Ron Meyers, creating the Apple I computer. The company eventually helped ignite the personal computer business with its Macintosh computers, and expanded into the mobile space with the iPhone, revolutionizing the mobile market towards app-centered, touch screen devices.
In addition to lauding Jobs’ considerable achievements in innovation, Wozniak also downplays worries that the company will falter without Jobs’ leadership.
“He was surrounded by great, great people at Apple and those people are still there,” Wozniak said. “I don’t think the core Apple culture will change because of Jobs’ leaving, not for a long time. Apple is set up. It just needs to stay financially responsible.”
While Jobs was a strong, detail-oriented leader, Wozniak points out that he was always surrounded by other equally excellent leaders, nearly all of which remain in place.
Apple’s top leadership post will likely pass to chief operating officer Tim Cook, known as an efficient supply-chain manager who whittled down Apple’s production process to its most economical core.
Cook will likely keep Apple a cleanly efficient machine overall, and its skyrocketing profits will likely continue as the company executes a product map that includes the iPhone 5, set to roll out this fall, and iPad 3, speculated to launch next year.
The plans for the near-term future have likely already been laid in place by Jobs and his team, and Jobs himself will be on hand in a chairman capacity to continue to advise the company.
Wozniak also alluded to Apple’s successes beyond computers, particularly with iTunes, the iPod, iPhone and iPad, which expanded the company’s acumen and helped spark an industry-wide shift to software and mobile devices.
The company faces some challenges in diversification — its iAds mobile advertising effort, for example, hasn’t quite taken off. But overall, its digital media platform continues to dominate in music, while other emerging markets like apps continue to grow at an exponential rate.
Apple is likely to continue the momentum it started under Jobs’ stewardship and dedication, and Wozniak believes Jobs has left behind a well-oiled machine and earned time away from the company to deal with ongoing health concerns.
“He really has had to sacrifice a lot to run Apple,” Wozniak said. “I mean, just your time, everybody wants you day and night, that’s what I mean by sacrifices. It takes so much out of anyone to be under just constant pressure and demands like that.
“Steve needs now to just have some ‘Steve time,’ Wozniak added. “He deserves it.”