It’s an interesting question, who owns Apple after the death of Steve Jobs? Apple is a public company; like any other public entity, it’s owned by its shareholders! When Steve Jobs passed away on Oct 5, 2011, most people were probably unaware that he owned 5.5 million shares of Apple stock (worth roughly $3 billion at the time). The “Think Different” leader seemed to have a much more significant stake in the company than most knew. But does his death mean he has lost ownership of his beloved Apple? Or can his shares be transferred to another owner?
Who Are the Current Shareholders of Apple?
After years as one of Silicon Valley’s most closely watched figures, Apple CEO Steve Jobs died at age 56 in October 2011. Job’s death raised questions about how his departure would affect the company and what would happen to his shares if he did not set up a succession plan. Below is a rundown on where things stand with those issues:
- Steve’s widow, Laurene Powell Jobs, has a 5% stake in the company
- Hewlett Packard holds a 14% stake
- Goldman Sachs Group Inc., Marshall Glickman & Co., Vanguard Group Inc., and Westfield Capital Management Corp. also have stakes.
In 2007 activist investor Carl Icahn bid for an 18% share but has since dropped his offer. The death of Steve Jobs might have been great news for other shareholders like Laurene Powell Jobs. She had been locked out of any future decision-making because she was only entitled to 10% of her husband’s estate due to California law.
However, with no knowledge about whether or not Jobs left a succession plan or what happened to his voting rights during his battle with cancer, many investors remain uneasy. That’s why some analysts believe it was possible to bring in an outsider as CEO or board members could use their power to oust current management if they feel it necessary.
The Legacy of Steve Jobs
Steve Jobs is no doubt one of the most famous people in the tech industry. With over two decades as CEO, he was instrumental in turning a dying company into a well-known brand with sleek products and impressive quarterly reports.
After a ten-year hiatus, he returned to rescue Apple again in 1997. Since then, we have seen many significant releases like the iMac, iPod, iPhone, and iPad. These new devices showed that innovation could be possible in an industry dominated by entrenched competitors who seemed less capable of adapting to changing markets and demands.
But when it comes to Steve Jobs’ legacy, what will happen now that he has passed away? During his lifetime, Jobs had not transferred any ownership of Apple’s stock over to his heirs. He also didn’t leave behind a will or life insurance policy that would provide for beneficiaries.
So how does this affect the future of Apple? It depends on whether shareholders vote for a successor at their annual meeting. If they don’t, there could be a power vacuum until someone else steps up to fill those shoes.
The Role Tim Cook Has in Apple After the Death of Steve Jobs
Tim Cook has been with Apple for 20 years and was considered by many to be Steve Jobs’ hand-picked successor. His credentials are hard to beat: graduate degrees in industrial engineering and computer science from Duke University, where he also received a bronze key honor society.
As you can imagine, he is well versed in software development. He spearheaded global operations at Apple regarding all manufacturing, procurement, finance, and supply chain matters. So why not just keep him in charge of the company he was already running?
He served as interim CEO while still COO until his induction as CEO on Aug 24, 2011. Since then, there have been mixed reviews about how he’s handled himself. Some people think that because he didn’t initiate new projects as Jobs did before his passing, he might not be the best person for the job.
Others think that those who question his leadership skills don’t know what they’re talking about and should trust in Mr. Cook’s experience and knowledge of what needs to happen for Apple to continue thriving without Steve Jobs being involved. Only time will tell if Tim Cook will do as good a job as people expect him to, but so far, so good!
The Current Executive Board of Apple Inc.
Apple’s current Executive Board comprises eight people, all joining the company in 1997 or later. Here are some of the executive board members:
- Tim Cook, Chief Executive Officer.
- Bob Mansfield, Senior Vice President Hardware Engineering.
- Eddy Cue, the Senior Vice President; Software Engineering and Internet Services.
- Scott Forstall, Senior Vice president of iOS Software Engineering.
- Jony Ive, Senior Vice President Design.
The question of who now technically owns Apple Inc.’s $400 billion-plus company is complicated by a staggering 8-to-1 voting ratio that favors insiders. The answer depends on who you ask.
Some Interesting Facts about Apple Inc. That You May Not Know
Apple has more than $145 billion in cash. In addition, it generates an annual operating income of between $6 billion and $8 billion. Its total assets are worth about $200 billion. Even if the company made no additional revenue for a year, its cash on hand would cover more than three years of expenditures.
Apple is also sitting on approximately $180 billion of marketable securities such as treasury bills, government bonds, and corporate bonds that can be used for short-term borrowing needs or sold at any time.
With all this cash coming in daily, there is no doubt that the next CEO will have enough money to continue with their visionary work!
Comparing Steve Jobs and Tim Cook’s Tenures
One big difference in the post-Steve Jobs era is that since Tim Cook became CEO, Apple has grown to new heights and become one of the most valuable companies in history. To compare how long each chief executive led their respective company, we’ll focus on overall company worth and revenue generated.
Under Steve Jobs, Apple was worth about $4 billion when he took over, with a yearly income of about $15 million. One year before his death, its net worth was about 4 times higher at about $50 billion, and revenues were close to 10 times higher at over $156 billion annually.
Under Tim Cook, Apple’s worth has grown to around $1 trillion, and annual revenues increased from $156 billion to $229 billion.
Frequently Asked Questions about Who Owns Apple After the Death of Steve Jobs
Will Tim Cook make a Significant Impact as Steve Did?
This is a tricky question, one that only time will answer. What we can all agree on, however, is that Tim Cook will not be able to replace Steve Jobs in the same way Bill Gates was able to replace Paul Allen.
It’s unfair to expect any company CEO – no matter how brilliant – to have as much impact on their company as someone like Steve Jobs.
Nevertheless, Tim Cook’s management strengths and willingness to learn from his predecessor might make him an excellent CEO for Apple. The future shall show if he lives up to those expectations or not.
The Bottom Line
To understand who will have what role in running the company in the future, you need to look at Apple’s current organizational structure. Currently, three executives on Apple’s Executive Team report directly to Tim Cook: Bob Mansfield (Senior Vice President, Technologies), Jony Ive (Senior Vice President of Design), and Eddy Cue (Senior Vice president for Internet Software and Services).
But don’t read too much into these titles just yet. This is an exciting puzzle because there doesn’t seem to be anyone technically waiting in line.
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