In early reactions to Steve Jobs’ sudden CEO departure to assume the chairman role of the company’s board of directors, Steve Wozniak, the man who co-founded Apple 35 years ago in Jobs parents’ garage, initially told Bloomberg that Jobs once told him that it was his “life’s plan to bring technology to the world”. BYTE.com editor Gina Smith, who co-authored “iWoz: How I Invented the Personal Computer and Had Fun Along the Way”, briefly interviewed Wozniak yesterday who said that “Steve needs now to just have some ‘Steve time’. He deserves it”. The Woz doesn’t think much will change in Apple’s DNA following the leadership change. He said:
You’ve got to remember. He was surrounded by great, great people at Apple … and those people are still there. 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.
Wozniak told The Next Web that he wasn’t close enough to the Silicon Valley luminary to “tell you what his reasons were for resigning”, adding this on Apple’s culture of secrecy:
A lot of people have been hurt by it when they’ve been affected, but I’m totally behind it. I like to have new products developed without being influenced by outsiders. It’s been one of the greatest things for Apple’s success.
Jobs, of course, is a legendary visionary and the world’s ultimate product developer whose on-hands approach to the creation of Apple’s gadgets helped a great deal turn the ailing company on the brink of bankruptcy in the early 1990s into the world’s second most-valued corporation.
“Do you know how many committees we have at Apple?”, Jobs asked rhetorically Walt Mossberg during the D8 conference, before quipping, “Zero. We have no committees at Apple”. The line came in response to Mossberg’s question whether Apple taps market research in developing hit products.
Wozniak also said this about the post-PC, post-Jobs Apple:
He’s probably going to be remembered for the next 100 years as the best business leader of our time. He will watch the company for a while, hope its on such a good track. For a company as large as Apple, corporate culture doesn’t change overnight. The quality of the people doesn’t change