With the death of Steve Jobs, Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL) must now devise products without any guidance from the man whose vision built the company into the tech powerhouse it is today.
Though Jobs stepped down as CEO of Apple in August, he stayed on with the company as chairman of the board.
Now Apple will have to rely on a corporate culture modeled on his personality and the acumen of current CEO Tim Cook..
Needless to say, Cook has enormous shoes to fill.
Jobs helped Apple's share price climb to $373 - a 9,020% gain since 1997 when he was named interim CEO. Back in August, Apple's market capitalization grew to $337.17 billion and it briefly displaced Exxon Mobil Corp. (NYSE:XOM) as the most world's largest company, but was unable to hold the lead.
"So far Tim Cook's move to CEO has been flawless, not surprising given Jobs groomed him for five years to take the role," Gene Munster, an analyst at Piper Jaffray & Co. (NYSE: PJC), told The Wall Street Journal.
Still, as capable as Cook may be, Jobs' "magic man" presence is irreplaceable.
"I believe the top is in for Apple and it will become a more "normal' company in the future," saidMoney MorningGlobal Macro Trends Specialist Jack Barnes. "Steve was an edge they cannot replace. While the company is rich and profitable, it has lost its prophet."
Ironically, Wall Street had little reaction to the death of Steve Jobs, with Apple stock essentially trading along with the market. News or rumors of Jobs' illnesses caused the stock to plummet consistently after he revealed he had pancreatic cancer in 2004.