Steve Jobs, the founder of Apple, was asked to come back as Chief Executive in 1997 when the business was making a loss. Job’s was appointed to provide a clearer vision for the business and to improve its profitability. How easy is it for a Chief Executive to change a struggling business into a more successful one? Justify your answer with reference to Apple and/or other organisations you know. (40 marks) Depends upon/ points : How respected the leader is: Steve Jobs acted as an inspiration to many in the digital world, one which grabbed my interest was from competitor Bill Gates who stated “Of all the leaders in the industry that I’ve worked with, he showed more inspiration and he saved the company. “ Jobs is well known for being high on innovation and initially changing the technological world from large desktops to retina display thin and portable devices which we know today at the lowest possible cost, which has initially lead to Apple’s net worth to escalate to $567bn as of 2013. The extent that Apple struggled when Steve was fired: Steve jobs was fired in 1985 for an 11 year period, whilst researching I found that during this period sales rose in apple from $2m- $10m through till 1996, then with the re-hiring of Steve Jobs came a larger escalation from $10m-$65m a figure based until 2006. This is an 650% increase in sales (CHECK), which indicates that Jobs himself through innovation and brand new designs aimed at the variety of audiences through new products such as online music e. g. Tunes open for download in April 23, 2003 leaving jobs to quote “It will go down in history as a turning point for the music industry” those who thought piracy would end the music industry were proved wrong through a 10bn downloads from 2003-2009. Another example of Job’s success can be seen through the portable music player- iPod, released October 23, 2003 that gave the ability to achieve commercial success and innovation where others tried and failed. Job’s insistence on a simplified user interface changed the way everyone now buys and listens to music.
It wasn’t until Apple’s iPod and iTunes Store took off that the recording industry begun embracing the digital distribution of its content as a viable business model. Therefore leading us to say he did not inspire only those within the technological market, but a wide range of stakeholders. However, one cannot fully justify that all this success was from Steve alone, as the success with sales and net worth of the company grew through the rise in demand for such technical goods that had seen a rise in the capability of technology and a fall in market price that initially lead to the goods being available to a mass audiences on a global market. Success from one person alone is debatable: Steve showed great leadership, control and management can lead to efficiency and productivity within the business, but the way all coincide to produce success depends on a variety of factors which may include the culture, resources, necessary demand for the goods, which we know was high due to the strategic marketing techniques used, as well as the low-price aiming at wider segmented audiences.
Also, the actions of competition, for example IMF who showed great threat at the beginning of Apple (extend with history)– More recently we can see that Apple, Samsung dominate the smartphone industry (http://www. zdnet. com/apples-iphone-5-overtakes-samsung-as-best-selling-smartphone-in-q4-2012- 7000011547/,) (extend with this example. ) Experience of Steve jobs: ‘Think different’ – producing new products ever so often to stimulate excitement thus demand whereas in 2012 we saw a huge release of apple goods such as the Ipad mini, retina display of all products etc. which some argue may have damaged the prestige of awaiting the new apple products that allows them to place such high prices on. (Article/quotes)