Home opinion-and-analysis Open Sauce Steve Jobs: a reality check

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If one were to go by the reaction to the news that Steve Jobs would no longer be the chief executive of Apple Computer, the man is Mother Teresa, the Dalai Lama and Henry Ford all rolled into one.

Hard-core journalists appear to have put all their scepticism aside and wallowed in trying to outdo each other in superlatives.

The emotional tributes give Jobs the credit for anything and everything that Apple has ever done, especially its achievements in the noughties.

The reality is a bit different. And if one strikes a sour note, there are no apologies – this is not a reality TV show where selective reality is played out. No, this is life and the warts and sores are as real as the plastic and the botox.

First, one needs to get rid of the idea that Jobs is really going to be a silent part of Apple from now on. The man will continue as executive chairman of the board and impose his ideas on the new CEO, Tim Cook.

The one fear that Apple's directors had was that shareholders would react sooner or later to the fact that a succession plan was not in place – the overwhelming fear has been that once Jobs goes, the company would flounder. There has never been any clarity about what Jobs is suffering from – one only hears from time to time that he has had this or that replaced.

Hence, the board has put a succession plan into operation; the market speculators who make share prices fluctuate can have no complaint now. Jobs has gone out on his own terms and will continue to run the company by proxy. One nice, happy ending.

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Sam Varghese

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A professional journalist with decades of experience, Sam for nine years used DOS and then Windows, which led him to start experimenting with GNU/Linux in 1998. Since then he has written widely about the use of both free and open source software, and the people behind the code. His personal blog is titled Irregular Expression.

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