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Fast Company ranks potential replacements for Jobs

updated 01:30 pm EST, Mon January 24, 2011

Forstall seen as trumping Cook, Ive, Schiller

Financial publication Fast Company has published a new ranking of possible replacements for Apple CEO Steve Jobs. The magazine notes that even if Jobs does return from his current medical leave, the company will eventually have to find a replacement. The top potential candidate is argued to be Apple's senior VP of iPhone software, Scott Forstall. He is "young, possesses the right kind of technical knowledge and dynamism, and has become an increasingly important figure in key Apple product decisions," according to the magazine.

Forstall is ranked above several other people with ties to Apple, including lead designer Jonathan Ive, senior VP of worldwide product marketing Phil Schiller, and a special adviser to Jobs, Tony Fadell. COO Tim Cook is in fact dismissed as a long shot, despite being the interim head of Apple while Jobs is away. "A good temporary replacement, but lacks dynamism and creative vision," FC comments.

Other people considered include Eric Schmidt, former CEO and present executive chairman of Google, and Peter Skillman, Nokia's VP of Meego Ux and services design. Mark Papermaster is cited as a "very unlikely" possibility. Now VP of engineering at Cisco, Papermaster left Apple in 2010 as a result of "cultural" differences and connections to the iPhone 4 antenna controversy.

by MacNN Staff



  1. facebook_Scott

    Via Facebook

    Joined: Jan 2011


    I Like Forstall

    I like Forstall, he would be a good choice, ever since his debut with the iPhone his presentations have become more polished, and I think he does have the right mixture of technical expertise and presence.

    I like Ive too. He seems closest to the Steve Jobs personality followers of Apple. I think he kills it with design and his approach to products, just not sure of what else he has since we don't hear much from him.

    Great post, and I'm sure this is something all Apple fanboy and girls will be discussing.

  1. climacs

    Joined: Dec 1969



    Eric Schmidt, I don't think so.

  1. tortenteufel

    Joined: Dec 1969


    The king is dead

    Long live the king.....

    I think we should wait speculating about replacements for Steve Jobs. He deserves that, at least.

  1. Expunged

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Elon Musk

    He'd be my vote... so long as Tim Cook stuck around to handle the execution side of things.

  1. iKevin

    Joined: Dec 1969


    +1 for Ive

    I think Jonathan Ive is the only one that has anywhere near the cult following of Jobs....although nobody can "replace" Steve Jobs.

    If a replacement is needed I would be more than confident Apple would remain a design leader with Ive at the helm.

  1. starwarrior

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Uninformed Idiots

    Enough said.

  1. testudo

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Um, excuse me.....

    I think one name, and only one name, should be on the succession list:


    Think about it.

  1. Salty

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Ive's an incredible designer but...

    Ive's an incredible designer, but I think often the best designers work best when they don't call the final shot, and when they have to prove why their great ideas are great to someone else. I think Forestall based on his presentations is probably too nice to replace Steve. Ultimately when Steve finally does retire, or keel over behind his desk, I think people are going to need to accept that Apple won't be the exact same after that.

    The funny thing is that Apple will be in a very strong position and they'll probably be seen as a friendlier company once someone else is at the helm. My guess is that they'll end up with someone like the guys in charge of Netflix, who have been far more chummy with content creators than Apple has been. My guess is whoever heads up Apple next will be inclined to get along with other people far better than Steve did. We'll probably see fewer killer game changing products, but you'll probably also see Apple partner with more companies and start entering more markets. Not sure if that'll be good for the company, but I think that's what'll happen.

    Either way so long as the board sticks with Steve's vision we've probably got another good five years or so after he's gone before things get messy.

  1. Gazoobee

    Joined: Dec 1969



    "A good temporary replacement, but lacks dynamism and creative vision,"

    This is just one of those nonsense statements that business types are famous for (and apparently see meaning in when no one else can). Dynamism and "creative vision" are not what you want from a CEO at all. That's the guy you want to be in charge of the design department, not the company.

    Jobs is unique in that he is head designer as well as CEO and does both well. Tim Cook does all the traditional CEO parts of Jobs' job very well and is the best replacement they could ask for. They will need to put someone in charge of design who is as good as Jobs however, which could be Forestall or Ive.

  1. dicklacara

    Joined: Dec 1969


    comment title

    Geraldo Rivera!

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