People around the world are paying respects to Apple Founder Steve Jobs, a man who many would agree changed the face of communication and entertainment. I caught up with Gian Fulgoni, executive chairman of comScore, Inc. , on the loss of this visionary.
LL: Apple has been carving a path in advancing technology. Competitors like the Android are still not at the level like the iPhone. Do you think with Jobs' passing will this give competitors time to play catch up?
GF: I think that Apple has probably been preparing for this unfortunate event for a long time and that they have a robust product pipeline that should ensure the company doesn’t miss a beat. Tim Cook and the rest of the Apple leadership team are likely very capable of leading this company into the future and are undoubtedly well-steeped in the Steve Jobs corporate culture and way of doing business.
LL: Looking back at Tim Cook's presentation of the iPhone 4S, not knowing what he knew then it was pretty amazing.
GF: It was pretty amazing to deliver the keynote knowing that all eyes would be on him in his first event as Apple CEO while also knowing that the life of his friend and mentor was coming to an end. I hope that Steve was able to watch the keynote and take comfort in knowing he was leaving the company in very capable hands.
LL: What are the biggest risks with the passing of Jobs?
GF: A man like Steve Jobs comes along once in a lifetime, so the biggest risk with Jobs’ passing is that the somehow Apple’s corporate vision and culture will weaken. That said, the new management team has worked with Steve for many years and I believe will continue to be guided by the same set of principles that made Apple so successful.
LL: Do you think the management team will be able to create and roll out the next big hit?
GF: Apple has always been better than anyone at seeing clearly years into the future, and their product pipeline for the next several years should be strong. Apple is just hitting its stride on the iPhone and iPad, and sales of those devices alone – especially as they expand globally – should ensure Apple remains very healthy. I think the question on everyone’s mind is what the next big hit will be. Will Apple enter the TV market? Gaming? Video? I don’t think any of us really knows, but we are excited to find out!
LL: Do you think the innovation will continue? Jobs has done a very good job with his succession plan.
GF: Despite the extraordinary cult of personality that surrounded Jobs at Apple, he always understood the importance of the team and a culture of innovation. He left behind a team of brilliant and capable designers, marketers and business operators that are well equipped to carry the torch and fulfill Steve Jobs’ vision for the future of Apple. I also think people will be very impressed with Tim Cook’s leadership as CEO. While nobody can ever hope to fill the shoes of Steve Jobs, Cook brings his own strengths to the position that should allow him to perform to the high standards we have come to expect from Apple.
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A Senior Talent Producer at CNBC, and author of "Thriving in the New Economy:Lessons from Today's Top Business Minds."