Jobs Nearly Perfect in Execution at Top

By Clint Boulton  |  Posted 2011-09-06 Print this article Print

This sort of personal failing in business would never be brooked by Schmidt's friend Jobs, who left under marketedly different terms.

Jobs, whose battle with pancreatic cancer led to a liver transplant, stepped down Aug. 24, proclaiming that he was unable to perform the duties of CEO. Jobs remains at Apple in an advisory role, though industry reports claim he has scarcely been seen on campus in Cupertino, Calif.

What Jobs left Apple with is beyond reproach -- $76 billion in the bank, over 100 million iPhones sold, 30 million iPads sold, and the specter of an Apple Television set titilating pundits.

Jobs' biggest mistake since his return to Apple in 1997 had to do with his knowledge of backdated stock options nearly 5 years ago, not management or market missteps.

In any event, these two key CEO departures leave us with a couple of key questions for 2011 and beyond.

With his iconic status, is Jobs that much better of a CEO than Schmidt, who arguably guided Google through some remarkable launches? Can we expect continued excellence at both Google and Apple for the near future?

Michael Gartenberg, who covers the wireless sector as an analyst for Gartner, deftly maneuvered around the questions.

"As Apple and Google are very different companies, so are Mr. Schmidt and Mr. Jobs and the relationship they had with their respective enterprises," Gartenberg told eWEEK. "I see no reason why we won't see business as usual with both."

Enderle Group analyst Rob Enderle, who consults for chief Google rival Microsoft, has never been shy about professing his dislike for Schmidt as Google's chief:

"Schmidt was a baby sitter CEO and really not all that good. Reminded me too much of Netscape's [Jim Barksdale in that he was a bad skills match for a firm whose core business was marketing, not packaged products to the enterprise market (Schmidt's expertise)."


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