Just three weeks ago, speculations about the future of Apple spread the web because Steve Jobs—CEO and backbone of the company—took an indefinite medical leave of absence. The aftermath of this announcement was brutal, with Apple stock plunging from $355 to $348 and by the time the final bell rang on the trading floor it was down 2 percent. It’s hardly cause for alarm, and could be affected by other factors such as rumors of unsuccessful iPhone 4 Verizon sales, but in an innovative company such as Apple that has been churning out technological game-changers one after the other, anything that conveys “loss” for its shareholders is worrisome.
Thus began the campaign to push Apple to disclose its CEO’s reasons for medical leave, a move that so dangerously bordered on the invasion of privacy for the big man behind the company. From a shareholder’s point of view however, it’s just good business. They’re just trying to protect their investment.
For weeks, Apple has been dodging questions about who will make the iPad 2 announcement. There have also been rumors that Jony Ive, the guy who designed many of Apple’s iconic products, was seeking to sell his shares and move back to Great Britain. Questions about who will lead Apple abound.
Today however, Steve Jobs shocked the world twice—by unveiling the thinner albeit more powerful iPad and by making the announcement himself, saying “we’ve been working on this project for a while and I just didn’t want to miss it.”
Instantly, Apple stock began to climb and saw a 3-point increase from a previous day’s close. As the iPad 2 continues to peak everyone’s interests, a steady build of shareholder confidence is sure to happen—probably as long as Steve Jobs remains visible.