But we need a sign. We need to feel Jobs' vision lives on, that it is embodied in the key executives, and that it's strong. The problem is, neither Jony Ive nor Phil Schiller, the two most likely to show a modicum of charisma, have yet to connect with the public. Apple needs a charismatic leader.
Will someone rise to meet that need? Who is the most likely candidate, and how will he or she learn to be that charismatic leader? It can certainly be done, and perhaps all it will take is some hard work and training.
It sounds simplistic, but think back when Jobs was young. He was awkward, with few social graces, and no one ever labeled him as charismatic. But he learned, he studied, he practiced. Perhaps it took the humility of leaving Apple and starting NeXT from the ground up to mature; perhaps he just did it because he recognized it was the simplest path to selling his vision.
I think Ive can do it. He's already mastered simplicity, the balance of form and function, and aesthetics. He's tempered and well-liked. Ive just needs a good dose of charisma.
Who do you think can lift Apple?
-- Written by Ernie Varitimos, author of the Apple Investor blog.
This article was written by an independent contributor, separate from TheStreet's regular news coverage.