NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Apple ( AAPL) is a conduit for a lot of things. Technological innovation. Media attention above most, if not all, other companies. Criticism at the executive level has just started and now one of tech's biggest names is weighing in. Oracle ( ORCL) CEO Larry Ellison has entered the Apple debate, giving his thoughts on the post-Steve Jobs era, which my colleague Rocco Pendola has laid out nicely. I, however, disagree with both Mr. Ellison and Mr. Pendola. Ellison saying that "
W e conducted the experiment," when it comes to what Apple will look like, infers that the company will look very similar to when Gil Amelio and John Scully ran it, prior to Jobs' return in 1997. Assuming this is what he means, Ellison couldn't be more wrong. CEO Tim Cook is the right man for the top spot at Apple for a multitude of reasons. We all know he's not the product visionary Jobs was. That was never going to be the case. Cook was brought in by Jobs and Apple's board for his operational expertise and ability to cut costs for Apple's supply chain. The real brains behind Apple's product innovation is Jonny Ive, and as far as I know, Sir Jony isn't going anywhere for a long time. Cook gets more than his fair share of vitriol from the media for not having released new products since September 2012 (though I guess the Mac Pro doesn't count), and for not having the pizazz Jobs did. What Ellison and others seem to forget is that while Jobs was taking leave of absences for being sick, Cook running the company. It's amazing to think that Cook's mindset and way of changing Apple has drastically changed from when he was interim CEO. The team of Cook, Ive, Eddy Cue, Phil Schiller and to a lesser extent Bob Mansfield, have shown that Apple can function, quite well post-Jobs.
Apple's product pipeline is planned years in advance, not months or weeks. Jobs knew full well that Apple would be releasing a slew of new products in the fall of 2012 (iPhone 5, iPad mini, new iPad, MacBook Pro, etc.) and then be barren for the majority of 2013. To suggest that he didn't is wrong. Apple will still continue to innovate under this team because the majority of the team is still there, albeit without Jobs. It was Jobs himself who set up the company structure so that Ive would have the autonomy he needs to work on hardware without anyone telling him what to do. Cook has only strengthened that, making Ive more important last year when Scott Forstall (a Jobs disciple, mind you) was ousted from the company. Now, Ive is even more important, as he's responsible for software at Apple as well, having completely redesigned iOS 7. What many fail to realize is that when Jobs was in control of Apple the first time, he was a CEO with a weak executive team behind him. Jobs' greatest legacy at Apple may not have been the iPhone, iPad or any other product, but rather the team he built. Cook, Ive, Mansfield, Cue, and Schiller are all the very best at what they do in their respective fields, and that's exactly how Jobs set it up. While I respect Mr. Ellison for his opinion, he's undoubtedly wrong for saying we know what Apple looks like post-Jobs. -- Written by Chris Ciaccia in New York >Contact by Email. Follow @Chris_Ciaccia