With the markets just now opening, the world will soon know the immediate effect of Steve Jobs most recent medical leave. While many may find the stock value drop in bad taste, investors realize that Steve Jobs is Apple. Tim Cook may be great for continuing the day to day operations of Apple but only Jobs can ensure the long term strength of the brand. Designers like Jony Ive are only brilliant because they have been pushed by someone else to be so. Jobs has had the big picture in mind for decades and it will be impossible to replace him even with a team of top-notch VP's.
The end of the moderen Apple era is upon us. We cannot expect Jobs to come back to a company with his health in continuing deterioration. Jobs needs and will focus on his health and his family. Jobs is not a quitter. A formal retiring ceremony is a pipe dream. Being forced out of Apple by health is the only way you will see this man end a career of excellence. It is a sad time for Apple but they will continue. It is now up to the next generation of innovators to push Apple forward.