Apple will have a new CEO within 5 years. You may thank Apple CEO Tim Cook and former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer.
Microsoft shares flat-lined from 2001 to 2013 during a series of flubs including being late to the Internet, late to mobile, late to the cloud, late to AI, slow to capitalize on the Surface technology it had pioneered in the early 2000s and refusing to partner with others. Former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer and co-founder Bill Gates had a semi-public boardroom breakup, but not before Ballmer rushed through the ill-fated Nokia acquisition. This 12-year period where MSFT shares were as flat as the Bonneville Salt Flats served as a very public teachable moment (or decade). No CEO in the Bay Area wants to have their own Microsoft moment. Apple is at risk of suffering a similar fate under caretaker CEO Tim Cook. Mr. Cook operates at a pace that puts AAPL at a disadvantage, not to mention some of the strategic blunders (we address below) which may not be reversible. While 5G may boost iPhone sales, we are well beyond the point where the iPhone may save the day over the long-term. We provide our 3 key strategic recommendations for kickstarting Apple’s long-term growth.