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Last updated at 09:28 BST, Tuesday, 30 August 2011

What's a Jobs worth?

Summary

29 August 2011

Steve Jobs has resigned as CEO of Apple but does this mean bad news for the company?

Actor and broadcaster Stephen Fry, a long-time fan of Apple's products, has been giving his thoughts.

Reporter:
Mark Gregory

Steve Jobs

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Steve Jobs leaving the top at Apple, a company he set up with a friend in his parent's garage 35 years ago is being seen as a turning point moment.

The world's largest technology company is losing its visionary founder. But investors don't seem worried for the short term. There was little element of surprise. Mr Jobs had a liver transplant two years ago and has been on medical leave for undisclosed reasons since early this year.

The company's succession plan has rolled into place with Tim Cook, chief operating officer, widely seen as a safe pair of hands, set to take over.

The secret of Steve Jobs success, according to the writer, comedian and tech guru Stephen Fry, has been his ability to produce gadgets that are likeable as well as functional.

Stephen Fry
"He understood that the object you hold in your hand, that connects you to people, isn't just the sum of its functions. It's something that should make you smile, that you should cradle, that you should have an emotional relationship with. And if people think that's pretentious then, um, the success of Apple is in a sense how wrong they are."

Mr Jobs has ridden several waves of technology change, with Apple pioneering the personal computer and then years later mobile platforms like the iPhone and iPad. Investors are betting that he's embedded his skills to the point where now the company can do without him.

Mark Gregory, BBC News

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Vocabulary

visionary

an original thinker with intelligence and imagination

undisclosed

not made public

succession plan

strategy for dealing with the change of leadership of the company

a safe pair of hands

someone who is reliable and believed to be good for the job

tech guru

a person whose knowledge and opinion on technology is respected

gadgets

small devices that do useful things, often electronic

cradle

hold gently in your hands, almost as if keeping a baby safe

pretentious

trying to appear to be important or special in order to impress other people

pioneering

leading the development of

embedded his skills

made his way of working and thinking part of the culture of the company

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