Apple Chairman Art Levinson: Running Apple without Jobs Is Weird

Over the last 16 months Apple has had quite a busy time, becoming even more popular than at the time Steve Jobs was running the place. But even if everything seems to be moving towards the future, running Apple without Steve Jobs feels weird says Apple Chairman Art Levinson, close friend and colleague of the brilliant iDevice innovator.

The day the world lost Steve Jobs felt like the last day on Earth for many Apple fans and most certainly employees. Even now Jobs’ replacement, Tim Cook isn’t enjoying quite the same appreciation and certain flaws and decisions haven’t exactly made him more popular as Apple CEO. It is obvious Apple isn’t quite the same without Steve Jobs. Even Art Levinson, Apple Chairman, confirmed things are weird without Jobs.

“I’m still not to the point where I talk into that boardroom and don’t miss Steve” Levinson told his audience at Stanford’s Graduate School of Busines earlier this week. “He was one of a kind guy…The Steve Jobs that was in the public eye was not, for the most part, the Steve Jobs that I knew” he added.

On Tuesday, Apple Chairman Art Levinson talked about the company’s recent earnings and attempted to explain to students at Stanford’s Graduate School of Business where the board steps in when it comes to product creation. The Chairman told students the Apple board is presented with new products anywhere from six to 18 months before these make it to the market. Board members can make suggestions, but that isn’t the priority of its members.

“The board is not there to define product specs” Levinson told his audience. “It’s there as a sounding board. It’s there as a resource. And ultimately, the board is there to hire and fire the CEO” he concluded.

Levinson is the second Apple exec to talk about the way the company works over the past week. It might well be part of a strategy Tim Cook seems to be working on lately, that is unraveling a bit more of the secrecy around Apple. However, from what former employees are telling of Apple’s discipline and culture of secrecy we might never actually get to know for sure what’s going on behind its see-through wide glass walls.

“There was a project we were working on where we put in special locks on one of the floors and put up a couple of extra doors to hide away a team that was working on stuff” a former Apple senior executive said. “You had to sign extra-special agreements acknowledging that you were working on a super-secret project and you wouldn’t talk about it to anyone – not your wife, not your kids” the ex-employee added in a 2012 interview.

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