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Jobs’ Resignation Halts Trading Of Apple Shares

The market for Apple shares was suspended yesterday after the abrupt resignation of iconic CEO, Steve Jobs

On by David Jamieson 0

Trading in Apple shares was halted for a period during after hours trading yesterday to allow the news of Steve Jobs’ resignation to sink in.

The announcement of Jobs’ resignation was made after closing time in the US, the only country where shares are sold.

When trading resumed, the shares immediately shed 7 percent, wiping out the 0.7 percent gained before the sound of the closing bell.

As the announcement reverberated around the world, shares of FoxConn Technology, which builds the iPhone and iPad in China, dropped 2.3 percent while some Apple competitors made gains.

Shares in Samsung, which makes competitor tablets and phones, were up 3 percent and Taiwanese smartphone manufacturer HTC was also up 2.6 percent.

Jobs, the face of Apple and the man credited with saving it from near-extinction, has been battling pancreatic cancer for some years and has stepped down as CEO to assume the role of chairman.

His successor is Apple COO Tim Cook, who has been with Apple for 13 years and has stepped up as temporary cover for Jobs before.

Over reaction

Apple has 45,000 employees but whenever the prospect of Jobs’ departure arises shares in the consumer technology giant wobble.

But Craig Cartier, analyst for ICT practice at Frost & Sullivan, has cautioned against an over-reaction, saying Apple has been through this before.

“Despite Jobs’ recurring health issues over the recent past, Apple has continued to grow, develop innovative devices, and enjoy a loyal consumer following,” he said. “Tim Cook has proven himself a capable leader and today’s announcement will have minimal effect on Apple’s progress.”

Art Levinson, Chairman of Genentech, praised Cook’s “remarkable” talent and judgment on behalf of Apple’s Board in an announcement yesterday.

“The Board has complete confidence that Tim is the right person to be our next CEO,” he said. “Tim’s 13 years of service to Apple have been marked by outstanding performance.”

Strong product roadmap

Apple has a strong product roadmap for the short- to mid-term with the iPad dominating and defining the tablet market and the iPhone 4 still selling strongly even with a fifth iteration imminent.

Android may be the world’s most popular mobile OS but no single Android device – tablet or smartphone – commands even a fraction of the consumer loyalty Apple enjoys.

It has also been reported that, as chairman, Jobs will continue to play a part in product development and company strategy, which should dampen concerns over the firm’s future creativity when the dust settles on Jobs’ decision.

Apple briefly overtook Exxon Mobile to become the biggest company in the US last month and its share price has more than quadrupled in four years. It is also widely reported to be the most valuable brand in the world.

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