Steve Jobs resigns from Apple as CEO
We all knew this was going to happen, we just weren’t really sure when. Apple’s Steve Jobs just announced his resignation as CEO late Wednesday afternoon just as every executive in the nation was about to pack up and leave for the day. Jobs has been the force behind the brand for quite some time now and had left the company temporarily due to medical reasons in January before making a public appearance in March to help launch the iPad 2.
In the meantime, Tim Cook, former COO of Apple took over the reins during Jobs’ medical leave and it’s been widely assumed that Cook may take over the position. Today, Apple announced that Jobs would stay on as Chairman of the Board, effective immediately. And even more immediately? Apple’s stocks dropped 7 percent after the announcement in after-hours trading.
“I have always said if there ever came a day when I could no longer meet my duties and expectations as Apple’s CEO, I would be the first to let you know,” he wrote. “Unfortunately, that day has come.” He continues: “As far as my successor goes, I strongly recommend that we execute our succession plan and name Tim Cook as CEO of Apple.”
Jobs’ resignation came as a surprise to nearly everyone in the country and it’ll be interesting to see what happens on the stock market early Thursday morning as investors start pulling away from their shares. Jobs has yet to comment on his current health situation so we’re all holding tight to see if there’s any correlation between the two.
How innovation is transforming government
According to Washington Technology’s Top 100 list, Leidos is the largest IT provider to the government. But as Lieutenant General William J. Bender explains, “that barely scratches the surface” of the company’s portfolio and drive for innovation.
Bender, who spent three and a half decades in the military, including a stint as the U.S. Air Force’s Chief Information Officer (CIO), has seen action in the field and in technology during that time, and it runs in the family. Bender’s son is an F-16 instructor pilot. So it stands to reason Bender Senior intends to ensure a thriving technological base for the U.S. Air Force. “What we’re really doing here is transforming the federal government from the industrial age into the information age and doing it hand-in-hand with industry,” he says.
The significant changes that have taken place in the wider technology world are precisely the capabilities Leidos is trying to pilot the U.S. Air Force through. It boils down to developing cyberspace as a new domain of battle, globally connected and constantly challenged by the threat of cybersecurity attacks.
“We recognize the importance of the U.S. Air Force’s missions,” says Bender, “and making sure they achieve those missions. We sit side-by-side with the air combat command, intelligence surveillance, and reconnaissance infrastructure across the Air Force. There are multiple large programs where the Air Force is partnering with Leidos to ensure their mission is successfully accomplished 24/7/365. In this company, we’re all in on making sure there’s no drop in capability.”
That partnership relies on a shared understanding of delivering successful national security outcomes, really understanding the mission at hand, and Leidos’ long-standing relationship of over 50 years with the federal government.
To look at where technology is going, Bender thinks it is important to look back at the last 10 to 15 years. “What we’ve seen is a complete shift in how technology gets developed,” he says. “It used to be that the government invested aggressively in research and development, and some of those technologies, once they were launched in a military context, would find their way into the commercial space. That has shifted almost a hundred percent now, where the bulk of the research and development dollars and the development of tech-explicit technologies takes place in the commercial sector.”
“There’s a long-standing desire to adopt commercial technology into defense applications, but it’s had a hard time crossing the ‘valley of death’ [government slang for commercial technologies and partnerships that fail to effectively transition into government missions]. Increasingly we’re able to do that. We need to look at open architectures and open systems for a true plug-and-play capability. Instead of buying it now and trying to guess what it’s going to be used for 12 years from now, it should be evolving iteratively.”