Apple needs to delegate Steve Jobs’s power more formally to someone else. Mr. Jobs, Apple’s chief executive, is handing day-to-day control to the company’s chief operating officer, Tim Cook, because of health issues. Yet he retains his chief executive title. This is the third such move, and this time the handover is indefinite. However painful, a more formal transfer to an acting chief executive would have been better.
Both Apple and its shareholders can take comfort in the fact that the last two transfers, also to Mr. Cook, took place smoothly. Apple’s operations showed no signs whatsoever of impairment under caretaker management.
Mr. Cook has worked at Apple for more than a decade and has been chief operating officer for several years. He’s clearly a safe pair of hands and more — in total, he was paid $59 million last year. Moreover, Mr. Jobs has promised to retain control over big strategic choices.