Leadership changes are challenging. They can be even tougher when an iconic company founder is replaced.
Nike and Starbucks both stumbled after Phil Knight and Howard Schultz stepped down from leading their respective companies. Steve Jobs was ousted from Apple in 1985 and the company entered a near death spiral in the early 1990s. But Jobs returned in 1996 to lead the company to unprecedented heights. In Apple’s latest transition, the train keeps on rolling under CEO Tim Cook, who replaced Jobs in 2011. “The brand promise with Apple is so strong and they continue to deliver on that,” says Kevin Lane Keller, a branding expert and professor at Dartmouth’s Tuck School of Business.
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