Perhaps there hasn't been a CEO the public has been this excited and intrigued by since Henry Ford. His astounding successes - and his public failures - have given him respect and credibility that would be hard to surpass.
How much of Apple's immense brand equity resides with Steve Jobs? What risks does the brand face now that Jobs has left on another medical leave? When a business has a major brand that is intertwined with a single person its fortunes can rise and fall with that person. So what can Apple do?
Institutionalise Steve Jobs' Legacy
Look at Coco Chanel. She has been dead for decades, but the brand she embodied has become an international icon and her spirit infuses Chanel. Calvin Klein is currently trying to make this transformation within his own company while his still alive.
Find a successor
Apple has instated Steve Cooks as new CEO, and while he will be filling massive shoes, it's possible to find a strong and charismatic CEO who can carry Jobs' spirit and leadership style into a new era for Apple.
Build on Steve Jobs' personal legacy by building additional attributes into Apple. Bring into the picture the immense wealth of talent and innovative thinking within Apple's team. Celebrate the new Apple University.
Jobs' departure is a major loss for Apple. However he's leaving the company while Apple is at a peak. It has untold billions in cash, great products in the pipeline for the next few years, thousands of designers and engineers who learned from the best, dominating leadership in the most important consumer technology area, and a growing reach into enterprise.