Jonathan Ive – Apples design guru who’s iconic vision for the iMac breathed new life into Apple and who’s iPod exploded Apple onto the general consumer goods scene. He’s British which will bring a touch of class to the keynotes, but he hasn’t exactly been given a lot of opportunities to speak at keynotes which implies he’s not really being groomed for the task.
Scott Forstall – The Senior Vice President of iPhone Software has clearly been studying old Job’s keynote addresses. Everything from his timing to his transition sentences says that he’s clearly trying to give presentations as inspiring as Steve. At the announcement of the iPhone SDK the camera panned to show him sharing a private little joke with Steve. Oh, ha ha, Scott, aren’t you the darling?
Phil Schiller – The veep of worldwide product marketing is often called upon to help with product demonstrations for keynotes, but am I the only one who finds him entirely annoying?
Al Gore – Sticking with the trend of vice presidents being in line for the throne, why not an actual Vice President? Al is both on the board of directors and has given Oscar-winning presentations, but is he a visionary worth of the mantle? Have you ever heard of The Internet?
Let’s take the “who” out of the picture for a moment and think about Apple’s future regardless of the CEO. The iPhone was in development for 3 years before it was released (longer if you take iPods as the precursor). It was 5 years before the first version of OS X was released. Apple has a long pipeline of projects in the works. Even if the next CEO is a flop, Apple will have a couple of years to coast.