Apple vs Google: Tale of the tape

To run companies of this size you need good management, but the two sides have very clear differences in style.

Apple has the monolithic figure of Steve Jobs heading the show, and it really is a show when it comes to him. He may have had to take some time out due to illness, but he was back on form for Apple's latest announcements. Whilst the products themselves are all singing and dancing and the lights and videos flash before your eyes, the focus is always very much around the black turtle necked figurehead.

Yet questions around his health and possibilities of him taking more of a back seat at the company have led to fluctuations in stock prices as more and more he isn't just the chief executive but the personification of all the company is.

Google doesn't have quite the same flagship style with its management. Instead the two co-founders, Larry Page and Sergey Brin, work together with a third, the chief executive Eric Schmidt. Obviously the founders were the tech boys who developed the site from scratch but as it became a solid business from a research project they need the corporate expertise of Schmidt who had worked for the likes of Sun Microsystems and Novell.

There may be more excitement in the way Jobs handles his troops but there is also a lot more uncertainty - if he retires or faces new health challenges, Apple investors will get nervous. Google's strong structure and three way leadership definitely makes it the strongest in this area for the long term.


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