The Macalope Daily: Brain drain

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Apple’s stock is down on Wall Street’s concern that… well, no one’s really sure. One pundit frets that with the departure of Bertrand Serlet and Ron Johnson Apple might be facing a “brain drain.” If there is a brain drain it’s in the people who follow Apple but don’t get it. Their brains are draining right out of their ears.

They like to fashion themselves after bears and bulls but, to the Macalope’s eye Wall Street often look more like a herd of frightened gazelles.

Apple’s shares have been on the decline as of late, causing strong reactions from investors and pundits.…

CNN also mentioned Apple’s stock issues, citing public messages from users of social site StockTwits who are concerned by the decline. One user said that Apple is now subject to the “law of large numbers,” which limits a company’s ability to indefinitely post huge gains in revenue and profit; eventually, growth slows.

Sure, that has a tendency to happen, but why? Generally it happens because management becomes more concerned with protecting existing markets than with developing new ones. Does that sound like Apple? And what’s the trigger for this magical event? Again, this sounds less like science than it does stock market voodoo.

It should also be noted that stocks in general haven’t been doing that great over the same period as Apple’s decline and Google’s decline is even worse. The dumb thing is, Apple was already undervalued. Now it’s under-undervalued.

Some of the concern is probably related to concerns over the departure of several Apple executives, which has former fake Apple executive Dan Lyons sounding alarms.

…in recent months two top lieutenants have left the company, and while it is way too early to say that Apple is in trouble, it seems we may be seeing a changing of the guard at the company, one that will mark the end of an era that began in 1996, when Jobs returned to the company he co-founded and launched the most remarkable turnaround in corporate history.

Right. Because no top executive has ever left Apple before.

So, after years of being told only one executive mattered to Apple, we’re now told that the other executives do matter. Only when they go away, apparently.

Jobs has been out of the loop since January, when he announced he was going on yet another medical leave.

“Out of the loop”? The Macalope would suggest that based on Jobs’s normal level of intense involvement, his involvement on medical leave is still better than a lot of his perfectly healthy CEO peers. Remember, he was CEO of Apple and Pixar for years. And ran a secret strike ninja strike force.

Oops, the Macalope wasn’t supposed to say that last part out loud.

Meanwhile RIM can’t find its butt with four CEO hands.

Reading Lyons of late is like going to see your favorite band from “back in the day” in concert and all they want to play is their tepid new stuff aimed at the mainstream. Which sucks.

So, can it, Weezer.

(Disclosure: the Macalope holds an insignificant number of Apple shares.)

[Editors’ Note: In addition to being a mythical beast, the Macalope is not an employee of Macworld. As a result, the Macalope is always free to criticize any media organization. Even ours.]

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