Lack of Passion
These past few days at Apple are not without comparable events. Healthcare.gov, Windows 8, JC Penny, and the automobile industry (sorry, too many recalls to select one as exemplary). I think they all share one thing in common, boards who have placed senior management responsibility in people who lack true passion about the product in deference to MBAs focusing on stock market factors. My understanding of Jobs was that he was passionate about what he did which also translated to his being a fanatic for detail if not out right overbearing at times. Unwilling to accept "close enough." It was evident by his leaving and returning with the business reflecting the ebb and flow of his presence. This passion, however, is the characteristic of senior leaders which have won the markets by producing outstanding products. Apple's performance only reflects that change in leadership - it is not enough to dress down for your product presentations to mimic the success of others (Jobs, Zuckerburg,...). I see a lot of execs that remind me of Hammer from the Ironman movies as he tried to imitate Stark.
I will admit it is unfair to list Healthcare.gov here. I haven't met too many Fed Execs who cared about funding (for them, the american public will always pay) or could for that matter read a financial report if asked. Their focus is entirely different than private sector. But, if they so desired, they could bring that passion to their work and might be surprised at the effect it could have. Investors have to start considering this in selecting their senior leadership or they will simply continue to pay in percentages of lost market value.