Who should Apple hire as a ‘thought leader’?

Apple is looking to hire a thought leader. While the actual job listing — blah blah blah “execution of critical sale reporting projects” blah blah blah — sounds about as exciting as a new ink cartridge, the idea of a thought leader role at a company like Apple is worth pondering.

Ever since the death of co-founder Steve Jobs, there’s been much speculation and hand-wringing over who could assume his role as Apple’s foremost visionary. Although no one can ever fill his New Balances, we’ve rounded up a short list of leaders who might kick the Cupertino company in a new direction.

Who do you think should drive Apple’s big ideas? Check out our picks in the gallery above, then nominate yours in the comments below.

  • William Donelson

    Whomever is the most critically important person at Google.

  • realitychk

    My vote – Elon Musk

  • Guest

    Richard Branson!

    • Eva Thyssen

      Yes! Richard is awesome, I’d love to see him leading Apple ^_^ a visionary man.

  • Scott Kuhn

    James Dyson is the logical choice!

    • http://www.MagicDonkey.co.uk/ Jonas Hamill

      He lives in my town. I drive past his house on my way to work.

  • lucascott

    I don’t think they should hire A thought leader. More like 3-4 of them. But make them folks that have no executive power to dictate Apple’s actual plans. They would be more like special consultants. A pack of fools to point out issues the king might not be seeing cause he’s too close to the issue.

    Perhaps they could expand it out even to a limited kind of market testing. Rather than bringing in folks that might leak out what items they were asked about, actively seek out people with good ideas about directions that could or should be taken. There are a number of bloggers out there with great ideas about features they would like to see etc. Many of them are younger and so more in tune with the upcoming consumers. Let them make their arguments directly to Apple. Kind of like the rumors that Steve Jobs was open to someone arguing why their idea wasn’t stupid at all.

  • font9a

    Horace Dediu

  • iFreek

    Does Apple really need one person from outside to be their visionary? There’s so much vision inside the company already. Elon Musk is great, but focussed on open source and a better match for Google. Richard Branson is more of a leader than a visionary.

  • Jeff Maxwell

    Is this a joke? You read that job description and now think Apple is conducting an OPEN job search for a “thought leader” from OUTSIDE the company to serve as some kind of company visionary? You’re high.

    Even if Apple was in the market for somebody from the outside to fill such a position, that’s not the kind of job for which you write an open job description! That’s a highly personalized (and secret) executive job search.

    The “staff writer” tried to make it sound like the specifics of the position were just a boring cover for the actual role as a company visionary such as might be filled by the likes presented in the article. However…no. Sometimes a boring sounding position is just a boring sounding position. It’s a sales position for the iPhone division. “The primary role of Thought Leader is to represent the WW iPhone Sales business in all work related to the sale reporting environment and tools and associated strategy.” Sure…someone like Elon Musk sounds perfect. /s

    They’re looking for somebody to help them do detailed analysis on iPhone sales – not provide visionary leadership for the company.

    I’ll say it again…you’re freaking high. Or an idiot.

  • jakezarobsky

    I’m waiting for Tim to contact me as I read this story.

  • Eva Thyssen

    Eva Thyssen of course.

  • http://www.eatznthingz.com/ RB

    Elon Musk.. Some of the others are a joke, right?

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