In a recent interview with Charlie Rose, Larry Ellison talked about the long-term prospects of Apple without Steve Jobs.
I agree with Ellison and based on his writings (see below), I guess Warren Buffett would agree with him too.
My conclusion from my own experiences and from much observation of other businesses is that a good managerial record (measured by economic returns) is far more a function of what business boat you get into than it is of how effectively you row.”
“If a business requires a superstar to produce great results, the business itself cannot be deemed great. A medical partnership led by your area’s premier brain surgeon may enjoy outsized and growing earnings, but that tells little about its future. The partnership’s moat will go when the surgeon goes. You can count, though, on the moat of the Mayo Clinic to endure, even though you can’t name its CEO.”
“As investors, we will be skeptical of businessmen trying to shepherd companies through brutally competitive industries. Instead, we will examine the entire investment landscape looking for businesses with solid moats. If some industries are more structurally attractive than others, we can choose to focus on only them because the odds of finding businesses with solid moats are higher. We can even afford to write off entire parts of the market if we don’t think they have attractive competitive characteristics.