Amazon vs. Apple Leadership Styles

By John Dudovskiy
November 26, 2013

Amazon vs. AppleLeadership styles exercised in two global companies – Microsoft, a global software corporation based in Washington and Apple, consumer electronics and software manufacturer headquartered in California can be compared in detailed manner.

Microsoft can be mentioned as one of the stark case studies, where democratic leadership style of its founder and former CEO, Bill Gates contributed to the global success of the company making Bill Gates the richest person in the world for several years. There was a little or no change in leadership style when Steve Ballmer took over as CEO in 2000, with employees being involved in strategic decision making.

On the contrary, there is a consensus amongst business researchers that late Apple CEO Steve Jobs exercised autocratic leadership style with lack of concern for employee engagement in strategic decision making (Isaakson, 2011). Moreover, Steve Jobs famously dismissed marketing research as a waste of time, stating that customers did not know what they wanted, and this fact further emphasises his autocratic leadership style.

According to Steve Jobs, rather than spending large sums of money on marketing research and involving employees to discuss research findings, organisational leaders need to be engaged in developing innovative products and add innovative features in existing products that people would like to purchase (Isaakson, 2011).

It is important to note that despite large differences between Microsoft and Apple leadership styles as discussed above, both organisations have been able to be highly successful in global scale. Accordingly, rigid generalisations about effective and ineffective leadership styles needed to be avoided. In other words, each individual leadership style can be effective or ineffective depending on a wide range of factors such as personality, skills and competencies of the leader, organisational culture, specifications of the industry, level of education of employees etc. Inc. Report contains the application of the major analytical strategic frameworks in business studies such as SWOT, PESTEL, Porter’s Five Forces, Value Chain analysis and McKinsey 7S Model on Amazon. Moreover, the report contains analyses of Amazon’s business strategy, leadership and organizational structure and its marketing strategy. The report also discusses the issues of corporate social responsibility. Inc. Report


Isaacson, W. (2011) “Steve Jobs: The Exclusive Biography” Little, Brown Book Group

Category: Leadership
Tags: ,