CNN has an interesting article about Apple Operations whiz Tim Cook.
“In 2006 Apple transitioned its entire computer line to running on processors made by Intel. For lots of technical reasons we won’t go into here, doing that was not easy. But Cook’s team somehow made sure there was nary a blip in sales.
Think of Cook’s contribution like this. There are two basic ways to get great profit margins: Charge high prices or reduce costs. Apple does both. The marketing and design drive consumers wild with desire and make them willing to pay a premium; Cook’s operational savvy keeps costs under control. Thus Apple is a cash-generating machine. Cook has called the company a place that is “entrepreneurial in its nature but with the mother of all balance sheets.” At last count that meant $24.5 billion in cash and no debt.”