Rumor: Apple COO Tim Cook considered top choice for GM CEO position

Tue, Jan 5, 2010


Take this with a grain of salt, but Silicon Alley Insider, citing an anonymous source, reports that Tim Cook is the top choice to fill GM’s open CEO position. Cook is currently Apple’s COO and has been Steve Jobs’ go to guy to fill in as interim CEO when Jobs has had to take a leave of absence to tend to medical issues. In Jobs’ absence, Cook has performed admirably and is a largely respected and important figure on Apple’s executive team.

The fact that Cook might be courted by GM by itself shouldn’t be too surprising. The real question, assuming the report is true, is whether or not Cook would actually entertain the idea. In short, we’d venture that the answer to that question is no.

At Apple, Cook is involved in groundbreaking new products that profoundly affect the way people use, interact, and thin of technology. A job at GM, even as CEO, just doesn’t seem like it would be appealing to a guy like Cook. And besides, Cook is already very handsomely compensated at Apple, and many believe that he may be next in line for the CEO position at Apple should Jobs ever choose to relinquish the position.

The anonymous tip in question reads:

I saw your recent post on Tim Cook at Apple.  I don’t know if he has been contacted yet but he is the top candidate that Spencer Stuart has identified as the next CEO of GM.  I have an inside source at Spencer Stuart.

[Interim GM CEO Edward E. Whitacre] wants the candidate to come from a company known for operational excellence, innovation and in addition he is looking for someone that has turnaround experience. It also doesn’t hurt that [Tim] has been able to work with Jobs. Whitacre does want to stay on as Chairman.  Also, Cook has been the key link to AT&T and should understand the culture that Whitacre, [a former AT&T CEO] built.

Will be interesting to see if he would leave Apple for this.  I don’t know him but if he wants to be a CEO it does seem he needs to leave with Jobs back.  Most interesting will be to see a CEO from Apple and a CFO from Microsoft.


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