Tim Cook is well-equipped to lead Apple to even greater heights

Fri, Sep 9, 2011

Analysis, News

PC Mag recently asked a question on the minds of many – How will Tim Cook lead Apple following the resignation of Steve Jobs?

In answering the question, the report relays that Cook was formerly the man behind the scenes that made Apple tick. While no one can compete with Jobs’ level of foresight and talent as a visionary, the following excerpts describe Cook as someone more than capable of running Apple. Jobs certainly wasn’t going to leave Apple’s future up in the air and it’s no coincidence that Cook has gotten the call to fill in for Jobs each and every time the Apple co-founder has had to take a leave of absence.

“Tim Cook is the person who really runs Apple,” one ex-Apple employee told PC Mag. “He’s very organized. Apple is such a seamless operation, and it’s all Tim Cook.”

Interestingly enough, though hardly surprising, a Steve Jobs deposition from 2008 had Jobs referring to Cook as an “ultra key executive.”

That get-it-done approach has clearly guided Cook over the last decade as Apple made massive changes (among them: getting into the mobile market, switching its MacBook microprocessors from IBM to Intel) and the company made it look easy. A lot of what Cook has done has allowed Apple to be very aggressive with iPad pricing, for example, leaving its tablet competitors with little room to stand out.¬†Thanks to the company’s enviable supply chain and its popular retail stores, Apple can sell them for (relatively) cheaply, while still reaping handsome profits.

The one downside to Cook, if you can even call it that, is that he perhaps lacks Jobs’ uncanny ability to predict where the technological compass is going to point. But to be fair, what other CEO on the planet could ever match Jobs in that regard?

Besides, it’s not as if Jobs alone steered the Apple ship. While Jobs of course had final say about the company’s trajectory, Apple’s course was no doubt fueled by Apple’s brain trust coming together and, more often than not, reaching a mutually agreeable consensus.

While Cook is not nearly as outspoken as Jobs, Apple fans should be reassured that Cook is as passionate about Apple as anyone and isn’t hesitant to fire a few barbs at the competition. Pre-iPad, Cook would routinely bash the entire Netbook category only to have Apple utterly decimate it with the arrival of the iPad. More recently, Cook scoffed at the lineup of Android-based tablets looking to take on the iPad, calling them “vapor” because at that point no Android 3.0 tablets were even available in stores.

The aforementioned ex Apple employee further chimes in:

I like Tim Cook a lot, but I don’t see him as that visionary guy. Someone within the organization will become the future visionary person. There are a lot of power struggles going on at Apple right now.

Who’s to say, but we’re somewhat skeptical.

First and foremost, Jobs is still alive and not out of the picture. For whatever reason, people are taking Jobs’ resignation as if he up and died. Not only is he alive, but well-sourced reports suggest he’ll remain actively involved in the company, albeit in the role as a chairman involved in the company’s long-term product strategy.

Second, Jobs commands so much respect at Apple that it’s more likely than not that Apple employees will respect Jobs’ presumably handpicked successor as CEO. Besides, Cook’s previous selection as interim CEO of Apple didn’t result in any internal power struggles as far as we’re aware of.

Third, Cook isn’t masquerading around as a visionary. He has his strengths and he will play to them. Apple has a deep bench of talented designers, executives, and engineers that will work together to plot Apple’s future course.

And fourth, many of Apple’s upcoming products are already mapped out and it will be up to Cook and co. to implement them seamlessly and successfully into the marketplace.

Apple’s product strategy for the next couple of years is no doubt in place, and in the short term, Cook’s Apple will look very similar to Jobs’. Anyone hoping the transition could lead to Flash on iOS or less secrecy from Apple’s Cupertino base can pretty much forget it.

The reality is that any changes at Apple won’t be evident until Jobs’ input at the company is wholly removed from the company. And even then, the reverberations, if any at all, resulting from the absence of Jobs won’t be felt for years.

For time time being, Apple has a new CEO and if the past is any indication of the future (and it always is), Apple is in fine hands. We have no doubt that Tim Cook is more than qualified to lead Apple to even greater heights.

via PC Mag



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