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Tim Cook looks to mold a more streamlined Apple

post #1 of 119
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Apple CEO Tim Cook is starting to initiate change at the tech giant, looking to create a more streamlined and disciplined organization without straying from the company's forward thinking culture.

In a report released on Tuesday, the Wall Street Journal notes that Apple has seen a more streamlined operating structure with improved internal communication since Tim Cook took the helm as CEO in August, suggesting that he has already begun to effect change within the company.

Cook is described as a competent and organized manager who is already tweaking the structure of the world's most valuable tech company, including a restructuring of Apple's education division, making high-level promotions and being open to suggestions from employees. The changes have prompted one analyst to call Cook a contrast of late Apple co-founder Steve Jobs.

"Steve thought he had all the answers," said Toni Sacconaghi, a research analyst for Sanford Bernstein & Co. "I am not sure Tim thinks he has all the answers."

Despite the changes that Cook initiated, the CEO is not expected to completely overhaul the company as he "isn't a fan of reorganizations," said a person familiar with the matter.

Cook is also a strong believer in Apple's culture of product development and design, though his colleagues and friends say that he is "not a product guy," an observation also noted by Jobs in Walter Isaacson's recently published biography about the former Apple chief. In a briefing of a new service Cook asked an employee, "tell me again how this helps me sell more phones?"

Apple CEO Tim Cook speaks at Apple's Steve Jobs celebration

What Cook lacks in product knowledge he makes up for in a clear-minded and open approach to management, something that Jobs eschewed in place of gut intuition.

One of the first managerial moves Cook made in his first days as CEO was to mete responsibility to senior executives like vice president of worldwide product marketing Phil Schiller and sales executive John Brandon. Eddy Cue was also promoted to senior vice president of Internet software and services, a very visible position within the company.

Another corporate-level change is recently-announced charitable matching program that calls for Apple to match employee donations up to $10,000 per year, a change from the Jobs who was reportedly against giving money away.

Looking to the future of Apple, many investors are anticipating Cook will eventually focus on what the company will do with its $81.6 billion cash hoard. It was reported that Jobs was opposed to stock buybacks, but Cook said that he was "not religious about holding cash or not holding it," during the company's fourth quarter earnings call last month.

Some investment banks suggest that Apple could offer either dividends or stock buybacks, however the final decision would be up to the board of directors, of which Cook is a member.
post #2 of 119
Here we go. Don't say you haven't been warned.
post #3 of 119
Toni Sacconaghi!? How embarrassing to quote a FAIL like him for an article.

he doesn't understand apple at all. They may as well ask the homeless woman in my hood what she thinks Cook will do or think.

Fukeeng JOKE.
post #4 of 119
WEll, lets give the man a chance. Probably Apple is doomed. but lets wait and see.
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post #5 of 119
Quote:
Originally Posted by iKol View Post

Here we go. Don't say you haven't been warned.

Remember iTroll, that Steve told Tim not to ask "What would Steve do?"

By saying so, Steve was telling Tim he had enough faith in him that he would keep the Apple ship moving on an upward trajectory based on what he knew he could do.
post #6 of 119
If Tim Cook is not a "product guy" then who is, now that Steve is gone? That's what concerns me the most, looking at the 10-year picture.

"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

John C. Dvorak, 2007
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"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

John C. Dvorak, 2007
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post #7 of 119
sell now before the rout.
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post #8 of 119
Quote:
Originally Posted by Psych_guy View Post

Remember iTroll, that Steve told Tim not to ask "What would Steve do?"

By saying so, Steve was telling Tim he had enough faith in him that he would keep the Apple ship moving on an upward trajectory based on what he knew he could do.

Steve Jobs was a genius not a soothsayer- you mean what he "thought" he could do.
Remember Steve Jobs brought John Sculley to Apple too.
post #9 of 119
Steve recommended him to be CEO. The board approved it. I would think that the board has some say as to serious changes that may effect the company as a whole. I think that it is important to remember what Tim Said at Steve's memorial at 1 infinite loop. We should remember that Tim told us "Apple was going to continue in the direction that was laid down by Steve".
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post #10 of 119
Haven't people put iKol on ignore? O_o

Either way. I think that what Tim is doing is keeping Apple going. He will still make the final decision, but he would rather have multiple people to suggest ideas and keep the ball rolling then to just... Stop. I'm pretty sure Steve knew that this would be the way Tim would run the company.
post #11 of 119
they should sell the buildings for scrap and hand the money back to the shareholders. the rest is worthless. Tim is doing stuff differently. Doomed, Apple is. selling both my stocks.
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post #12 of 119
Quote:
Originally Posted by Suddenly Newton View Post

If Tim Cook is not a "product guy" then who is, now that Steve is gone?

Jonathan Ive
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post #13 of 119
Quote:
Originally Posted by asdasd View Post

they should sell the buildings for scrap and hand the money back to the shareholders. the rest is worthless. Tim is doing stuff differently. Doomed, Apple is. selling both my stocks.

Remember Disney in the 70's- ye gods!
post #14 of 119
Quote:
Originally Posted by Suddenly Newton View Post

If Tim Cook is not a "product guy" then who is, now that Steve is gone? That's what concerns me the most, looking at the 10-year picture.

Not any one person. Steve was Apple. He was a one man company who delegated his work to other people but they did what he wanted.

In the Steveless Apple, several people whom he groomed have taken over areas of their expertise.

Here is what your "new Steve Jobs" looks like:



It's not one person, it's many people.

Tim Cook is the best at running the ship, but somebody like Jony Ive for example has taken a leadership role in his area of expertise: industrial design. Steve and him used to confer on designs. Now Ive does it himself. Jobs used to brainstorm all ads and marketing strategies with the agencies Apple dealt with. Phil Schiller was part of that. Now Phil is solely in charge.

If you're looking for a single person who will do all that Jobs did, you won't find one, but the sum of all the men (no women strangely) does make for a very competitive Steve replacement. Upset at the word "replacement"? Don't be. Steve himself designed it.
post #15 of 119
Quote:
Originally Posted by asdasd View Post

they should sell the buildings for scrap and hand the money back to the shareholders. the rest is worthless. Tim is doing stuff differently. Doomed, Apple is. selling both my stocks.

Stop quoting Michael Dell
post #16 of 119
Quote:
Originally Posted by iPedro View Post

Not any one person. Steve was Apple. He was a one man company who delegated his work to other people but they did what he wanted.

In the Steveless Apple, several people whom he groomed have taken over areas of their expertise.

Here is what your "new Steve Jobs" looks like:



It's not one person, it's many people.

Tim Cook is the best at running the ship, but somebody like Jony Ive for example has taken a leadership role in his area of expertise: industrial design. Steve and him used to confer on designs. Now Ive does it himself. Jobs used to brainstorm all ads and marketing strategies with the agencies Apple dealt with. Phil Schiller was part of that. Now Phil is solely in charge.

If you're looking for a single person who will do all that Jobs did, you won't find one, but the sum of all the men (no women strangely) does make for a very competitive Steve replacement. Upset at the word "replacement"? Don't be. Steve himself designed it.

Such a good post it's worth posting again

There is one thing that worries me slightly and that is that there's no "Mac OS" equivalent to Scott Forstall.
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post #17 of 119
Tim Cook is no John Sculley. Steve worked side-by side with Tim for 13 years, grooming him and trusting him. Same story with Jony Ive, the world's premier product designer, and marketing manager Phil Schiller. Software guru Scott Forstall goes back even further with Steve, to the NeXT days.

Steve hand-picked these people (and others) to carry on his legacy. Let's give them a chance.

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post #18 of 119
Quote:
Originally Posted by CGJ View Post

Haven't people put iKol on ignore? O_o

He's employed by AI to get the click count as high as possible.

Thank you for doing your part.

.. and now I've done mine.

About Cook... he might even manage Apple better than Steve, but he'll have to work very closely with Ive. jmho
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post #19 of 119
I just want to know why someone would take a company so successful, that has used this formula to pull out of such a trench in the marketplace to rise to the biggest company in the world in market capitalization, and change it? Why change what isn't broken?

Alan Mulally once said that the problem with most CEOs is that they're driving by the shareholders instead of the product. If you have the product, you have the sales, you have the revenue, you have the profits, and therefore you have the shareholders.
post #20 of 119
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. H View Post

There is one thing that worries me slightly and that is that there's no "Mac OS" equivalent to Scott Forstall.

Having a trusted replacement for Bertrand Serlet should have been Apple's first priority when he resigned.

Sort of makes me think of a reason that he might have resigned in the first place

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Even if [the 5.5” iPhone exists], it doesn’t deserve to.
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Originally posted by Marvin

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post #21 of 119
Quote:
Originally Posted by Suddenly Newton View Post

If Tim Cook is not a "product guy" then who is, now that Steve is gone? That's what concerns me the most, looking at the 10-year picture.

I was about to say the same thing. Steve loved the gadgets he was creating and dreamed of them at night. His enthusiasm was obvious and contagious. When the passion and driving force move along, we get today's Microsoft.
post #22 of 119
Quote:
Originally Posted by iKol View Post

Steve Jobs was a genius not a soothsayer- you mean what he "thought" he could do.
Remember Steve Jobs brought John Sculley to Apple too.

And in all fairness, Apple did pretty well under Sculley. Not spectacular, but they weren't hurting.

It was the relentless attitude (partly Jobs' doing) by Apple back then that they wouldn't compete with Windows by licensing the Mac OS that really took the wind out of their sails (almost typed 'sales'... heh.) That, coupled with the disastrous Michael Spindler era where Apple was trying to compete with low-end PCs by hacking away at whatever quality advantage Apple had and the inexplicable stagnation Apple experienced with their OS strategy in the mid-90s, is what almost did the company in. I see no signs that any of those scenarios could possibly play out again.
post #23 of 119
Quote:
Originally Posted by ruel24 View Post

I just want to know why someone would take a company so successful, that has used this formula to pull out of such a trench in the marketplace to rise to the biggest company in the world in market capitalization, and change it? Why change what isn't broken?

He is doing what Steve did, continuously making improvements and adjustments. No where did I read that he was making the kind of overhaul that you are suggesting.

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post #24 of 119
Quote:
Originally Posted by ruel24 View Post

I just want to know why someone would take a company so successful, that has used this formula to pull out of such a trench in the marketplace to rise to the biggest company in the world in market capitalization, and change it? Why change what isn't broken?

Alan Mulally once said that the problem with most CEOs is that they're driving by the shareholders instead of the product. If you have the product, you have the sales, you have the revenue, you have the profits, and therefore you have the shareholders.

Cook is a big reason for Apple's success. If Tim sees room for improvement then you can pretty much guarantee that he's right.
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post #25 of 119
Quote:
Originally Posted by island hermit View Post

Cook is a big reason for Apple's success. If Tim sees room for improvement then you can pretty much guarantee that he's right.

You are 100% right on that one.

And Jony Ive most closely resembles Steve's heart and passion for products. People should watch and listen to Jony's October 19th Steve Jobs memorial speech. It starts at the 48 minute point. Part of Steve is still alive in Jony.

http://www.apple.com/celebrating-steve

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post #26 of 119
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. H View Post

There is one thing that worries me slightly and that is that there's no "Mac OS" equivalent to Scott Forstall.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

Having a trusted replacement for Bertrand Serlet should have been Apple's first priority when he resigned.

Sort of makes me think of a reason that he might have resigned in the first place…

Indeed. It's pretty clear where we're headed. Us old Mac heads may not like it but as Steve put it: "death is very likely the single best invention of life. It is life's change agent. It clears out the old to make way for the new."

Mac is the old and it will be cleared for the new. Those who don't catch up will eventually be gone or irrelevant anyway. The new generation won't be sulking over its demise because they'll be loving iOS. They already are.

It's clear that iOS will evolve to become the replacement to Mac OSX. I'm not saying that iOS will be running on Mac's, I'm saying that Mac's will too be replaced, by more able iOS devices.

OSX was designed for the mouse and keyboard. Does anything in Apple's product strategy indicate that they continue pursuing development and use of the mouse and keyboard? Then does anybody expect them to redesign OSX to work with touch and speech when they already have an OS that was designed specifically for those methods of input?

Mac OSX is an incredible operating system and it won't be replaced over night. But it will be replaced. Look to the next major iOS device (other than the Apple TV) to set the course for the future of productivity computing.
post #27 of 119
As a shareholder, I would really prefer that Apple NOT do a buyback of a dividend. I didn't put my money into Apple stock to receive cash payments -- if that's what I wanted, I would have bought a bond.

I want Apple to invest their cash in ways that I as an individual never could. I can't build data centers or buy patents etc. Apple can do those things, and the return on those investments surely must be better than the zero point nothing that I could earn in interest.

Heck, I'd rather Apple start building toll roads and bridges than do a buyback or dividend.
post #28 of 119
Yeah, because if any organization lacks discipline it's Apple. :roll eyes:

Tim has impressed me with what he has not done just as much as what he has done.
When Steve was off on his leaves of absence he ran Apple well and made decisions that were effective. At the same time kept his ego in check and did not trying to make the company more about him.

I think the kinds of changes we will see him make to Apple will be more along the lines of evolutionary rather then revolutionary. He seems to recognize that Steve built a good organization with top talent. He also seems to know his own weak spot-not being a product guy.

Imho I think Tim is more like a Vulcan Monk versed in the ways of business then some ego driven, mentally unbalanced fruit loop like Spindler. I see nothing surprising here nor anything that is concerning to me in the least. If we had not seen or heard about any kind of changes or updates being made to the Apple organization then I would be concerned.

Of course as always Y.M.M.V.
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post #29 of 119
Dear Tim:

Please stop treating your customers as idiots.
Add an "expert" mode to your stuff and let your customers do what they want.

The persons that want Apple to think for then don't need to use "expert" mode. They can use the best end user experience in the business.

BTW. If you are going to make all you computers non upgradeable: ok, but please have reasonable prices for upgrades in Apple store. I can pay a 25% Apple tax, but 200 dollar for a hard drive that cost Apple 25 is ridicules.

Stop forcing your users to upgrade. Its displaceable that iCloud does not work on 10.6 (non 64bit macs). (many I know have used MobileMe/.mac for 9 years. Since Apple closes MobileMe we are forced to use 10.72 + a new mac. Somehow Apple manage to make Vista version of iCloud, but their most loyal fans they screw)
post #30 of 119
Most of you are talking crap IMHO. We don't know a damn thing about Apple, really other than they make sh** that effing works. Apple has come full circle since that loser Skully with his Max Payne scrawl nearly killed the company. Apple is now fully aware what not do. Not that they won't screw up cause you know that money is iching to burn a hole in their pocket. At least wall street is.
post #31 of 119
Quote:
Originally Posted by Blastdoor View Post

As a shareholder, I would really prefer that Apple NOT do a buyback of a dividend. I didn't put my money into Apple stock to receive cash payments -- if that's what I wanted, I would have bought a bond.

I want Apple to invest their cash in ways that I as an individual never could. I can't build data centers or buy patents etc. Apple can do those things, and the return on those investments surely must be better than the zero point nothing that I could earn in interest.

Heck, I'd rather Apple start building toll roads and bridges than do a buyback or dividend.

I also have long shares in Apple.
Reading Steve Jobs autobiography they explain why Apple hoards money.

Steve wanted to make the greatest products they could, then make money so that the can make more great products.

This is a different culture then most companies that are trying to short time maximize their profit.

The one thing that I don't like about Apple is their insane stock options. Its ok for Apple to give stock options, but buy the stock from the market. Don't print new stocks.
post #32 of 119
I suspect that the first 5 years with Cook as CEO will be better than those 5 years would have been with Jobs, just because Cook can go after the low hanging fruit of correcting Jobs' mistakes. As an outsider, I don't know for sure what exactly Jobs' recent mistakes have been, but from reading his biography I can certainly see that he has made plenty in his career.

One area where I could imagine Cook charting a different path is with enterprise customers. Jobs clearly hated corporate IT types (can't say that I blame him), but I think Jobs allowed his disdain for the IT dweebs to get in the way of figuring out a way to get Macs to the poor souls stuck using PCs at work. Ten years ago neglecting enterprise customers probably made sense due to a lack of end-user demand for Macs within corporations (i.e., not too many people wanted Macs in the first place). But today I think end-user demand for Macs is strong, including at the highest levels of organizations. Apple now has allies inside corporations that they can work with to beat the IT managers.

The biggest thing holding the Mac back in the enterprise right now is Apple's total lack of effort. If Apple would just start providing better sales, support, and IT-oriented management tools, I think the Mac could enjoy years of strong growth in the enterprise. Macs/PCs may be "trucks", but there are an awful lot of trucks being sold, and there always will be. Even though it's not a growing market, a growing share of a large market is still a good way to make money. I'm guessing Cook can see that more clearly than Jobs did.
post #33 of 119
Apple needs a product driven CEO, we have seen their buisness model with out one. Is Ive the only senior exec capable of the job? Cook has been great in the back seat, And should remain there. Look out for a Walmart style sell out of Apple, where profits are a more important capital than humans and innovation.

Scary quote:
Quote:
In a briefing of a new service Cook asked an employee, "tell me again how this helps me sell more phones?"

how about a better phone sells more phones? A better mp3 player sells more mp3 players. A better OS sells more. A better design sells more. A better product sells more. Apple is already a charity, they don't need to give donations, the greatness in their products is their donation to society. Lose that, lose everything, again...
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post #34 of 119
Quote:
Originally Posted by Blastdoor View Post

As a shareholder, I would really prefer that Apple NOT do a buyback of a dividend. I didn't put my money into Apple stock to receive cash payments -- if that's what I wanted, I would have bought a bond.

I want Apple to invest their cash in ways that I as an individual never could. I can't build data centers or buy patents etc. Apple can do those things, and the return on those investments surely must be better than the zero point nothing that I could earn in interest.

Heck, I'd rather Apple start building toll roads and bridges than do a buyback or dividend.

Read up on what a 'buyback' is. It's not what you think.
You don't have to sell your shares during a buyback, and the value of your shares goes up.
post #35 of 119
Quote:
Originally Posted by iPedro View Post

Not any one person. Steve was Apple. He was a one man company who delegated his work to other people but they did what he wanted.

In the Steveless Apple, several people whom he groomed have taken over areas of their expertise.

Here is what your "new Steve Jobs" looks like:



It's not one person, it's many people.

Tim Cook is the best at running the ship, but somebody like Jony Ive for example has taken a leadership role in his area of expertise: industrial design. Steve and him used to confer on designs. Now Ive does it himself. Jobs used to brainstorm all ads and marketing strategies with the agencies Apple dealt with. Phil Schiller was part of that. Now Phil is solely in charge.

If you're looking for a single person who will do all that Jobs did, you won't find one, but the sum of all the men (no women strangely) does make for a very competitive Steve replacement. Upset at the word "replacement"? Don't be. Steve himself designed it.

I am gonna get hired as Senior Vice President of Opinions.
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post #36 of 119
Quote:
Originally Posted by Psych_guy View Post

Remember iTroll, that Steve told Tim not to ask "What would Steve do?"

By saying so, Steve was telling Tim he had enough faith in him that he would keep the Apple ship moving on an upward trajectory based on what he knew he could do.

13 years of proven leadership isn't a John Sculley. Grow up.
post #37 of 119
Quote:
Originally Posted by shompa View Post

Dear Tim:

Please stop treating your customers as idiots.
Add an "expert" mode to your stuff and let your customers do what they want.

The persons that want Apple to think for then don't need to use "expert" mode. They can use the best end user experience in the business.

BTW. If you are going to make all you computers non upgradeable: ok, but please have reasonable prices for upgrades in Apple store. I can pay a 25% Apple tax, but 200 dollar for a hard drive that cost Apple 25 is ridicules.

Stop forcing your users to upgrade. ..

Dear Tim...
Ignore this guy. You're doing great.
post #38 of 119
Quote:
Originally Posted by Suddenly Newton View Post

If Tim Cook is not a "product guy" then who is, now that Steve is gone? That's what concerns me the most, looking at the 10-year picture.

Ive

I wouldn't give Tim too much credit on this. These changes may have been started by Steve or at least with him.

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A non tech's thoughts on Apple stuff 

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post #39 of 119
Maybe Tim getting Apple in more of a place where they can focus more corporate customers will be what defines his tenure as CEO. There are how many articles out there now that point to the effects of what consumers use at home also wanting to be used at work?

Maybe Tim is the leader Apple needs to capitalize on that while still holding Apple to the vision that Steve laid out. What if Tim is the visionary that can make Apple into a product focused company that can spit out insanely great products for both consumers and corporate customers?

If Steve managed Apple out of a drive to make a dent in the Universe. OBVIOUSLY corporate customers are rolled up in that universe too.
post #40 of 119
Quote:
Originally Posted by GQB View Post

Dear Tim...
Ignore this guy. You're doing great.

You'd really hate the option to customize YOUR property more?
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