It's not as if they had a choice when it came to the replacement and let's not forget, it wasn't Apple that replaced Steve with a supply chain guy - Steve stepped down and chose to give Tim control over the company.
"It was absolutely the saddest days of my life when he passed away. Maybe as much as you should see or predict that, I really didn’t. But at some point, late last year, somebody kind of shook me and said, it’s time to get on. So that sadness was replaced with intense determination to continue the journey.
Steve told me, when he called me to his home to talk about being the CEO and subsequently the discussions we had, he told me, ‘you know, I witnessed what happened at Disney when Walt passed away.’ He said that people would go to meetings… and all sit around and talk about, ‘what would Walt have done? How would he view this?’
And he looked at me with those intense eyes that only he had, and he told me to never do that, to never ask what he would do. Just do what’s right. And so I’m doing that.
[When I was recruited by Steve], it was a very interesting meeting. Steve had hired an executive-search firm to find somebody to run operations and I’d turned down meeting and they kept calling and I eventually said I’d talk. I had no time, so I flew out Friday on a red eye for a Saturday morning meeting with Steve. and the honest to god truth, five minutes into the conversation I wanted to join Apple. I was shocked at this. It wasn’t how I went into the conversation.
He painted a story, a strategy, that he was talking Apple deep into consumer at a time when I knew that other people were doing the exact opposite. And I never thought following the herd was a good strategy. You’re destined to be average at best. So I saw brilliance in that. And he told me about what would later be the iMac, and I saw brilliance in that. And I saw someone who was unaffected by money. That’s always impressed me. So those three things, I thought, I’m going to throw caution to the wind and do this. I went back and resigned immediately.
... when I looked at the balance sheet of the company, I thought I could add something and participate in turning around a great American company."
When people talk about Tim and associate him with failure, the judgement is being made based on numbers. Steve Jobs wasn't judged by numbers and the numbers under Cook are higher than they've ever been. If people want to weigh Steve against Tim then at least judge them by the same measures.
You can see above, it was Steve who wanted to go after consumers and yet Tim is blamed for how they treat their professional product line. People criticise Tim for not being focused on money and yet he turned the company around by optimising the supply chain.
Tim has demonstrated on every occasion he gets to speak that he has the same values that Steve had. He respects the importance of the creative staff and Apple is shipping more units than ever. What's the problem?
The problem is that Wall Street was trying to find a value for the stock and people who didn't play the game smartly enough lost money. That's the nature of the game. Of course Tim isn't as inspirational as Steve was and readily admits that but nobody suggests a better candidate. Who is there that's better than Tim to take that position? Mansfield doesn't have the commitment, Ive lacks confidence, Forstall was destructive, name every exec and they have major flaws. Tim is never hesitant, he holds the team together, he has the determination to sort things out and he's the most apologetic staff member I've ever seen at Apple when customers aren't happy and still people complain he's not good enough.
Nobody else would keep the company running so efficiently - if Apple did what people suggest and replaced him, they'd be in far worse shape and what would people say then? Everybody gets it, it isn't news any more that losing Steve Jobs was a massive loss but it was always going to happen, it happened and there's nothing anyone can do about it.
If you judge Tim by sales and profit numbers, the numbers are better than ever.
If you judge Tim by his values, they align with everything Apple stands for.
The mentality of 'Tim isn't as good as Steve because Wall Street told me so' is really tiresome. If at this point in time you can't see Tim as the right choice to run the company, you are judging him by a standard that neither Steve nor anyone else at Apple would judge him by.