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Industry watchers express confidence in Cook as Apple chief

post #1 of 42
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Profiling Tim Cook: More and more analysts and observers are pointing to acting chief executive Tim Cook's previous accomplishments at Apple in an unofficial vote of confidence in his leadership during Steve Jobs' health-related absence.

Jobs praised Cook's "rare combination of experience" when he was hired in 1998. Before joining Apple, Cook was vice president for corporate materials at Compaq, heaving spent twelve earlier years as IBM's director of North American Fulfillment. He was promoted to Apple COO in October 2005 and has served on Nike's board of directors since late 2005. Cook earned his M.B.A. from Duke University and his bachelor's of science in industrial engineering from Auburn.

"We believe Steve Jobs has put a culture in place to carry on his legacy," said Barclays analyst Ben Reitzes.

Cook was a virtual unknown when he was plucked from Compaq. According to a 2006 Wall Street Journal story, Cook is "routinely solicited" for CEO jobs on account of his success at Apple. As questions swirl about Apple's leadership plan for when Steve Jobs does someday permanently step down, Cook's decision to stay at Apple might ultimately see him become Jobs' successor.

In a research note, Reitzes complimented Cook, 48, on some "key Apple attributes" that usually aren't associated with Jobs, 53.

"We credit Cook with spear-heading Apple's successful efforts to streamline its supply chain after the tech bubble," he said. "Tim's focus on low inventory has contributed to Apple's industry-leading cash conversion cycle as well."

Managing Money

A BusinessWeek report provided specifics:

The fiscal year before he arrived [in 1998], Apple had reported a $1 billion loss on sales of $7 billion, a drop of more than $2.8 billion from the year earlier. One of the company's biggest problems was managing its supply chain and product inventory. With sales dropping, Apple had ordered more components than it needed. It also had a bad habit of keeping more computers on hand than it could sell quickly, typically a month's worth. Cook cut the inventory kept on hand to about a week's worth, slashing costs, while at the same time tightening distribution channel arrangements.

Cook's decisions paid off. By fiscal 1999, Apple's gross margins were up 9% and the company earned a $600 million profit despite slumping sales.

The same article compared Jobs and Cook this way, through the words of a former employee: "Steve is the visionary. Tim is the guy who makes the trains run on time."

Tim Cook delivers the State of the Mac address in Cupertino this past October.

Managing Innovation

"We would like to note that most [people] overlook that the company actually had some hit products while Mr. Jobs was not there that defined the computer industry," said Kaufman Brothers analyst Shaw Wu, who listed as examples the Macintosh Quadra, QuickTime, PowerMac, PowerBook, and Apple IIgs in his equity research note.

So while Jobs may be the visionary, Gartner analyst Mike McGuire told BusinessWeek not to underestimate Cook in that department, either.

"I don't know Cook that well, but my guess is he isn't just an ops guy," said McGuire, who said Apple's new interim chief will have learned how to launch successful products from being around Jobs for a decade. "I don't think you survive at Apple as just an operations guy. I don't think you get let into the inner sanctum as just an operations guy."

While Apple most likely has already lined up most of its early 2009 product announcements, such as Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard, Cook can lean as needed on senior vice president of design Jonathan Ive for advice on new products and senior vice president of marketing Phil Schiller to help sell them.

Jonathan Ive is one of Apple's many visionary leaders.

Managing People

Cook is said to be well-liked within Apple and is most often described as "soft-spoken, calm, and less prone to raise his voice," according to BusinessWeek.

Similarly, the Wall Street Journal reported that while Jobs is known for his "mercurial temper and a sharp tongue", the Alabama native Cook in contrast has "the courtly demeanor of a Southern gentleman... His quiet manner and slow drawl have a disarming effect in a fast-paced environment like Apple."

"I think he's wickedly smart and he doesn't have a big ego, which is useful at Apple," said John Landforce, who dealt with Cook for years on an Apple advisory board. The Journal goes on to describe Cook as "analytical and detail-oriented", with such a strong memory that he "rarely consults notes when recalling minutiae from past meetings."

But when things get heated, Cook handles it in a "professional, surgical way", "staring intensely at his [shouting] counterparts in silence". He uses humor in public shows of criticism, like the time he handed a toilet plunger to the sales team that underperformed expectations the most. He's also single and puts in long hours at Apple after starting his early-morning workouts at 5 a.m., according to the Journal

Cook's job is simplified thanks to Apple's "uncanny ability to attract and hire 'fanatics' who are entrepreneurial, work hard, and are looking to change the world," said Wu. In other words, motivation is mostly built in.

Cook, Jobs & Schiller each received the "Jeans and Dark T's" memo on Oct. 14 | Source: Getty Images.

Investment Outlook

As Cook once again takes the reins, Maynard J. Um of UBS is holding both his Neutral rating and $110 price target steady. "Our fundamental concerns have more to do with end market demand, which we believe would be unchanged regardless of today's announcement," he wrote.

Um isn't alone. Reitzes of Barclays also maintained his $113 price target. Meanwhile, Needham's Charlie Wolf lists Apple as a Strong Buy with a price target of $240, both unchanged. Wu's price target is $120, and he's still calling Apple "one of the better names to own in this tough macroeconomic environment."
post #2 of 42
There's another reason to buy more shares too, you'll find out
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post #3 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ireland View Post

There's another reason to buy more shares too, you'll find out

Hint?
post #4 of 42
"Industry watchers express confidence in Cook as Apple Chief" may have been a better headline, but...

Wu also forgot to mention that he's a team player who is willing to wear blue jeans like everyone else.

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post #5 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by elliots11 View Post

Hint?

Weather.
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post #6 of 42
Ireland, I hope your other "reason" isn't a tablet computer that's 11 or 12 inches diagonal, because that would be a financial disaster for Apple. Sorry, but it's a colossaly bad idea.
post #7 of 42
I thought the headline said "Industry Watchers Exude Confidence in Cook as Apple Chef." I felt that this was looking into Apple hiring in WAY too much detail.

Quote:
Originally Posted by one9deuce View Post

Ireland, I hope your other "reason" isn't a tablet computer that's 11 or 12 inches diagonal, because that would be a financial disaster for Apple. Sorry, but it's a colossaly bad idea.

I think it would take more than a couple failed products to be financial disaster for Apple. Even a "failed" product can at least pay for the R&D that was wasted--if indeed that R&D expense never goes toward anything profitable later on. Look at the "failed" Cube: it may have paid for its own R&D in sales or not, but either way it probably paid for its R&D in paving the way for later compact Apple machines (later iMacs and Mini).

P.S. When looking at vision, as opposed to pure business ability, the Newton and eMate (netbook precursor) deserve a mention. And come on, how cool was the Duo in its day? Even when I hated Macs, I wanted one of those A desktop computer with an eject button that spits out a laptop!
post #8 of 42
Apple will be fine but know this, Jobs will not come back in June - he's done. He'll be a consultant and no more. Apple will continue to upgrade its product line and introduce a few new products - their pipeline is stacked. As an investor I'd be more concerned if Jonathan Ive left. He's got rare talent that you cannot replace.
post #9 of 42
With all the craziness swirling around Wall Street, Steve's health, and the world economy, can anyone think of a better guy to have in charge than someone with the attributes of Mr. Cook? One of the many things that Steve has been brilliant about is building an executive team. It's difficult to point to any weak links in the Apple hierarchy. Now look at the companies they compete with. HP, Dell, Sony, Nokia, Motorola and Microsoft among others. The talking heads are worried about "the vision thing" at Apple? Puhleeeeeeeze!
post #10 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by one9deuce View Post

Ireland, I hope your other "reason" isn't a tablet computer that's 11 or 12 inches diagonal, because that would be a financial disaster for Apple. Sorry, but it's a colossaly bad idea.

I have to disagree with you, and also I said 10". But yeah, that's not the why.
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post #11 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by one9deuce View Post

Ireland, I hope your other "reason" isn't a tablet computer that's 11 or 12 inches diagonal, because that would be a financial disaster for Apple. Sorry, but it's a colossaly bad idea.

But 7"? Colossally GREAT idea.
post #12 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by msb0014 View Post

Apple will be fine but know this, Jobs will not come back in June - he's done. He'll be a consultant and no more. Apple will continue to upgrade its product line and introduce a few new products - their pipeline is stacked. As an investor I'd be more concerned if Jonathan Ive left. He's got rare talent that you cannot replace.

I agree to the extent that this is their chance to break 'Jobs=Apple' meme.
We've taken the $$ hit, so lets be done with it and not just repeat it again in another year.
Steve Jobs.... "ultra-uber-Apple Fellow".
Hire a few people who's job would be just to get yelled at by him to make him comfortable.
post #13 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by GQB View Post

But 7"? Colossally GREAT idea.

Hopefully we might even see this soon. The best way to prove that Apple is okay without Steve for a while is to release some product. I'm thinking Tuesday next week would be a good time.
In Windows, a window can be a document, it can be an application, or it can be a window that contains other documents or applications. Theres just no consistency. Its just a big grab bag of monkey...
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In Windows, a window can be a document, it can be an application, or it can be a window that contains other documents or applications. Theres just no consistency. Its just a big grab bag of monkey...
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post #14 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by GQB View Post

I agree to the extent that this is their chance to break 'Jobs=Apple' meme.
We've taken the $$ hit, so lets be done with it and not just repeat it again in another year.
Steve Jobs.... "ultra-uber-Apple Fellow".
Hire a few people who's job would be just to get yelled at by him to make him comfortable.

That's what MS did for Gates the last four or five years or so. Worked for them.

Make Jobs chairman or something and Cook is CEO. Problem solved.
In Windows, a window can be a document, it can be an application, or it can be a window that contains other documents or applications. Theres just no consistency. Its just a big grab bag of monkey...
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In Windows, a window can be a document, it can be an application, or it can be a window that contains other documents or applications. Theres just no consistency. Its just a big grab bag of monkey...
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post #15 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by Virgil-TB2 View Post

Hopefully we might even see this soon. The best way to prove that Apple is okay without Steve for a while is to release some product. I'm thinking Tuesday next week would be a good time.

Releasing a product that's not ready isn't the best way to prove anything. Tablet will come at CES 2009, if they attend. If they don't expect it for Christmas '09. Maybe, maybe earlier. That's a big maybe though.
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post #16 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by Virgil-TB2 View Post

Hopefully we might even see this soon. The best way to prove that Apple is okay without Steve for a while is to release some product. I'm thinking Tuesday next week would be a good time.

Oh yeah... compete with Obama's inauguration. That'll get attention.
post #17 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ireland View Post

Releasing a product that's not ready isn't the best way to prove anything. Tablet will come at CES 2009, if they attend.

You mean it'll be a time machine too? Or do you mean CES 2010?
post #18 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ireland View Post

Weather.

http://www.facebook.com/pages/Apple-Weather/8010761183

??

Ouch, don't listen to it, it's pretty bad...
post #19 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by GQB View Post

You mean it'll be a time machine too? Or do you mean CES 2010?

LOL, yeah I meant 2010. Time Machine.app isn't that good.
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post #20 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by meelash View Post

http://www.facebook.com/pages/Apple-Weather/8010761183

??

Ouch, don't listen to it, it's pretty bad...

Weather was an obscure hint.
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post #21 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by GQB View Post

I agree to the extent that this is their chance to break 'Jobs=Apple' meme.

This also means that a new CEO will not think all the same thoughts as Steve. A new CEO may do things much differently than Steve. Maybe a new CEO might finally make a midrange Mac tower. Or decide that all Macs should be easy to take apart and service. Or decide that non-removable batteries are not such a good idea. Are Apple fans prepared for that?
post #22 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by Haggar View Post

... Or decide that non-removable batteries are not such a good idea. Are Apple fans prepared for that?

Watch the video and you'll understand why they did it. Then you'll also realise (surely even without watching the video) that the majority of their customers don't spend every day locked on an airplane for hours and so a non removable battery is a non issue.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ireland View Post

Releasing a product that's not ready isn't the best way to prove anything. Tablet will come at CES 2009, if they attend. If they don't expect it for Christmas '09. Maybe, maybe earlier. That's a big maybe though.

Tablet schmablet. When it comes, it won't be to save the company. It'll be an aside product.

Tablets and net books are still niche products. Growing in popularity, yes. But as Apple have said, they are watching the market and they will enter when the time is right to make sure they make money, not when we say they should.
post #23 of 42
Who better than one who has the philosophy that you have to "Pay to Play!" and to think what you have is a "effin' Gold Mine!"

As a stockholder, I want someone who will get Apples stock back to the $199.00 mark, as quickly as humanly as possible!


http://media1.suburbanchicagonews.co...1.imageContent

Ten years ago, we had Steve Jobs, Bob Hope and Johnny Cash.  Today we have no Jobs, no Hope and no Cash.

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Ten years ago, we had Steve Jobs, Bob Hope and Johnny Cash.  Today we have no Jobs, no Hope and no Cash.

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post #24 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by Haggar View Post

This also means that a new CEO will not think all the same thoughts as Steve. A new CEO may do things much differently than Steve. Maybe a new CEO might finally make a midrange Mac tower. Or decide that all Macs should be easy to take apart and service. Or decide that non-removable batteries are not such a good idea. Are Apple fans prepared for that?

For comparison, look at the Terminator movies. The guy who created Terminator 1 and 2, and T2: 3D (James Cameron) had the vision-thing. The folks who took over on Terminator 3 sucked because they could used the initial films as their template. They didn't "create" anything beyond what was handed to them.

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post #25 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rot'nApple View Post

As a stockholder, I want someone who will get Apples stock back to the $199.00 mark, as quickly as humanly as possible!

Not sure that will happen again for a long, long, long time.

Proud AAPL stock owner.

 

GOA

 

Get the lowdown on the coming collapse:  http://www.cbo.gov/publication/45010

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Proud AAPL stock owner.

 

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Get the lowdown on the coming collapse:  http://www.cbo.gov/publication/45010

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post #26 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by pmoeser View Post

Tablet schmablet. When it comes, it won't be to save the company. It'll be an aside product.

Tablets and net books are still niche products. Growing in popularity, yes. But as Apple have said, they are watching the market and they will enter when the time is right to make sure they make money, not when we say they should.

Why, who said the tablet would save the company?
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post #27 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rot'nApple

As a stockholder, I want someone who will get Apples stock back to the $199.00 mark, as quickly as humanly as possible!

You can't fight this economy right now, you can only stay afloat.
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post #28 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ireland View Post

Weather was an obscure hint.

Snow. As in Snow Leopard. Ha, gotcha.
No Matte == No Sale :-(
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No Matte == No Sale :-(
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post #29 of 42
I think Cook, Schiller, and Ive together can somewhat duplicate most of the things that have made this company great and with Cook and Schiller maybe bring a little bit of levelheadedness and practicality back that has been missing while still having a visionary voice in Ive. That being said, you would also need a strong chairmen or CEO like Eric Schmidt above them to get the most out of them and maybe send then back to reality a bit, if they a little too bar into left field.
post #30 of 42
Quote:
Ireland, I hope your other "reason" isn't a tablet computer that's 11 or 12 inches diagonal, because that would be a financial disaster for Apple. Sorry, but it's a colossaly bad idea.

Isn't the iPhone a 3.5-inch diagonal tablet PC?

Not sure what my point is...
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post #31 of 42
I, for one, and quite happy to see the stock price only dipped $2 by the end of trading. To me that's actually quite a good vote of confidence, compared to some of the panics over Mr. Jobs' heath of previous months. No?
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post #32 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by Blah64 View Post

Snow. As in Snow Leopard. Ha, gotcha.

Nope, I already guessed that in the other thread....

http://forums.appleinsider.com/showp...0&postcount=86
post #33 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by Virgil-TB2 View Post

Make Jobs chairman or something and Cook is CEO. Problem solved.

You know, that is perhaps the most brilliant, pithy, sensible suggestion I've heard in the past (depressing) 36 hours!
post #34 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ireland View Post

Weather was an obscure hint.

Hey, Ireland, don't do this to us in this dark moment, man: throw us a more concrete bone........
post #35 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by rangerdavid View Post

No?

Yes!.
post #36 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post

Hey, Ireland, don't do this to us in this dark moment, man: throw us a more concrete bone........

That's not a sexual innuendo I hope
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post #37 of 42
Agreed, a 6 or 7 inch Newton/big iPod Touch type of handheld would be brilliant. Anything bigger than that...........uhm no. Proping a 10 to 12 inch tablet on a desk like a picture frame and carrying around a keyboard and mouse to use with it would be beyond ridiculous. The notebook form factor is the only thing that makes sense at 10" or bigger.

I read an interesting article on Tim Cook today, sounds like he's had nearly the impact on Apple over the last decade as Steve Jobs. But your James Cameron/Terminator analogy is brilliant SpamSandwich, very few people have true vision, and Steve Jobs definitely has vision. Lets hope he does in fact make a full recovery and is able to return to Apple as CEO, and if not CEO then as a board member and advisor for the foreseeable future.
post #38 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by Haggar View Post

This also means that a new CEO will not think all the same thoughts as Steve. A new CEO may do things much differently than Steve. Maybe a new CEO might finally make a midrange Mac tower. Or decide that all Macs should be easy to take apart and service. Or decide that non-removable batteries are not such a good idea. Are Apple fans prepared for that?

More likely Cook is the type that would do away with all user-upgrades to make parts and manufacturing easier. Who says that all the above things are Job's? It might've been Cook since he's fanatical about dropping costs and let me tell you that the less the user can mess with, the cheaper it is to make.
post #39 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by Haggar View Post

This also means that a new CEO will not think all the same thoughts as Steve. A new CEO may do things much differently than Steve. Maybe a new CEO might finally make a midrange Mac tower. Or decide that all Macs should be easy to take apart and service. Or decide that non-removable batteries are not such a good idea. Are Apple fans prepared for that?

Or they might decide that some of those those really were very good ideas and stick with them.
I happen think Apple is spot on with non-removables. Time will tell.
post #40 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post

For comparison, look at the Terminator movies. The guy who created Terminator 1 and 2, and T2: 3D (James Cameron) had the vision-thing. The folks who took over on Terminator 3 sucked because they could used the initial films as their template. They didn't "create" anything beyond what was handed to them.

Except that the people being 'handed' everything happen to be the same ones who actually created and made it.
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