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Apple COO Cook taking on more of Jobs' responsibilities

post #1 of 30
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Apple chief operating officer Tim Cook's capacity to successfully manage the company for extended periods of time has recently seen him adopt more of the duties once reserved specifically for Steve Jobs, but it's also made him an attractive target for other high-tech firms looking for a seasoned leader.

Citing people familiar with the matter, the Wall Street Journal reported Tuesday that Cook was the subject of overtures from two of the industry's biggest names over the past 24 months. Dell reportedly took a swipe at hiring him two years ago while Motorola attempted to lure the Alabama native away from his post at Apple as recently as last year.

This presents a challenge for Apple's board of directors, who are reportedly well aware that Cook "is a very attractive property." As such, it's possible he'll soon be offered a seat on the board alongside Jobs, the financial paper said. He's currently a director for Nike, where he's served since late 2005.

Known for putting in long hours at Apple, Cook is single and devotes much of his time away from the office to sports and exercise. He's an avid cyclist, runner, and hiker, who typically hits the gym by 5 a.m. every morning and has been known to quote Lance Armstrong in Apple meetings, the Journal previously reported.

Unlike Jobs, who's notorious for a mercurial temper and his penchant for the spotlight, the paper has contrasted Cook as having the "courtly demeanor of a Southern gentleman" whose "quiet manner and slow drawl" translate to a "disarming effect in a fast-paced environment like Apple."

At moments in negotiations when others might elevate their voice, Cook has "an unsettling habit of staring intensely at his counterparts in silence," according to the Journal. One person familiar with the COO recalled leaving a meeting in which Cook had "subtly dressed down" another man. The man "got his head handed to him, but Tim did it in a professional, surgical way," that person said.

At other times, Cook has been known for more public shows of criticism, riddled with humor. "At annual meetings of Apple's sales force, for instance, he has been known to hand out a toilet plunger to the sales team that underperforms expectations the most," the Journal said in its profile of the executive back in 2006.

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

"He's given a lot of pleasure," said Cook's mom, who he remembers to phone each and every Sunday morning like clockwork, regardless of what country or time zone he may be in. "He's the kind of fellow that doesn't believe in giving up on nothing. He's a go-getter. He's a workaholic," added his dad. "Anything he started he finished. No matter what it was. If he got in it, he finished it."

John Landforce, who dealt with Cook for years on an Apple advisory board, told the Journal that "he's wickedly smart" but lacks a big ego, which has proven beneficial at a high-stakes operation like Apple. The paper added that Cook is also "analytical and detail-oriented" by nature, with such a strong memory that he "rarely consults notes when recalling minutiae from past meetings."

Although Cook hasn't been awarded the title of chief executive, he's been handed control of Apple for extended periods of time on two separate occasions. The first of which was a two-month stint back in 2004 when Jobs took leave to recover from successful surgery to remove a malignant tumor from his pancreas.

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

Both Cook's performance over the years and his aforementioned leadership qualities have earned him Jobs' highest level of respect. Since resuming control of the company in January while Jobs took medical leave to undergo a liver transplant, Cook has been entrusted with responsibilities once reserved only for the company co-founder, such as handling negotiations with exclusive U.S. iPhone service provider AT&T, the Journal reported Tuesday.

In a report published this past weekend, the paper said that although Jobs is returning to Apple this month, he's likely to work part-time initially, a move that may ease him into a reduced role at the company while Cook assumes greater responsibilities outside his realm as chief operating officer.

Cook was first lured to Apple by Jobs in 1998, a time when the Cupertino-based company was in shambles, having lost more than $1 billion in fiscal 1997 as it gained notoriety for insufficient manufacturing practices, with bloated inventories that forced it to take costly write-downs on unsold computers and parts.

By the end of the company's fiscal 1998, Cook had worked Apple's inventory down to six days with a value of $78 million, compared to 31 days, or $437 million, the year earlier. By late 1999, he helped squeeze those figures down to just to two days' worth, or about $20 million.

That same fiscal year, Apple grew its gross margins by 9% and the company earned a $600 million profit despite slumping sales. That momentum would carry electronics maker down a long road of profitability on which it still finds itself today.
post #2 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

In a report published this past weekend, the paper said that although Jobs is returning to Apple this month, he's likely to work part-time initially, a move that may ease him into a reduced role at the company while Cook assumes greater responsibilities outside his realm as chief operating officer.

No. I predict Jobs will ensure that this happens: He has too much passion, ego, wealth, and legacy tied up in Apple to do anything else.
post #3 of 30
deja vu

Now thats a time machine

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post #4 of 30
Job seems to be a man of details, he might like allowing someone else to do more of the daily grind, and for him to focus on the little things he enjoys and makes Apple great, from commercials to little details in products.
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post #5 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post

No. I predict Jobs will ensure that this happens: He has too much passion, ego, wealth, and legacy tied up in Apple to do anything else.

Don't count on it to much, a lot of people didn't think Bill Gates would ever leave MS but eventually everyone gets old enough & wealthy enough that they decide it's time to let go of the stress & enjoy the empire they built.
post #6 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by hezekiahb View Post

Don't count on it to much, a lot of people didn't think Bill Gates would ever leave MS but eventually everyone gets old enough & wealthy enough that they decide it's time to let go of the stress & enjoy the empire they built.


Right in time for the fall of Rome
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post #7 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

Apple chief operating officer Tim Cook's capacity to successfully manage the company for extended periods of time has recently seen him adopt more of the duties once reserved specifically for Steve Jobs, but it's also made him an attractive target for other high-tech firms looking for a seasoned leader.

Citing people familiar with the matter, the Wall Street Journal reported Tuesday that Cook was the subject of overtures from two of the industry's biggest names over the past 24 months. Dell reportedly took a swipe at hiring him two years ago while Motorola attempted to lure the Alabama native away from his post at Apple as recently as last year.

All COOs are constantly being pursued by other companies- no news here.
If he wasn't, then that would be news.
post #8 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by teckstud View Post

All COOs are constantly being pursued by other companies- no news here.
If he wasn't, then that would be news.

That means they have a good man working there and that benefits us the consumer and stockholders.
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post #9 of 30
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Originally Posted by MissionGrey View Post

I would agree, and a good point.

Well, the news is in the following paragraph that he may be offered a seat on the Apple board as an indirect result of the persistent overtures...
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post #10 of 30
Apple is not a fast paced environment. It's fast paced if you are used to going in reverse. Then again I came from NeXT and found Apple too slow.
post #11 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kasper View Post

Well, the news is in the following paragraph that he may be offered a seat on the Apple board as an indirect result of the persistent overtures...


Your right I should have clarified what I was agreeing with.
From what the story said he sounds like a very valuable asset to apple.
And if he is that good, then that would be wise of them to do that.

It seems to me if your able stay at Apple that would be a good choice do to the high visibility of their high ranking staff.
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post #12 of 30
Shudder

Dell and Motorola. Aren't those places were good execs go to die?
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post #13 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by hmurchison View Post

Shudder

Dell and Motorola. Aren't those places were good execs go to die?


If Cook had to go into one of those companies & execute a slash and burn routine and preside over the endless hiring and rebuilding, he could take 3-5 years to turn around a company, if it is possible and wind up merely recreating what he has done at Apple. It would be iffy at best.

If Cook stays at Apple, it looks like to me he will participate in moving Apple into being THE leading electronic device maker for the home and office environment when it comes to integrated, synchable, easy to use, durable and desired technology products, with the profits to enable those projects.

I don't see how Cook could get a better opportunity than he has now. At his point it is no longer about the money. Steve has had his health problems, a friend of mine is not going to survive his pancreatic cancer, and we all wear out sooner than we think. Stick with the winner.
post #14 of 30
It seems clear to me that Jobs is grooming Cook for the CEO position. While no one is ever going to replace Steve Jobs, Cook would certainly be a reasonable--and capable--facsimile.
post #15 of 30
I guess I could Google it, but where did Cook work prior to Apple?
post #16 of 30
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Originally Posted by nonstopdesign View Post

I guess I could Google it, but where did Cook work prior to Apple?

http://tinyurl.com/mhysoa
post #17 of 30
This board is full of dicks. bye.
post #18 of 30
Why the hell is he wearing a blackberry in public? The caption says last October, which means the iphone was out!
post #19 of 30
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Originally Posted by DCJ001 View Post

http://tinyurl.com/mhysoa

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post #20 of 30
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Originally Posted by hezekiahb View Post

Don't count on it to much, a lot of people didn't think Bill Gates would ever leave MS but eventually everyone gets old enough & wealthy enough that they decide it's time to let go of the stress & enjoy the empire they built.

i have to disagree., I think that Jobs will leave, or at least lessen his role to more of a consulting level. his health will probably end up forcing it. or the media backlash about his health will. but I think that Jobs will leave his rank of CEO with a light heart and faith in the future.

Why? because if you read between the lines of the history there is, contrary to reports, a succession plan. and that plan is Tim Cook. Jobs brought him into the company, Jobs entrusted him with the company more than once. It seems a lot like he has picked and has been grooming his heir. someone as smart as him, someone that likely shares his vision for the future of the company and computing in general and someone enough dislike him in personality that the poor guy won't be saddled with "Steve Jobs Version 2.0" jokes and comparisons.

A non tech's thoughts on Apple stuff 

(She's family so I'm a little biased)

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A non tech's thoughts on Apple stuff 

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post #21 of 30
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Originally Posted by nonstopdesign View Post

This board is full of dicks. bye.

what is that all about?
did you not eat your wheaties today?
post #22 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by jb85 View Post

what is that all about?
did you not eat your wheaties today?

Maybe someone pissed in his wheaties.....
post #23 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by nonstopdesign View Post

This board is full of dicks. bye.

I guess that that are fewer xxxxs here now.

I just don't understand how some people ask others to spend time giving information, or finding the information online, when it should take less time and effort for the first person to find the information online.

In my response, I shared my feelings that, if you give a man a fish, you feed him for a day. And, if you teach a man to fish, you feed him for a lifetime.
post #24 of 30
i've not posted in a long, long time, but this thread was an excellent returning point: it had humour, suspense and a bit of edging the loafer. thanks ai
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post #25 of 30
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Originally Posted by charlituna View Post

i have to disagree., I think that Jobs will leave, or at least lessen his role to more of a consulting level. his health will probably end up forcing it. or the media backlash about his health will. but I think that Jobs will leave his rank of CEO with a light heart and faith in the future.

Why? because if you read between the lines of the history there is, contrary to reports, a succession plan. and that plan is Tim Cook. Jobs brought him into the company, Jobs entrusted him with the company more than once. It seems a lot like he has picked and has been grooming his heir. someone as smart as him, someone that likely shares his vision for the future of the company and computing in general and someone enough dislike him in personality that the poor guy won't be saddled with "Steve Jobs Version 2.0" jokes and comparisons.

The timing of your plan is contingent on Jobs' health, and the likely intent on utilizing Jobs' strategic vision and incisiveness.

Cook always finishes what he starts. He was one of the original people who helped restart Apple. I don't think he needs another thrill by working over Dell or another co. He's no done at Apple, and no other company has the same soul or ethos in the computer industry.

The thing that this original article mentioned about reducing inventory, and as a result incresing cash flow and profit margin, reminds me about how aweful some of the waits were for new products prior to and early in Cook's time with Apple.
post #26 of 30
Cook is an outstanding Operations guy. I'd go out on a limb to say he's been the best COO in America over the past ten years. The speed and thoroughness with which he turned around Apple's bloated and inefficient operations in 1998-1999 was simply staggering, and they have remained very tightly disciplined ever since, with only a few comparatively minor slip-ups here and there.

I don't know why people say that Apple doesn't have a clear succession plan. Those people clearly don't follow the company very closely at all. Cook is the guy, and he'll make an excellent long-term CEO, but it also helps greatly that the rest of the executive team is so well-established and stable and trusted by Jobs.

If Jobs takes a diminished role, and I hope he does for the sake of his family and his long term health outlook, I hope he focuses strictly on the product side of things. Nobody does it better.
post #27 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by Silencio View Post

Cook is an outstanding Operations guy. I'd go out on a limb to say he's been the best COO in America over the past ten years. The speed and thoroughness with which he turned around Apple's bloated and inefficient operations in 1998-1999 was simply staggering, and they have remained very tightly disciplined ever since, with only a few comparatively minor slip-ups here and there.

I don't know why people say that Apple doesn't have a clear succession plan. Those people clearly don't follow the company very closely at all. Cook is the guy, and he'll make an excellent long-term CEO, but it also helps greatly that the rest of the executive team is so well-established and stable and trusted by Jobs.

If Jobs takes a diminished role, and I hope he does for the sake of his family and his long term health outlook, I hope he focuses strictly on the product side of things. Nobody does it better.

Good answer!
post #28 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by zsilverman View Post

Why the hell is he wearing a blackberry in public? The caption says last October, which means the iphone was out!

I believe it is the wireless receiver for the microphone that he is using on stage, not a bb.
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post #29 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by iphoniac View Post

I believe it is the wireless receiver for the microphone that he is using on stage, not a bb.

I think you mean wireless transmitter.

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post #30 of 30
I for one would like to see Scott Forstall have a shot at Apple CEO after Jobs retires.
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