New Apple chief Tim Cook regarded as operational genius

Posted:
in General Discussion edited January 2014
Apple's newly-appointed CEO Tim Cook has been praised as an operations mastermind who, despite lacking Steve Jobs' charisma and vision, can keep the company's momentum going long after receiving the reins.



Jobs announced his resignation in a letter, which came alongside the news that Cook had been named Apple's new CEO on Wednesday evening, as per the company's succession plan.



?The Board has complete confidence that Tim is the right person to be our next CEO,? Genentech Chairman Art Levinson said on behalf of Apple's Board. ?Tim?s 13 years of service to Apple have been marked by outstanding performance, and he has demonstrated remarkable talent and sound judgment in everything he does.?



Apple's Board granted Jobs' request to serve as "Chairman of the Board, director and Apple employee," with Levinson noting that Jobs will "continue to serve Apple with his unique insights, creativity and inspiration.?



Born and raised in Alabama, Cook attended Auburn University, where he earned a Bachelor's degree in Industrial Engineering. He then went to business school at Duke University, receiving his M.B.A. in 1988. Cook came to Apple in 1998 after a short stint at Compaq, but the bulk of his experience, which Jobs has called a "rare combination," comes from the 12 years he spent at IBM, where he served as director of North American fulfillment.



Jobs hired Cook from relative obscurity, after reportedly being impressed by his "unflappable demeanor," according to a recruiter present at an early meeting between the two. "Steve is very focused on people he can connect to emotionally," the source said.



That meeting has been described by Cook as a monumental life-changing opportunity. "My most significant discovery so far in my life was the result of one single decision, my decision to join Apple," he said during a speech at his alma mater last year. "Working at Apple was never in any plan that I outlined for myself, but was without a doubt the best decision that I ever made."



Cook went on to overhaul Apple's operations, transforming them into a smooth and efficient supply chain. Apple's competitors have been left scrambling to match its pricing for products such as the iPad and MacBook Air that have benefitted from Cook's operational expertise.



As late as 2008, Cook maintained that Jobs would outlast him at Apple. "Come on, replace Steve? No. He's irreplaceable," he said, according to Fortune Magazine. "That's something people have to get over. I see Steve there with gray hair in his 70s, long after I'm retired."



But, Cook has been steadily groomed to take over for Jobs. He served as interim CEO in 2009 while Jobs underwent liver transplant surgery. The 50-year-old executive earned $59 million for his "outstanding performance" while filling in for Jobs.







In January of this year, Jobs took another medical leave, again appointing Cook to run Apple's day to day operations. That leave had continued for eight months until Jobs resigned on Wednesday.



Cook has tended to keep a low profile, having been described as carrying the "courtly demeanor of a Southern gentleman," a contrast from Jobs, who is known for his mercurial temper. He is also said to survive on "an endless series of energy bars," taking pride on being the first one to arrive in the office and the last one out.

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His own dad has described him as an extremely determined worker. "He's the kind of fellow that doesn't believe in giving up on nothing. He's a go-getter. He's a workaholic," he said. "Anything he started he finished. No matter what it was. If he got in it, he finished it."



But, despite his rise to the top of one of the world's most valuable companies, Cook has remembered his roots. "He calls every Sunday, no matter what, no matter where he's at," his dad said. "Europe, Asia no matter where he's at, he calls his Mother every Sunday. He don't miss a one."



In spite of Jobs' resignation, Motley Fool Senior Technology Analyst Eric Bleeker remains "extremely bullish on Apple." According to him, what Cook lacks in terms of innovation and design, he makes up for with his expertise in execution and operations.



"You have to think of the top level of Apple as a triumvirate," Bleeker told AppleInsider. "Cook as the operational mind, Jonathan Ive as the design lead?And then you've also got Phil Schiller who commands the marketing wing.



"Cook's going to be the leader, but he's going to lean heavily on these guys. They've had a couple dry runs already, they're going to be able to work together," he continued.



Cook, Jobs & Schiller in 2009 | Source: Getty Images.



The analyst went on to note that Cook may not have the extraordinary vision that Jobs is known for, but he expects the newly-minted CEO to excel at "driving the company and continuing to execute."



Shares of Apple were down 5 percent in after-hours trading on Wednesday evening, but Bleeker said any short-term drop would represent "a definite buying opportunity" for investors. Apple is "going to be able to keep the momentum going," he added.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 58
    tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 43,399member
    I see Cook as having been to Steve what Steve was to Woz.



    Woz was the guy with the ideas, but he didn't want to market them. Steve saw the potential and took over all the business-y stuff at Apple's inception so that Woz could keep doing what he loved. Steve eventually fell into the process of creation and got muscled out by the board.



    When Steve came back, he had become engrossed in the process of creation but went for C.E.O. for the protection against being ousted again. Since a C.E.O.'s supposed to be more business-y than Steve wanted to be anymore, he found Cook, who became for him what Steve had been to Woz.



    Definitely Cook's going to do well as C.E.O. He's not Steve, but he doesn't need to be.
  • Reply 2 of 58
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post


    He's not Steve,



    So who is taking over as COO?



    Hopefully, it will be somebody who can execute better than Tim, who has been plagued by shortages and late deliveries.
  • Reply 3 of 58
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleLover2 View Post


    So who is taking over as COO?



    Hopefully, it will be somebody who can execute better than Tim, who has been plagued by shortages and late deliveries.



    Fuck... you just couldn't wait, could you.



    Ignore.
  • Reply 4 of 58
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleLover2 View Post




    So who is taking over as COO?




    I think it will be Jeff Williams
  • Reply 5 of 58
    tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 43,399member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleLover2 View Post


    Hopefully, it will be somebody who can execute better than Tim, who has been plagued by shortages and late deliveries.







    For someone named "Apple Lover", you sure hate Apple.
  • Reply 6 of 58
  • Reply 7 of 58
    iqatedoiqatedo Posts: 1,593member
    I look forward very much to:



    ° Steve's improving health



    ° Tim Cook as CEO of Apple



    ° Apple continuing to lead the pack.



    In my estimation, Tim Cook is a fabulous individual and find for Apple.



    All the best.
  • Reply 8 of 58
    iqatedoiqatedo Posts: 1,593member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by island hermit View Post


    Fuck... you just couldn't wait, could you.



    Ignore.



    My ignore list is growing too. \



    Here's to Steve and improving health!



    (Couldn't quote the original poster - he's on my ignore list!)
  • Reply 9 of 58
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post


    I see Cook as having been to Steve what Steve was to Woz.



    Woz was the guy with the ideas, but he didn't want to market them. Steve saw the potential and took over all the business-y stuff at Apple's inception so that Woz could keep doing what he loved. Steve eventually fell into the process of creation and got muscled out by the board.



    When Steve came back, he had become engrossed in the process of creation but went for C.E.O. for the protection against being ousted again. Since a C.E.O.'s supposed to be more business-y than Steve wanted to be anymore, he found Cook, who became for him what Steve had been to Woz.



    Definitely Cook's going to do well as C.E.O. He's not Steve, but he doesn't need to be.



    Yeah, Woz was the tech visionary, and Jobs was the marketplace visionary.



    From the first Apple ][ with molded [expensive] plastic case, rounded corners, originally no ventilation slots, no noisy fan -- it was the plug-and-play of its time.



    I designed my computer room around the Apple ][.



    Here's an ad from 1978 that still holds today:



  • Reply 10 of 58
    bugsnwbugsnw Posts: 708member
    Cook is an operations genius, apparently. But he doesn't have the charisma and vision and panache to broker the deals that SJ did for Apple.



    I imagine things getting a little tougher on this front for Apple, but otherwise, they have plenty of momentum and a solid culture to run with far into the future.



    I hope the best for SJ and was saddened by the news. What a legend.
  • Reply 11 of 58
    I feel like putting on sad music and opening a bottle of scotch now \



    Thanks for the awesome ride Steve, all the best in the future mate.
  • Reply 12 of 58
    pokepoke Posts: 506member
    If you look at how Apple has operated since its initial success with the iPod, it has been an operations play. The way they monopolise components, the way they've reduced costs and grown margins, the way they set the bar on quality so high it locks out competitors looking to move into Apple-defined categories (i.e., multitouch tablets, 'ultrabooks'), etc. That's Cook. They really have an operations strategy for growth. Jobs has the vision, Cook executes. I think the Mac, iPhone, iPad, etc, are in safe hands going forward.
  • Reply 13 of 58
    dcj001dcj001 Posts: 301member
    AAPL will be $500 or more by 01/30/13.
  • Reply 14 of 58
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by bugsnw View Post


    Cook is an operations genius, apparently. But he doesn't have the charisma and vision and panache to broker the deals that SJ did for Apple.



    I imagine things getting a little tougher on this front for Apple, but otherwise, they have plenty of momentum and a solid culture to run with far into the future.



    I hope the best for SJ and was saddened by the news. What a legend.



    Are you serious? From what I've read, Cook was THE GUY who negotiated Apple's impressive supply chain deals with their vendors. This supply chain dominance is negatively impacting several of Apple's major competitors, in that Apple has locked down the market on the best flash memory, tablet displays, etc.
  • Reply 15 of 58
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by DCJ001 View Post


    AAPL will be $500 or more by 01/30/13.



    Got the year wrong.... 2012.
  • Reply 16 of 58
    stelligentstelligent Posts: 2,680member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post


    I see Cook as having been to Steve what Steve was to Woz.



    Woz was the guy with the ideas, but he didn't want to market them. Steve saw the potential and took over all the business-y stuff at Apple's inception so that Woz could keep doing what he loved. Steve eventually fell into the process of creation and got muscled out by the board.



    Was Woz really an idea guy? What product idea did he have? He was (is?) a very good engineer. After all, he nearly single-handedly designed and built the original Apple II. But, by then, there was nothing original about the concept of a home computer.



    Please do not see this as a slight of Woz. I am never designed anything with the impact of his Apple computer. But in his track record, I see a really good electrical engineer and not a product visionary by any stretch of the imagination.
  • Reply 17 of 58
    stelligentstelligent Posts: 2,680member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleLover2 View Post


    So who is taking over as COO?



    Hopefully, it will be somebody who can execute better than Tim, who has been plagued by shortages and late deliveries.



    Interesting perspective. Apple is selling so fast that manufacturing cannot keep up. Is that really the fault of the operations guy? I see the cause as two-fold - the *marketing* department under-estimated demand; and the world's manufacturing capacity has never been asked to meet such a demand.



    Someone who can execute than Tim? The iPad is the fastest selling consumer product ever. There is no history of someone with a better track record, is there?
  • Reply 18 of 58
    blursdblursd Posts: 123member
    Does this mean we have more keynotes to look forward to with the electrifying Phil Schiller ... he has about as much charisma as a turnip. He can take exciting news and make it sound dull and odd at the same time ...
  • Reply 19 of 58
    tylerk36tylerk36 Posts: 1,037member
    I plan to see Tim at the Mother Ship.
  • Reply 20 of 58
    Wow, now in retrospect, everything Apple does is carefully calculated...



    Specifically, Steve Jobs appears at City Hall about the new Apple campus... then the Biograph is set for the holiday season... with some speculation about Jobs health... then the timely leak about iPhone 5 and 4s.. Then rumor about Sprint and T-Mobile going to sell iPhone... now the bad news. I'll bet by the end of the week we will see invitations for the iPhone 5 event... then we'll see Jobs on stage.
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