Apple CEO Tim Cook profiled as a 'methodical, no-nonsense' leader who isn't afraid to make tough dec

Posted:
in General Discussion edited January 2014
Apple under Tim Cook has become a kinder, gentler company than it was during the regime of Steve Jobs, but the current chief executive still has the ability to strike fear into his subordinates, a new profile reveals.

Tim Cook


A closer look at Cook was given in a new feature published by Reuters on Thursday, detailing how Apple has changed in the last two years under his watch. Cook took over in August of 2011 when Jobs was forced to resign because of declining health. The company co-founder died only a few months later.

While Jobs was legendary for his sometimes ruthless aggression, Cook has a much more calm demeanor that Apple itself has come to reflect. Among the more noteworthy changes, Apple has become more transparent about its overseas supply chain, while Cook has also instituted a charitable matching program for employees to donate up to $10,000.

Despite his reputation as a "nice guy," Cook and his "methodical, no-nonsense style" can be intimidating, the new profile reveals. The CEO will reportedly rock steadily in his chair while listening in a meeting. If the pace changes, that's when employees become concerned.

cook


With just one sentence, Cook can make an employee feel like they "want to crawl in a hole and die," one person familiar with the CEO told Reuters.

Among the toughest decisions he has made was firing Scott Forstall, the company's previous head of iOS development. That decision came after the launch of iOS 6 and Apple's new Maps application in late 2012 ? a product so subpar that Cook felt compelled to issue an apology to customers, and even recommend alternative mapping applications.

The profile also revealed the effects of corporate change at Apple under Cook. The company's number of employees have grown exponentially, but there have also reportedly been a greater number of departures from Apple, with Silicon Valley recruiters indicating they see more resumes from Apple employees than ever before ? particularly from hardware engineers.

Cook China
Cook visiting a Foxconn plant in China last year.


One recruiter signaled they are "being inundated" with inquiries from Apple workers they "never imagined" would leave the company, while some recent employees are looking to leave because they "joined expecting something different than they encountered."

However, others said that Apple has become a better place to work under Cook, as it is now less "crazy" and "draconian" than it was with Jobs as CEO.

Cook has been under scrutiny at times this year as his company's stock tumbled following the launch of the iPhone 5 in late 2012. Despite recent gains offsetting some of those losses, some observers have expressed concern about Apple's ability to innovate post-Jobs.

Tim Cook


Contributing to those concerns was the fact that Apple did not launch any major product updates in the first half of 2013 ? an uncharacteristically long dry spell for the company that has seen explosive growth in the last decade. Apple's next blockbuster product launch is expected to take place on Sept. 10, when the company will reportedly unveil a new flagship iPhone, as well as a less expensive model with a plastic back.

Also on tap for this fall are a redesigned full-size iPad, and a new iPad mini that is expected to feature a high-resolution Retina display. Cook has also promised that his company has surprises in the works, with new products set to launch throughout 2014.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 67
    rogifanrogifan Posts: 10,669member
    Kind of a lame profile that doesn't tell us much we don't already know.
  • Reply 2 of 67
    tundraboytundraboy Posts: 1,593member
    This 'uncharacteristically dry spell' in Apple innovation is a crock. It's only because iPhone and iPad were three years apart. From a technical development standpoint, they're really just one product; they're based on the same technology. Even Steve Jobs said that iPhone was an outgrowth of iPod development. If you look at Apple's history, the major innovations are spaced farther apart: Apple II 1977, Macintosh 1984, Newton 1993, iPod 2001, iPhone 2007. So it's about 7-8 years average between new product innovations, not 3 years. The only reason people latched onto 3 years was that a lot of analysts and bloggers started paying attention to Apple only after iPhone and didn't bother to look up the company's history.
  • Reply 3 of 67
    mhiklmhikl Posts: 471member
    I do hope Mr Cook keeps healthy. For fifty-two, he looks very thin, and has aging skin beyond his years. Steve experimented with his diet to his detriment and could it be that Tim has some interesting food peculiarities?

    A junk food or SAD, Standard American Diet (high carbohydrate grains, legumes and starchy vegetables lead the pyramid) can be lacking in nutrients, especially as one ages, and could lead him down the trail that did Steve in if he is also so inclined to follow. Many just assume because of the food guide and media debate that animal products are bad and plant source foods are the better, healthy alternative.

    Here is not the place to argue the superiority of Vegan versus Paleo diets. It's just that from pictures and videos he does look far older than most men his age.
  • Reply 4 of 67
    mjtomlinmjtomlin Posts: 1,792member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by tundraboy View Post



    This 'uncharacteristically dry spell' in Apple innovation is a crock. 


     


    I think the author meant no new models were released for the first half of this year. Apple historically releases new models throughout the year. However, I do believe there was a shift for a reason and I believe the full size iPad will be moved back to the Spring, leaving the iPad mini with a Fall release for the Holidays. I think they should do the same with the iPhone (if they plan on releasing a second model). This will allow them to have product releases that are more in line with how the rest of the industry works and will give them a constant stream of positive publicity.

  • Reply 5 of 67
    rissriss Posts: 40member
    Show me a company that's innovating and changing rules of the game every year - Google? Samsung? Microsoft? Everybody is waiting for Apple's next move, because they can't figure it out themselves... all these screams about Apple being not innovative sound more like 'we're out of ideas, nobody wants to buy out shite', while Apple still keeps reaping most of the industry profits and works on the next big thing. If they were so easy to deliver, everybody would be doing them, stupid.
  • Reply 6 of 67
    It is interesting to read the slants that this article is generating on multiple websites!

    This version is tame compared to the other versions.
  • Reply 7 of 67

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by leavingthebigG View Post



    It is interesting to read the slants that this article is generating on multiple websites!



    This version is tame compared to the other versions.


    Meaning what? Can you be a bit more specific?

  • Reply 8 of 67
    Give me a break. Wall Street definitely sees Tim Cook as a pansy and a pushover. I doubt any hedge fund managers would have approached Steve Jobs looking for a cash payout. They probably would have gotten his fist in their face, instead. With Tim Cook they figure they can walk all over him and browbeat him into giving up most of that reserve cash. They threaten Apple but they don't threaten Google. The hedge funds treat Google like some golden idol and give it a nice respectable P/E.

    The hedge funds know that Eric Schmidt and Larry page don't take crap and play dirty. It's plain to see the hedge funds look at Tim Cook and see a mild-mannered wuss. It's positively disgusting how Apple is treated as a stock. Apple hasn't put out a product in almost a year and take a look at Apple's market cap compared to Exxon, Google or Microsoft. It's way up there in lights with a relatively low P/E and yet the hedge funds are thinking Apple is a risky bet. Ridiculous. They'd rather put their money into Google.
  • Reply 9 of 67
    auxioauxio Posts: 1,945member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by tundraboy View Post



    If you look at Apple's history, the major innovations are spaced farther apart: Apple II 1977, Macintosh 1984, Newton 1993, iPod 2001, iPhone 2007.


     


    I'd add the PowerBook (1991) to that list.  But I agree with the overall point: it's generally 7-10 years between major innovations.  Simply because, from inception to commercial product, it takes that long to get a new technology "right".

  • Reply 10 of 67


    I want to know what he say's that makes you want to feel like you should crawl back into a hole and die.  Can't be any worse than an old boss of mine.

  • Reply 11 of 67
    vorstvorst Posts: 10member


    I really can't understand why people say that Apple doesn't innovate anymore.


    As another person mentioned here, it was very exceptional to have 2 revolutionary products within 3 years.


    Apple would be foolish to release a new idea too early, even when that means loosing revenue for awhile. 


    The only thing that bothers me with Apple for the moment is that they release most of the their stuff in the second half of the year (Mac pro, iPads, iPhones, iOS, OSX). They should spread it over 3 periods in the year. With the group release, the excitement is gone for a specific Apple product.

  • Reply 12 of 67
    mhiklmhikl Posts: 471member
    tundraboy wrote: »
    This 'uncharacteristically dry spell' in Apple innovation is a crock. It's only because iPhone and iPad were three years apart. From a technical development stand point, they're really just one product; they're based on the same technology. Even Steve Jobs said that. iPhone was an outgrowth of iPod development.
    . . .
    If you look at Apple's history, the major innovations are spaced farther apart: Apple II 1977, Macintosh 1984, Newton 1993, iPod 2001, iPhone 2007. So it's about 7-8 years average between new product innovations, not 3 years. The only reason people latched on 3 years is that a lot of analysts and bloggers started paying attention to Apple only after iPhone and didn't bother to look up the company's hidtory.
    Many have said what you say in much larger lengths, but not as succinctly and to the point as you have done here, audio. Kudos.
  • Reply 13 of 67
    kpluckkpluck Posts: 500member


    It would have been a huge mistake for Apple to try to keep its "culture" the same without Steve Jobs at helm. He was a unique individual and he ran the company in a unique way. If Tim Cook had taken over the job with the attitude of trying to run it "Steve's way" it simply wouldn't have worked.


     


    That being said, the jury is still out on Tim Cook. Apple Maps in iOS 6 was a warning sign. It was troubling that he was so disconnected from a major new feature of iOS that he did not know how bad it was. Or possibly he did know about it but simply didn't understand how bad it was.


     


    It is also troubling what has been done with their desktop computer line. So much focus on mobile (iOS devices and laptops) because they seem to be outselling desktop hardware. Their take on why this is happening is that everyone wants mobile stuff. However, I think the more obvious reason is because their desktop line (Mini, iMac and Mac Pro) simply aren't compelling.


     


    I have no doubt that Tim Cook is a talented/smart executive. It will be interesting to see what happens with Apple. But, if I was forced to place a bet on if he will be considered successful as Apple's CEO, I would bet "no."


     


    -kpluck

  • Reply 14 of 67
    I am personally surprised that we didn't get any product upgrades in the beginning of 2013. Apple has typically launched something in the first half of the year, and it's never had more resources or company acquisitions than it has now. I'm not saying I want product upgrades twice as often because of that, I'm just surprised that's it's actually slowed. Also, about a year ago Cook said they were chalk full of new new stuff in the pipeline. Not as chalky as I was hoping. Not quite chalky enough.
  • Reply 15 of 67
    winterwinter Posts: 1,238member
    http://www.theatlanticwire.com/technology/2013/08/apple-ceo-tim-cooks-uninspiring-style-pushing-employees-away/68608/

    When Tim took over after Steve died and people were saying that this is the end, I said "Don't be so negative and give him some time." That statement may be coming back to bite me.

    Just as an example and not to sound like an angry nerd but integrated graphics in a pro notebook? Mr Cook, "That is not only not good enough. That is deplorable."

    Apple won't go downhill though I believe much like the iconic Pink Floyd song, it will just become "another brick in the wall."
  • Reply 16 of 67
    jungmarkjungmark Posts: 6,591member
    Those observers don't know the definition of "innovate."
  • Reply 17 of 67
    rogifanrogifan Posts: 10,669member
    I am personally surprised that we didn't get any product upgrades in the beginning of 2013. Apple has typically launched something in the first half of the year, and it's never had more resources or company acquisitions than it has now. I'm not saying I want product upgrades twice as often because of that, I'm just surprised that's it's actually slowed. Also, about a year ago Cook said they were chalk full of new new stuff in the pipeline. Not as chalky as I was hoping. Not quite chalky enough.
    I'd rather have Apple release stuff when it's ready than just pump stuff out to scratch someone's itch.
  • Reply 18 of 67
    jungmarkjungmark Posts: 6,591member
    kpluck wrote: »
    It would have been a huge mistake for Apple to try to keep its "culture" the same without Steve Jobs at helm. He was a unique individual and he ran the company in a unique way. If Tim Cook had taken over the job with the attitude of trying to run it "Steve's way" it simply wouldn't have worked.

    That being said, the jury is still out on Tim Cook. Apple Maps in iOS 6 was a warning sign. It was troubling that he was so disconnected from a major new feature of iOS that he did not know how bad it was. Or possibly he did know about it but simply didn't understand how bad it was.

    It is also troubling what has been done with their desktop computer line. So much focus on mobile (iOS devices and laptops) because they seem to be outselling desktop hardware. Their take on why this is happening is that everyone wants mobile stuff. However, I think the more obvious reason is because their desktop line (Mini, iMac and Mac Pro) simply aren't compelling.

    I have no doubt that Tim Cook is a talented/smart executive. It will be interesting to see what happens with Apple. But, if I was forced to place a bet on if he will be considered successful as Apple's CEO, I would bet "no."

    -kpluck

    Mobile "seems" to be out selling the Macs? By and large Apple makes more money on iOS devices. The iMac was refreshed last year. Give me a break.

    Luckily for you no one will take your bet. You'd lose everything.
  • Reply 19 of 67
    notscottnotscott Posts: 247member


    I want to add that Apple hadn't been SEEN as innovating until it UNVEILED the iMac, iPod, the iPhone, the iPad, the MacBook Air, the new Pro, iOS 7, Mavericks.


     


    Turns out they had been innovating all along.


     


    Tim & co., release it when it's ready. I'm prepared to be amazed (whatever it is).

  • Reply 20 of 67
    murmanmurman Posts: 159member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by mhikl View Post



    I do hope Mr Cook keeps healthy. For fifty-two, he looks very thin, and has aging skin beyond his years. Steve experimented with his diet to his detriment and could it be that Tim has some interesting food peculiarities?



    A junk food or SAD, Standard American Diet (high carbohydrate grains, legumes and starchy vegetables lead the pyramid) can be lacking in nutrients, especially as one ages, and could lead him down the trail that did Steve in if he is also so inclined to follow. Many just assume because of the food guide and media debate that animal products are bad and plant source foods are the better, healthy alternative.



    Here is not the place to argue the superiority of Vegan versus Paleo diets. It's just that from pictures and videos he does look far older than most men his age.


     


    I guess it depends on which version you listen to, this doctor (youtube) says Steve didn't die because of his food diet, he actually had cancer and symptoms since he was a young man. I don't want to spend too much time summarizing his talk (not that I could :p), and it has been a while since I watched it. We know his cancer was the slow spreading sort, but from the time he knew about it until his last days, the spread rate of he cancer suggest he was living with cancer for decades, the popular story was he had it for a few years only and his vegetarian diet failed him.

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