Apple's Tim Cook drops to 96th place on list of CEOs most popular with workers

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Apple CEO Tim Cook has tumbled from 53rd to just 96th on Glassdoor's annual list of the 100 most popular CEOs as rated by their employees.

Tim Cook


The drop is the steepest among any technology executive on the list. Anonymous reviews by Apple workers cited high stress, a strict chain of command, and the company's notorious culture of secrecy as problems, a Glassdoor spokesperson told Business Insider.

Apple engineers and designers are often under intense pressure to work overtime as the company races towards hardware launches and software updates. Frequently they're forced to participate in Sunday conference calls, when other people would be unwinding before the weekday.

The company's emphasis on secrecy -- meant to shield designs from competitors and surprise the public -- is so extensive that staff will sometimes work under literal shrouds, and may not even be fully aware of the product they're developing until it's announced, a famous example being the original iPad.

Despite this year's dip, Cook nevertheless received approval in 91 percent of submitted reviews, a reflection of what it takes to get on Glassdoor's top CEOs list.

The highest Cook has ever placed is 8th in 2016, with 96 percent approval.

Financially Apple has flourished under the CEO, regularly setting new revenue records even with occasional setbacks. He has sometimes been criticized, however, for depending too heavily on the iPhone and not being innovative enough. He has also been politically divisive -- conservatives may complain about his stance on issues like immigration, racial diversity, and LGBT rights, while liberals have been upset about his willingness to exploit tax cuts and loopholes. Both aisles have sometimes accused Cook of looking the other way when it comes to rights abuses in China and other authoritarian markets it sells in.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 86
    Rayz2016Rayz2016 Posts: 4,631member
    The folk who aren’t happy will complain. 
    Tbe folk who are happy will just be happy. 
    magman1979jony0
  • Reply 2 of 86
    SoliSoli Posts: 8,974member
    Rayz2016 said:
    The folk who aren’t happy will complain. 
    Tbe folk who are happy will just be happy. 
    That general rule would be the same for all companies, so why has Cook fallen while others have risen?
    elijahgmuthuk_vanalingamaylkcanukstorm1983viclauyyc
  • Reply 3 of 86
    MacProMacPro Posts: 18,302member
    Soli said:
    Rayz2016 said:
    The folk who aren’t happy will complain. 
    Tbe folk who are happy will just be happy. 
    That general rule would be the same for all companies, so why has Cook fallen while others have risen?
    Brownian motion ;)
    DAalseth
  • Reply 4 of 86
    SoliSoli Posts: 8,974member
    MacPro said:
    Soli said:
    Rayz2016 said:
    The folk who aren’t happy will complain. 
    Tbe folk who are happy will just be happy. 
    That general rule would be the same for all companies, so why has Cook fallen while others have risen?
    Brownian motion ;)
    I think we can rule out randomness when the article states, "frequently they're forced to participate in Sunday conference calls, when other people would be unwinding before the weekday." That may be good for the company, but it's not good for employees. If Apple wants to treat personnel as being highly expendable, that's fine, as those employees have the option to get jobs elsewhere, but it would also explain why a CEO or other management aren't popular.

    I didn't see Bezos in the Top 100, but I wouldn't expect to with this recent report.

    designrlkruppaylkStrangeDayspatchythepiratedysamorianimpeachabletech
  • Reply 5 of 86
    anantksundaramanantksundaram Posts: 19,223member
    Soli said:
    Rayz2016 said:
    The folk who aren’t happy will complain. 
    Tbe folk who are happy will just be happy. 
    That general rule would be the same for all companies, so why has Cook fallen while others have risen?
    Exactly. We have to assume that employees know him at least as well as people like us do — i.e., they’re better-informed. 
  • Reply 6 of 86
    anantksundaramanantksundaram Posts: 19,223member

    Soli said:
    MacPro said:
    Soli said:
    Rayz2016 said:
    The folk who aren’t happy will complain. 
    Tbe folk who are happy will just be happy. 
    That general rule would be the same for all companies, so why has Cook fallen while others have risen?
    Brownian motion ;)
    I think we can rule out randomness when the article states, "frequently they're forced to participate in Sunday conference calls, when other people would be unwinding before the weekday." That may be good for the company, but it's not good for employees. If Apple wants to treat personnel as being highly expendable, that's fine, as those employees have the option to get jobs elsewhere, but it would also explain why a CEO or other management aren't popular.

    I didn't see Bezos in the Top 100, but I wouldn't expect to with this recent report.

    I’ve seem many reports that suggest Amazon is seen as having a very aggressive, in-your-face workplace culture. 
    cornchip
  • Reply 7 of 86
    SoliSoli Posts: 8,974member
    lkrupp said:
    Soli said:
    MacPro said:
    Soli said:
    Rayz2016 said:
    The folk who aren’t happy will complain. 
    Tbe folk who are happy will just be happy. 
    That general rule would be the same for all companies, so why has Cook fallen while others have risen?
    Brownian motion ;)
    I think we can rule out randomness when the article states, "frequently they're forced to participate in Sunday conference calls, when other people would be unwinding before the weekday." That may be good for the company, but it's not good for employees. If Apple wants to treat personnel as being highly expendable, that's fine, as those employees have the option to get jobs elsewhere, but it would also explain why a CEO or other management aren't popular.

    I didn't see Bezos in the Top 100, but I wouldn't expect to with this recent report.

    No, no, no. We only bitch about Apple here. Comparisons don’t cut the muster. Certain types must, by their negative nature, take any article about anything and make it about the failure of Apple. I wonder where Jobs would have been on this list. Right down there with Bezos I would expect as Jobs was constantly referred to as a maniacal tyrant who fired people at will for daring to question him or failing to meet his expectations.
    Jobs was infamous for being difficult to work for. While I'm a huge fan of Cook and think he's helped temper Apple a lot over the years, I was surprised to see that he had reached as high as #8 on this list simply because the Apple culture still seems to be high-stress situation. For example, I don't think it's fair that you make employees wait for an unreasonable amount of time to check bags before leaving. I feel Apple should eat the cost of the extra time or setup lockers for Apple employees in a DMZ for them to use to store belongings where this is a common practice. I know not everyone here agrees and I recall comments about leaving your bag/purse in your car, but if you work in a city you're likely taking public transportation and are gone all day far from home.
    hammeroftruthaylkStrangeDayscanukstormviclauyyc
  • Reply 8 of 86
    jdgazjdgaz Posts: 357member
    You can please some of the people some of the time.
  • Reply 9 of 86
    ElCapitanElCapitan Posts: 222member

    No wonder Tim Cook falls in staff ranking as under his “leadership” Apple has for all practical purposes

    • Gutted the Mac Pro product line
    • Gutted the Mac mini product line
    • Gutted the Displays product line
    • Gutted the Networking peripherals product line
    • Gutted macOS server
    • Crippled iWorks to the extent the 09 version still have more features
    • Handled the MacBook Pro product mix particularly bad in terms of performance vs thinness.
    • Increased the pressure on staff to deliver yearly major releases of not one operating system like under Steve Jobs, but now 4. This has both lead to an increase in issues and reduced quality, but it also draining on the developer community where particularly Indie developers with limited resources struggle to keep up. 

    It must be very discouraging to for long term staff to see the very foundation the company was built on, being decimated in this manner. It is also not a very encouraging picture for long term customers. 


    At the same time he and the company is spending a lot of time virtue signaling climate change, GLBT, internal US politics and this fantastic building they are working so hard on. 

    Particularly the consequence of the virtue signaling can be draining on staff both because staff may not necessarily at the personal level subscribe to the views of Tim Cook, yet they are being put in a position to defend them on behalf of the company. 

    For international staff company virtue signaling may be even more draining because the employee could work in a country that largely have resolved these issues up to decades ago, or they are completely taboo at the other end of the scale. They also can make the company seem fruity and less serious in the eyes of many customers and potential customers. Yet the employee is forced to front the official company profile.

    hammeroftruthaylktrashman69mike54SpamSandwichpatchythepiratetallest skilviclauyycJohnnyCanadiannimpeachabletech
  • Reply 10 of 86
    rogifan_newrogifan_new Posts: 4,105member
    lkrupp said:
    Soli said:
    MacPro said:
    Soli said:
    Rayz2016 said:
    The folk who aren’t happy will complain. 
    Tbe folk who are happy will just be happy. 
    That general rule would be the same for all companies, so why has Cook fallen while others have risen?
    Brownian motion ;)
    I think we can rule out randomness when the article states, "frequently they're forced to participate in Sunday conference calls, when other people would be unwinding before the weekday." That may be good for the company, but it's not good for employees. If Apple wants to treat personnel as being highly expendable, that's fine, as those employees have the option to get jobs elsewhere, but it would also explain why a CEO or other management aren't popular.

    I didn't see Bezos in the Top 100, but I wouldn't expect to with this recent report.

    No, no, no. We only bitch about Apple here. Comparisons don’t cut the muster. Certain types must, by their negative nature, take any article about anything and make it about the failure of Apple. I wonder where Jobs would have been on this list. Right down there with Bezos I would expect as Jobs was constantly referred to as a maniacal tyrant who fired people at will for daring to question him or failing to meet his expectations.

    But in reality Cook’s fall might just might be somewhat related to his entry into the political realm. Not all of Apple’s tens of thousands of employees are left-wing asshats I would assume and might object to some of his opinions and social agendas
    I’d be very surprised if Tim fell all that way on the list because he speaks out more on political issues.

    Anyway on Glassdoor’s website it has Apple’s CEO rating at 93%, so where is this number coming from?

    https://www.glassdoor.com/Reviews/Apple-Reviews-E1138.htm


    patchythepirate
  • Reply 11 of 86
    Soli said:
    Rayz2016 said:
    The folk who aren’t happy will complain. 
    Tbe folk who are happy will just be happy. 
    That general rule would be the same for all companies, so why has Cook fallen while others have risen?
    Numbers are probably down due to Apple’s push for inclusion and diversity.
    SpamSandwichtallest skil
  • Reply 12 of 86
    rogifan_newrogifan_new Posts: 4,105member
    Soli said:
    MacPro said:
    Soli said:
    Rayz2016 said:
    The folk who aren’t happy will complain. 
    Tbe folk who are happy will just be happy. 
    That general rule would be the same for all companies, so why has Cook fallen while others have risen?
    Brownian motion ;)
    I think we can rule out randomness when the article states, "frequently they're forced to participate in Sunday conference calls, when other people would be unwinding before the weekday." That may be good for the company, but it's not good for employees. If Apple wants to treat personnel as being highly expendable, that's fine, as those employees have the option to get jobs elsewhere, but it would also explain why a CEO or other management aren't popular.

    I didn't see Bezos in the Top 100, but I wouldn't expect to with this recent report.

    I’m guessing none of that is new at Apple though. I’ve seen profiles of Cook from years ago which paint a picture of a very demanding boss. There was the one anecdote of a meeting where an issue in China was being discussed and Tim looked at someone in the meeting and said “why are you still here?” And the guy immediately was on a plane to China. Maybe things have gotten worse but it seems like if Cook was that disliked there would be more stories/leaks about it. Talk about story that would get a ton of clicks.
    cornchip
  • Reply 13 of 86
    aylkaylk Posts: 54member
    ElCapitan said:

    No wonder Tim Cook falls in staff ranking as under his “leadership” Apple has for all practical purposes

    • Gutted the Mac Pro product line
    • Gutted the Mac mini product line
    • Gutted the Displays product line
    • Gutted the Networking peripherals product line
    • Gutted macOS server
    • Crippled iWorks to the extent the 09 version still have more features
    • Handled the MacBook Pro product mix particularly bad in terms of performance vs thinness.
    • Increased the pressure on staff to deliver yearly major releases of not one operating system like under Steve Jobs, but now 4. This has both lead to an increase in issues and reduced quality, but it also draining on the developer community where particularly Indie developers with limited resources struggle to keep up. 

    It must be very discouraging to for long term staff to see the very foundation the company was built on, being decimated in this manner. It is also not a very encouraging picture for long term customers. 


    At the same time he and the company is spending a lot of time virtue signaling climate change, GLBT, internal US politics and this fantastic building they are working so hard on. 

    Particularly the consequence of the virtue signaling can be draining on staff both because staff may not necessarily at the personal level subscribe to the views of Tim Cook, yet they are being put in a position to defend them on behalf of the company. 

    For international staff company virtue signaling may be even more draining because the employee could work in a country that largely have resolved these issues up to decades ago, or they are completely taboo at the other end of the scale. They also can make the company seem fruity and less serious in the eyes of many customers and potential customers. Yet the employee is forced to front the official company profile.

    Spot on.
    trashman69SpamSandwich
  • Reply 14 of 86
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 7,161member
    ElCapitan said:

    No wonder Tim Cook falls in staff ranking as under his “leadership” Apple has for all practical purposes

    • Gutted the Mac Pro product line
    • Gutted the Mac mini product line
    • Gutted the Displays product line
    • Gutted the Networking peripherals product line
    • Gutted macOS server
    • Crippled iWorks to the extent the 09 version still have more features
    • Handled the MacBook Pro product mix particularly bad in terms of performance vs thinness.
    • Increased the pressure on staff to deliver yearly major releases of not one operating system like under Steve Jobs, but now 4. This has both lead to an increase in issues and reduced quality, but it also draining on the developer community where particularly Indie developers with limited resources struggle to keep up. 

    It must be very discouraging to for long term staff to see the very foundation the company was built on, being decimated in this manner. It is also not a very encouraging picture for long term customers. 


    At the same time he and the company is spending a lot of time virtue signaling climate change, GLBT, internal US politics and this fantastic building they are working so hard on. 

    Particularly the consequence of the virtue signaling can be draining on staff both because staff may not necessarily at the personal level subscribe to the views of Tim Cook, yet they are being put in a position to defend them on behalf of the company. 

    For international staff company virtue signaling may be even more draining because the employee could work in a country that largely have resolved these issues up to decades ago, or they are completely taboo at the other end of the scale. They also can make the company seem fruity and less serious in the eyes of many customers and potential customers. Yet the employee is forced to front the official company profile.

    A) The “very foundation the company was built on” crumbled into dust years ago. The desktop PC is dying and Apple knows it. And Apple once manufactured its own printers, its own camera, its own disk drives and still those products failed. 

    B You mean those long term customers who still use OS 9 on their ancient but still serviceable Macs?

    C) You may be half right on the virtue signaling.

    All in all, though, a sad and nonsensical first post from a disgruntled desktop pc luddite chained to the past and unwilling to adapt or move to where the world is headed in terms of personal technology.
    edited June 2018 magman1979lamboaudi4macxpressRayz2016bageljoeysumjuancornchip
  • Reply 15 of 86
    It's about money. 

    Apple would rather spend repatriated cash on dividends than employee raises and bonuses. 

    Sure they give their employees stock grants, but they are minuscule and have 5 year handcuffs before they vest. Meanwhile the board gets a huge stock bonus that vests next year. There is no one on the board that really needs the money, but there are a lot of employees who could use a fraction of that money to make their lives easier and help focus on making great products instead of worrying balancing their income between just surviving and thriving. 


    StrangeDays1983nimpeachabletech
  • Reply 16 of 86
    mike54mike54 Posts: 339member
    ElCapitan said:

    No wonder Tim Cook falls in staff ranking as under his “leadership” Apple has for all practical purposes

    • Gutted the Mac Pro product line
    • Gutted the Mac mini product line
    • Gutted the Displays product line
    • Gutted the Networking peripherals product line
    • Gutted macOS server
    • Crippled iWorks to the extent the 09 version still have more features
    • Handled the MacBook Pro product mix particularly bad in terms of performance vs thinness.
    • Increased the pressure on staff to deliver yearly major releases of not one operating system like under Steve Jobs, but now 4. This has both lead to an increase in issues and reduced quality, but it also draining on the developer community where particularly Indie developers with limited resources struggle to keep up. 

    It must be very discouraging to for long term staff to see the very foundation the company was built on, being decimated in this manner. It is also not a very encouraging picture for long term customers. 


    At the same time he and the company is spending a lot of time virtue signaling climate change, GLBT, internal US politics and this fantastic building they are working so hard on. 

    Particularly the consequence of the virtue signaling can be draining on staff both because staff may not necessarily at the personal level subscribe to the views of Tim Cook, yet they are being put in a position to defend them on behalf of the company. 

    For international staff company virtue signaling may be even more draining because the employee could work in a country that largely have resolved these issues up to decades ago, or they are completely taboo at the other end of the scale. They also can make the company seem fruity and less serious in the eyes of many customers and potential customers. Yet the employee is forced to front the official company profile.

    Totally agree as well.

    If the rating was done across staff, customers and shareholders, all three would very be different.
    My guess is that ratings from these three groups would be: (low to high) customer, staff, shareholder
    Shareholders and Wall Street are happy with Tim Cook's financial performance.
    Customers and not happy with all the gutted products, and lack of quality control, lack of trust.

    edited June 2018
  • Reply 17 of 86
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 7,161member
    mike54 said:
    ElCapitan said:

    No wonder Tim Cook falls in staff ranking as under his “leadership” Apple has for all practical purposes

    • Gutted the Mac Pro product line
    • Gutted the Mac mini product line
    • Gutted the Displays product line
    • Gutted the Networking peripherals product line
    • Gutted macOS server
    • Crippled iWorks to the extent the 09 version still have more features
    • Handled the MacBook Pro product mix particularly bad in terms of performance vs thinness.
    • Increased the pressure on staff to deliver yearly major releases of not one operating system like under Steve Jobs, but now 4. This has both lead to an increase in issues and reduced quality, but it also draining on the developer community where particularly Indie developers with limited resources struggle to keep up. 

    It must be very discouraging to for long term staff to see the very foundation the company was built on, being decimated in this manner. It is also not a very encouraging picture for long term customers. 


    At the same time he and the company is spending a lot of time virtue signaling climate change, GLBT, internal US politics and this fantastic building they are working so hard on. 

    Particularly the consequence of the virtue signaling can be draining on staff both because staff may not necessarily at the personal level subscribe to the views of Tim Cook, yet they are being put in a position to defend them on behalf of the company. 

    For international staff company virtue signaling may be even more draining because the employee could work in a country that largely have resolved these issues up to decades ago, or they are completely taboo at the other end of the scale. They also can make the company seem fruity and less serious in the eyes of many customers and potential customers. Yet the employee is forced to front the official company profile.

    Totally agree as well.

    If the rating was done across staff, customers and shareholders, all three would very be different.
    My guess is that ratings from low to high would be:  customer, staff, shareholder

    Then why is Apple always near the top of customer satisfaction surveys? Again with the grabbing at straws by disgruntled desktop fans upset by Apple’s deemphasis of the Mac. Mobile technology (and I don’t mean laptops) and services are the revenue generators for the future health of the company. A new Mac Mini not so much. And why do you think the major software developers are moving to subscription models for reliable revenue too?
    edited June 2018 Solilamboaudi4cornchip
  • Reply 18 of 86
    ElCapitanElCapitan Posts: 222member
    mike54 said:
    Totally agree as well.

    If the rating was done across staff, customers and shareholders, all three would very be different.
    My guess is that ratings from low to high would be:  customer, staff, shareholder

    You are probably right except it would depend on which customer segment you asked. The iPhone customers IMO have little reason to be unsatisfied, which I believe also is the case for Apple Watch customers. Apple TV is most likely more of a mixed bag, but the Macintosh customers have no reason to be happy. 
    elijahg
  • Reply 19 of 86
    magman1979magman1979 Posts: 1,135member
    ElCapitan said:

    No wonder Tim Cook falls in staff ranking as under his “leadership” Apple has for all practical purposes

    • Gutted the Mac Pro product line
    • Gutted the Mac mini product line
    • Gutted the Displays product line
    • Gutted the Networking peripherals product line
    • Gutted macOS server
    • Crippled iWorks to the extent the 09 version still have more features
    • Handled the MacBook Pro product mix particularly bad in terms of performance vs thinness.
    • Increased the pressure on staff to deliver yearly major releases of not one operating system like under Steve Jobs, but now 4. This has both lead to an increase in issues and reduced quality, but it also draining on the developer community where particularly Indie developers with limited resources struggle to keep up. 

    It must be very discouraging to for long term staff to see the very foundation the company was built on, being decimated in this manner. It is also not a very encouraging picture for long term customers. 


    At the same time he and the company is spending a lot of time virtue signaling climate change, GLBT, internal US politics and this fantastic building they are working so hard on. 

    Particularly the consequence of the virtue signaling can be draining on staff both because staff may not necessarily at the personal level subscribe to the views of Tim Cook, yet they are being put in a position to defend them on behalf of the company. 

    For international staff company virtue signaling may be even more draining because the employee could work in a country that largely have resolved these issues up to decades ago, or they are completely taboo at the other end of the scale. They also can make the company seem fruity and less serious in the eyes of many customers and potential customers. Yet the employee is forced to front the official company profile.

    What a load of crap, and what a surprise, from a first-post poster!

    Apple has always been a "skate to where the puck is going, not where it has been" company. Like a few others have mentioned, Apple has abandoned MANY former product lines, that, in hindsight, was the absolute right thing to do. The moves of the company now is just another example of skating to where the puck is going, and not being concerned at supporting the legacy crowd that will just weigh them down.

    No better example of this than MS, having to support so much legacy crap, it just bogs their already buggy, crappy products down even further.
    SolilkruppStrangeDayslamboaudi4propodcornchip
  • Reply 20 of 86
    SoliSoli Posts: 8,974member
    ElCapitan said:

    No wonder Tim Cook falls in staff ranking as under his “leadership” Apple has for all practical purposes

    • Gutted the Mac Pro product line
    • Gutted the Mac mini product line
    • Gutted the Displays product line
    • Gutted the Networking peripherals product line
    • Gutted macOS server
    • Crippled iWorks to the extent the 09 version still have more features
    • Handled the MacBook Pro product mix particularly bad in terms of performance vs thinness.
    • Increased the pressure on staff to deliver yearly major releases of not one operating system like under Steve Jobs, but now 4. This has both lead to an increase in issues and reduced quality, but it also draining on the developer community where particularly Indie developers with limited resources struggle to keep up. 

    It must be very discouraging to for long term staff to see the very foundation the company was built on, being decimated in this manner. It is also not a very encouraging picture for long term customers. 


    At the same time he and the company is spending a lot of time virtue signaling climate change, GLBT, internal US politics and this fantastic building they are working so hard on. 

    Particularly the consequence of the virtue signaling can be draining on staff both because staff may not necessarily at the personal level subscribe to the views of Tim Cook, yet they are being put in a position to defend them on behalf of the company. 

    For international staff company virtue signaling may be even more draining because the employee could work in a country that largely have resolved these issues up to decades ago, or they are completely taboo at the other end of the scale. They also can make the company seem fruity and less serious in the eyes of many customers and potential customers. Yet the employee is forced to front the official company profile.

    What a load of crap, and what a surprise, from a first-post poster!

    Apple has always been a "skate to where the puck is going, not where it has been" company. Like a few others have mentioned, Apple has abandoned MANY former product lines, that, in hindsight, was the absolute right thing to do. The moves of the company now is just another example of skating to where the puck is going, and not being concerned at supporting the legacy crowd that will just weigh them down.

    No better example of this than MS, having to support so much legacy crap, it just bogs their already buggy, crappy products down even further.
    It's insane for someone to suggest that an employee is unhappy with Cook as CEO because they no longer charge $999 for macOS Server and have moved nearly all of its features into the default macOS build for all customers.
    fastasleeproundaboutnowcornchip
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