Tim Cook profile details Apple's fiscal shift into a '$2.3 trillion fortress'

Posted:
in General Discussion edited February 9
Tim Cook remains the driving force behind Apple's massive growth, a profile on the CEO explains, with his decisions turning the company into a "$2.3 trillion fortress."




The profile, published on Monday, opens up by discussing a moment from 2012 when then-vice president Joe Biden asked Cook why he couldn't produce the iPhone in the United States. The moment is used as a demonstration of his diplomatic nature, compared against the late Steve Jobs' more blunt responses.

The article from Bloomberg then goes on to focus on Cook's push for Apple to work more closely with China and Asian contract manufacturing partners. When Donald Trump was president, this subject was famously brought up repeatedly, yet Cook still managed to handle the volatile former president.

Under Trump, Apple managed to thrive, passing the $1 trillion milestone for its valuation in 2018, before passing $2 trillion two years later. Employees and executives at other firms put this down to a combination of Cook's "shrewd management," effective politicking, and a willingness to use Apple's market power.

It is offered that this may hint at how Apple may work with the current Biden Administration, which will keep trying to increase manufacturing in the US. Cook's temperament is thought to make him suited for political dealings.

"Tim may not be able to design a product like Steve," said Berkshire Hathaway's Warren Buffet, "but Tim understands the world to a degree that very, very few CEOs I've met over the past 60 years could match."

Cook's migration of Apple to a cost-based approach helped improve design processes earlier in product development, as well as increasing profits per device sold, the report notes. Cook's influence also extended to Apple Park's construction, with subordinates driving down the pricing of building materials and contracts where possible.

The profile also touches on his work at IBM, his high work ethic, and the reduction of US manufacturing in the 90s in favor of Chinese production. He also pushed assembly partners into aiming high with quality, spent freely on more expensive components, and later, became considerably cost-conscious.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 8
    JWSCJWSC Posts: 881member
    Apple is no longer the company that Steve Jobs built.  But I think Steve would be proud of how Tim has steered Apple to unprecedented success over the last 10 years.  And mostly, I think Steve would love the products Apple makes today.
    blastdoorapplguyDAalsethlolliverwatto_cobra
  • Reply 2 of 8
    blastdoorblastdoor Posts: 2,355member
    JWSC said:
    Apple is no longer the company that Steve Jobs built.  But I think Steve would be proud of how Tim has steered Apple to unprecedented success over the last 10 years.  And mostly, I think Steve would love the products Apple makes today.
    I agree. Jobs very clearly said that he didn't want Apple execs to sit around trying to guess what he would have done, but instead to be their own people and follow their own instincts. I think Cook has done that. While Jobs might have done some things better than Cook, he would have also done some other things worse. Cook is a different CEO, but still a very good CEO. 

    One thing that has stayed the same is that Apple continues to have the ability to recognize that something isn't working and change course. From the return of a cheese-grater style Mac Pro to the (rumored) changes in direction for Project Titan, Apple leaders still appear to be capable of self-criticism and change. 
    edited February 9 muthuk_vanalingamDAalsethlolliverwatto_cobra
  • Reply 3 of 8
    asdasdasdasd Posts: 5,626member
    I didn’t like him at first. He’s too much driven by the stock market (I thought) and less into product. 
    So I thought. 

    But now I feel he’s the best CEO since Jobs. And I mean anywhere. Maybe Musk is more innovative but Cook is an incredible operations focussed CEO. And Apple has been extremely innovative under his reign. I can’t imagine the jobs era, had it continued, being better. It would have been different though. 
    DAalsethlolliverwatto_cobra
  • Reply 4 of 8
    MacProMacPro Posts: 19,251member
    asdasd said:
    I didn’t like him at first. He’s too much driven by the stock market (I thought) and less into product. 
    So I thought. 

    But now I feel he’s the best CEO since Jobs. And I mean anywhere. Maybe Musk is more innovative but Cook is an incredible operations focussed CEO. And Apple has been extremely innovative under his reign. I can’t imagine the jobs era, had it continued, being better. It would have been different though. 
    I agree with all you say.  Of course, had Steve continued Tim would still have been CFO I have to assume.  So, I think Apple would have still been riding high.
    asdasdDAalsethlolliverwatto_cobra
  • Reply 5 of 8
    It's no longer a products company, and it doesn't need to be. It has become a bank of sorts.

    Although I'm more interested in seeing products and simple, smart and functional operating systems like we used to before OS X Yosemite.
    edited February 9 elijahg
  • Reply 6 of 8
    Many seem to forget, especially those who complain about Cook and pine for Jobs, is that he was the person whom Jobs chose to be his successor, and safeguard his legacy.

    Jobs recruited Cook to the company, worked with him for many years, and knew exactly what he was getting.  By giving Ive equal power, Jobs probably hoped that Cook and Ive would be able to carry on some semblance of the leadership they had, but in fact, Ive without Jobs lacked the ying/yang, and did not result in the best of Ive.  Ive's unchecked impulses that sacrificed usability for design (Butterfly Keyboard, Dongle CIty, anyone?) are being undone as products are remade with a more pragmatic approach.

    There is also little doubt that many of the Cook complainers jumped on the Apple bandwagon after the Jobs II era made it a mainstream success, and did not experience the post-Jobs I Sculley/Spindler/Amelio era, when the company's very existence was threatened.  It could be much worse.

    And, lest we forget, Jobs was not perfect either, and there are absolutely no guarantees Apple would be in a different place, or pursue a different business strategy if he was still leading the company.  If anything, Apple's current success with services may have occurred despite him, as his track record in that respect was never good.
    edited February 9
  • Reply 7 of 8
    MacPro said:
    asdasd said:
    I didn’t like him at first. He’s too much driven by the stock market (I thought) and less into product. 
    So I thought. 

    But now I feel he’s the best CEO since Jobs. And I mean anywhere. Maybe Musk is more innovative but Cook is an incredible operations focussed CEO. And Apple has been extremely innovative under his reign. I can’t imagine the jobs era, had it continued, being better. It would have been different though. 
    I agree with all you say.  Of course, had Steve continued Tim would still have been CFO I have to assume.  So, I think Apple would have still been riding high.
    Tim was COO.
    edited February 10 watto_cobra
  • Reply 8 of 8
    It's no longer a products company, and it doesn't need to be. It has become a bank of sorts.

    Although I'm more interested in seeing products and simple, smart and functional operating systems like we used to before OS X Yosemite.
    What?  Apple offers no financing or holding of your funds (excluding gift cards).

    Their income is from products & services, with products being the biggest piece.
    watto_cobra
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