Tim Cook 'probably' leaving Apple in next ten years

Posted:
in General Discussion edited April 5
Apple CEO Tim Cook says he doesn't expect to remain at the company for the next decade, but isn't planning resignation yet.

Tim Cook
Tim Cook


During an extensive interview with New York Times writer Kara Swisher, Apple's Tim Cook declined to talk about succession plans, but did address the issue of how long he may continue to lead the company.

Cook is entering his tenth year as CEO at Apple, and in her podcast interview, Swisher asked specifically whether he would still be there in ten more years.

"Ten more years?" said Cook. "Probably not. But I can tell you that I feel great right now and the date is not in sight. But ten more years is a long time -- and probably not ten more years."

Swisher asked what plans he had for after he leaves, and what he might do once Apple is behind him.

"I don't have a clue because I love this company so much, that it is hard to imagine my life without it," he said. "And so I don't think I will know that until after I'm not here. Because I think I will run so fast that I'll never really think about it until I'm not running anymore. Does that make any sense?"

Cook's ten year anniversary as CEO is in August. He did run Apple for certain periods during co-founder Steve Jobs's illness. However, he took over permanently in on August 24, 2011.




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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 29
    radarthekatradarthekat Posts: 3,317moderator
    I bought my first shares on July 1st, 2011, and watched closely the events that unfolded that summer and autumn.  I didn’t know much about Tim Cook at the time, having not followed Apple as a potential investment or its products. 

    It had been nearly 30 years since I played around with the Apple II, back in my Air Force enlisted days (81-85).  My whole software career from 1985 to 2010 was on PCs, and I bought my first MacBook Air in 2010 when my PC got a virus that pretty much destroyed all my data, isn’t including a white paper I’d been writing on machine learning for meeting scheduling.  Had to write the whole 36 pages again, piecing it back together from my stacks of notes.  That was the last straw; I’d had enough of Windows and PCs, and I’ve never looked back. 

    So coming into that summer of 2011 I had my short experience on the MacBook Air, and an iPod.  No other recent experience with Apple products.  My career had ended when a new round of investment in my company gave the VCs control and they put in their own management, pushing us founders out.   I had a net worth at the time of about $700k, 49 years old, single and with no responsibilities or debts, but nevertheless kinda forced to re-evaluate life.  I’d invested as a hobby for 20 years, never making much but even if you break even it’s forced savings.  So I asked myself, in Warren Buffett fashion, what’s the best company in tne world and can I get it at a reasonable valuation.  Three weeks of research yielded the answer, Apple, at about a 14x multiple and highly profitable by all the normal metrics.  The  rest is ten years of investing and trading Apple and Apple options.  I haven’t worked a job one day of those ten years.  

    It’s long been clear Tim Cook was the right person to step in for Steve.  He’s led with dignity and grace in the face of naysayers, haters and uninformed critics.  And his legacy will be as largely written as Steve’s, in my opinion.  
    baconstangRayz2016jas99dewmetmaygregoriusmbyronlyojimbo007qwerty52lolliver
  • Reply 2 of 29
    mr lizardmr lizard Posts: 226member
    I’d be very surprised if Jeff Williams wasn’t next in line. 

    I am surprised though that Cook was drawn on this question. Apple’s de facto playbook is to ‘no comment’ absolutely anything they don’t want to discuss. The fact that they entertained this question means they weren’t just happy to answer it, but that they purposefully wanted this information out there. 
    lolliver
  • Reply 3 of 29
    Rayz2016Rayz2016 Posts: 6,679member
    mr lizard said:
    I’d be very surprised if Jeff Williams wasn’t next in line. 

    I am surprised though that Cook was drawn on this question. Apple’s de facto playbook is to ‘no comment’ absolutely anything they don’t want to discuss. The fact that they entertained this question means they weren’t just happy to answer it, but that they purposefully wanted this information out there. 
    Well, it’s no surprise that he’s going to retire, but they want to get ahead of the doomsayers by making it known that the company knows he’s going to retire.  

    My guess is that he’ll step down after the car is released. 
    radarthekattmaybyronllolliver
  • Reply 4 of 29
    thedbathedba Posts: 539member
    Rayz2016 said:
    mr lizard said:
    I’d be very surprised if Jeff Williams wasn’t next in line. 

    I am surprised though that Cook was drawn on this question. Apple’s de facto playbook is to ‘no comment’ absolutely anything they don’t want to discuss. The fact that they entertained this question means they weren’t just happy to answer it, but that they purposefully wanted this information out there. 
    Well, it’s no surprise that he’s going to retire, but they want to get ahead of the doomsayers by making it known that the company knows he’s going to retire.  

    My guess is that he’ll step down after the car is released. 
    Naaah! He'll retire after the long awaited AirTags.   :D
    randominternetpersonseanboy81gadgetfreak-applebyronltokyojimuhucom2000
  • Reply 5 of 29
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 8,921member
    "He’s led with dignity and grace in the face of naysayers, haters and uninformed critics”

    You mean like most of us who pontificate on these forums? Yep, especially the ‘uniformed critics’ peanut gallery.
    edited April 5 randominternetpersontmay
  • Reply 6 of 29
    neilmneilm Posts: 862member
    Tim Cook hit his 60th birthday last November 1st, so it's no surprise that he doesn't see himself still being at Apple in 10 years. In fact it would be quite unusual for a CEO to be on the job at that 70 unless he's (and yes, it would almost always be a 'he') also the company owner. That goes double for a tech company CEO.

    Whatever Cook ends up doing when he retires, he will undeniably have earned the privilege.
    DAalsethrandominternetpersonjony0
  • Reply 7 of 29
    He’s “probably” not going to be there at 70?

     Shocked, I tell you, shocked!
    randominternetpersonmichelb76ramanpfaff
  • Reply 8 of 29
    sflocalsflocal Posts: 5,486member
    Cue the former "Steve Jobs would never..." whiners to now say "Tim Cook wouldn't NEVER..."
    lkruppRayz2016
  • Reply 9 of 29
    andyringandyring Posts: 40member
    Rayz2016 said:
    mr lizard said:
    I’d be very surprised if Jeff Williams wasn’t next in line. 

    I am surprised though that Cook was drawn on this question. Apple’s de facto playbook is to ‘no comment’ absolutely anything they don’t want to discuss. The fact that they entertained this question means they weren’t just happy to answer it, but that they purposefully wanted this information out there. 
    Well, it’s no surprise that he’s going to retire, but they want to get ahead of the doomsayers by making it known that the company knows he’s going to retire.  

    My guess is that he’ll step down after the car is released. 
    Nah. It'll be after the next AppleTV is released. In other words, 10 years is about right...
    pulseimagesmike54ravnorodom
  • Reply 10 of 29
    dewmedewme Posts: 3,450member
    Tim Cook has nothing to prove to anyone and can set his own agenda for transitioning to whatever it is that he wishes to do next. I have the utmost admiration for his ability to balance the massive operational machinery behind Apple's explosive financial growth while also establishing a cultural climate that sets Apple and its workforce apart from its competitors.

    When Steve Jobs was at the helm of Apple it was easy to view Apple as a singular extension of Steve Jobs. It was his baby. I've never felt that way about Tim Cook. Tim is obviously the leader and head coach of Apple. He's the guy calling a lot of the shots and he's the guy setting the tone. But Apple is not one man's company by any means, it's a force of nature backed by a lot of players all moving in the same direction with clear intent and purpose.

    I believe that Tim has done a brilliant job of ensuring that his departure will be a very smooth and bumpless passing of the torch to someone who is equally prepared to keep Apple moving along very nicely. It's totally his call about when to step off of the hamster wheel and pursue his next passion. It will be a non-event.
    muthuk_vanalingamrandominternetpersongregoriusmbyronlyojimbo007lolliverfastasleepjony0
  • Reply 11 of 29
    canukstormcanukstorm Posts: 2,391member
    mr lizard said:
    I’d be very surprised if Jeff Williams wasn’t next in line. 

    I am surprised though that Cook was drawn on this question. Apple’s de facto playbook is to ‘no comment’ absolutely anything they don’t want to discuss. The fact that they entertained this question means they weren’t just happy to answer it, but that they purposefully wanted this information out there. 
    He's only two  years younger than Tim Cook.  I'd be very surprised if he was.
    byronljony0
  • Reply 12 of 29
    Nothing about this is surprising in my opinion. Cook is human and will eventually want to move on and enjoy himself doing whatever he wants. Back in the day when Jobs was still at the helm, I remember during the keynotes Steve began to invite more and more people from the SVP and VP team to come on stage to walk the audience through different aspects of the keynote. I remember thinking back then "oh my god, he's working on a transition". The keynotes have mostly stayed like this since those days so it would be hard to tell what SVP might be up for the promotion to CEO. Personally, I think the way Apple manages itself publicly these days is highly effective. Everyone watching or covering apple gets time to know the SVPs and someday when Tim hangs it up it will just be another day at work. 

    What Tim needs to do, however, is to ensure that the DNA inside the company won't change dramatically with new leadership. That's in part why I'm sure someone internal will be promoted up rather than an outsider being brought in. Apple's future needs to be entrusted to someone who knows the game and can tweak the formula based on market needs. Not some blowhard who wants to make their mark for the sake of having a legacy.
    muthuk_vanalingamgregoriusmbyronlDetnatorfastasleep
  • Reply 13 of 29
    Tim Cook has taken Apple to new heights financially too bad the same can’t be said for innovation. 
    elijahg
  • Reply 14 of 29
    JinTechJinTech Posts: 729member
    andyring said:
    Rayz2016 said:
    mr lizard said:
    I’d be very surprised if Jeff Williams wasn’t next in line. 

    I am surprised though that Cook was drawn on this question. Apple’s de facto playbook is to ‘no comment’ absolutely anything they don’t want to discuss. The fact that they entertained this question means they weren’t just happy to answer it, but that they purposefully wanted this information out there. 
    Well, it’s no surprise that he’s going to retire, but they want to get ahead of the doomsayers by making it known that the company knows he’s going to retire.  

    My guess is that he’ll step down after the car is released. 
    Nah. It'll be after the next AppleTV is released. In other words, 10 years is about right...
    You're all wrong, it's when the PowerBook G5 is released.
    elijahg
  • Reply 15 of 29
    OctoMonkeyOctoMonkey Posts: 144member
    It will happen when it happens...  and in my mind, cannot happen too soon.
    elijahg
  • Reply 16 of 29
    mike54mike54 Posts: 412member
    Hallelujah at last!
    Much sooner will be better.
    OctoMonkeyelijahg
  • Reply 17 of 29
    JWSCJWSC Posts: 874member
    Rayz2016 said:
    mr lizard said:
    I’d be very surprised if Jeff Williams wasn’t next in line. 

    I am surprised though that Cook was drawn on this question. Apple’s de facto playbook is to ‘no comment’ absolutely anything they don’t want to discuss. The fact that they entertained this question means they weren’t just happy to answer it, but that they purposefully wanted this information out there. 
    Well, it’s no surprise that he’s going to retire, but they want to get ahead of the doomsayers by making it known that the company knows he’s going to retire.  

    My guess is that he’ll step down after the car is released. 
    So, you’re hypothesizing that Tim Cook will be well into his centenary years at Apple before he retires? 😁
    elijahgramanpfaff
  • Reply 18 of 29
    Rayz2016Rayz2016 Posts: 6,679member
    mr lizard said:
    I’d be very surprised if Jeff Williams wasn’t next in line. 

    I am surprised though that Cook was drawn on this question. Apple’s de facto playbook is to ‘no comment’ absolutely anything they don’t want to discuss. The fact that they entertained this question means they weren’t just happy to answer it, but that they purposefully wanted this information out there. 
    He's only two  years younger than Tim Cook.  I'd be very surprised if he was.
    A bit like when folk said Angela Ahrendts would take over when Cook retired … forgetting that she’s a few months older than him. 
    lolliver
  • Reply 19 of 29
    elijahgelijahg Posts: 2,006member
    The sooner the better IMO. His only real achievement is to grow Apple's (and its shareholders, which I was until recently) wealth. The only truly "Cook" introductions with likely little to no Jobs input have been the HomePods and AppleTV+. Neither of which have been an exactly roaring success. He's allowed feature creep and bloat over bug fixes. He's way too "regular" to be the CEO of a once radical company like Apple. And unfortunately, I think he has removed a lot of the Jobsian "DNA" in favour of his own, making a once nimble, decentralised, innovative "thinking different" company - aspects that were regularly toted as its reason for success, into a regular, lethargic behemoth all reporting to one guy who cares only about profit above all else, including the products themselves.
    edited April 6
  • Reply 20 of 29
    thedbathedba Posts: 539member
    elijahg said:
    The sooner the better IMO. His only real achievement is to grow Apple's (and its shareholders, which I was until recently) wealth. The only truly "Cook" introductions with likely little to no Jobs input have been the HomePods and AppleTV+. Neither of which have been an exactly roaring success. He's allowed feature creep and bloat over bug fixes. He's way too "regular" to be the CEO of a once radical company like Apple. And unfortunately, I think he has removed a lot of the Jobsian "DNA" in favour of his own, making a once nimble, decentralised, innovative "thinking different" company - aspects that were regularly toted as its reason for success, into a regular, lethargic behemoth all reporting to one guy who cares only about profit above all else, including the products themselves.
    Apple Watch?   .......  No, that never happened.
    AirPods? .......... That never occurred either.
    Transition to Apple Music, through the acquisition of Beats?  ....... Definitely not. There's nothing there.
    How about Apple Silicon? ........ Pffffft! It's like replacing Ice Lake for Comet Lake right? Anyone can do that. 

    You're right Tim Cook's Apple never accomplished any of the above. 
    urashidfastasleepRonnnieOjony0applguyramanpfaff
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