'Several people' could be the next Apple CEO, reveals Tim Cook

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Apple CEO Tim Cook says that he is determined his successor will come from within the company, and is working to give the board several options.

Tim Cook (Source: BBC)
Tim Cook (Source: BBC)



Tim Cook said in 2021 that he will probably be leaving Apple in the next ten years, and it's been reported that of course the company has succession plans. Any corporation would, but Apple was famously criticized for how secretive it was about finding a successor to Steve Jobs, and the firm is still not talking publicly about Cook's replacement.

Now in an interview with BBC podcast "Dua Lipa: At Your Service," Tim Cook has revealed that there are multiple succession plans being worked on.

"Now we're a company that believes in working on succession plans," he said, "and so we have very detailed succession plans."

"Because something that's unpredictable can always happen," he continued. "I could step off the wrong kerb tomorrow. Hopefully that doesn't happen."


Interviewer Dua Lipa pressed Cook on who was in line for succession, but while he wouldn't name anyone, he revealed there is more than one possibility.

"I can't say [a name]," he said. "But I would say my job is to prepare several people for the ability to succeed."

"I really want the person to come from within Apple,the next CEO," he continued, "And so that's my role is to make sure that there's several for the board to pick from."

Cook wouldn't elaborate on his comment about leaving within ten years, and Lipa asked if he would be at Apple in 2050 to see the impact of the firm's environmental work.

"2050 might be a stretch," he said. "I don't know how long I'll be there."

"I love it there and I can't envision my life without being there," he continued. "And so I'll be there for a while."

Read on AppleInsider

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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 15
    XedXed Posts: 2,668member
    1) Dua Lipa is asking good, deep questions in the interview. Better than journalists usually do.

    2) I've never seen curb spelled as kerb before. It's not wrong over all, but since it's quoting Tim Cook, an American, I'd say the quote should use the American spelling.

    https://www.grammarbook.com/blog/spelling/curb-or-kerb/
    byronlwatto_cobra
  • Reply 2 of 15
    Xed said:
    1) Dua Lipa is asking good, deep questions in the interview. Better than journalists usually do.

    2) I've never seen curb spelled as kerb before. It's not wrong over all, but since it's quoting Tim Cook, an American, I'd say the quote should use the American spelling.

    https://www.grammarbook.com/blog/spelling/curb-or-kerb/
    Article author is British, BBC is British, Dua Lipa the show host is British.  I think either is ok.

    Maybe the quote was copied from a BBC transcription or closed captions?
    byronlFileMakerFellerlolliverjony0
  • Reply 3 of 15
    All I ask is that the eventual successor be chosen on the basis of MERIT and nothing else. My request seems like a no-brainer, but these days…
    williamlondonFileMakerFellerwatto_cobraJanNL
  • Reply 4 of 15
    blastdoorblastdoor Posts: 3,367member
    I wonder if he might transition to being chairman of the board while handing the CEO job off to somebody else. That could ease the transition. 



    byronlJinTechFileMakerFellerwatto_cobralolliver
  • Reply 5 of 15
    JinTechJinTech Posts: 1,038member
    If I were a betting person my money would be on the following, in this order:

    1. Jeff Williams
    2. Craig Federighi
    3. Greg “Joz” Joswiak
    4. Eddy Cue
    FileMakerFellerwatto_cobrabyronl
  • Reply 6 of 15
    macxpressmacxpress Posts: 5,843member
    I'd bet the farm right now that Jeff Williams is the next CEO of Apple after Tim leaves. 
    JinTechronnwatto_cobrabyronlTRAG
  • Reply 7 of 15
    XedXed Posts: 2,668member
    blastdoor said:
    I wonder if he might transition to being chairman of the board while handing the CEO job off to somebody else. That could ease the transition. 
    That makes sense. You only meet a handful of times a year and you make a nice paycheck. Other CEOs I’d question that, but at this point Tim Cook has done so much for Apple and has been such a huge part of its wonderful direction that he pretty much embodies Trump’s classic old man gaffe of calling him “Tim Apple”. 
    watto_cobrabyronlJanNL
  • Reply 8 of 15
    MarvinMarvin Posts: 15,375moderator
    macxpress said:
    I'd bet the farm right now that Jeff Williams is the next CEO of Apple after Tim leaves. 
    I don't know why people keep suggesting this, it's been pointed out a number of times that Jeff Williams is almost the same age as Cook so if Cook retires at 70 in 7 years (2030), Jeff Williams would be starting as CEO at 67. He'd end up having to do the same transition again in a few years.

    Greg Joswiak would be 67.
    Lisa Jackson would be 67.
    Eddy Cue would be 66.
    Johny Srouji would be 66.
    Deirdre O'Brien would be 64.
    Craig Federighi would be 61.
    John Ternus would be 55.

    If Tim Cook retires at 70, around the same age as Bob Iger tried to retire, he will have been CEO for just under 20 years. For a stable transition, the successor would ideally be able to lead Apple for 10 years minimum before the age of 70.

    Federighi would almost manage this and would be a good fit but it feels like a long-term successor would be under 50 today, would start as CEO at 57 and be able to lead Apple for over 10 years. Tim Cook started as CEO at 51.

    This could be any of the younger people that show up in the Apple events. For example Colleen Novielli has been at Apple for over 9 years and would be around 46 in 7 years:

    https://www.linkedin.com/in/colleen-novielli-59a01147

    People are thinking about suitable candidates for a CEO transition today but they'd be taking over in 7+ years so it has to be someone suitable 7+ years from now. Almost all the leadership currently at Apple will be retiring by then and it will be a new generation that takes over. The old leadership will be Apple Fellows, board members, consultants etc and available for guidance.
    ronnwatto_cobralolliverTRAGthtHrebnetroxjony0
  • Reply 9 of 15
    Well I will not apply for.
  • Reply 10 of 15
    I suspect it will be important for Tim to hand it over to somebody who has been there a long time and ideally knew Steve. Not that I think Tim is trying to necessarily do Apple Steve’s way (I think some of the more fashion aimed products are things Steve might not have liked, and I think it’s worth noting that Free Form as far as I remember is the first iLife/Work type app we’ve gotten in years and years and years. 

    But at the same time, I think Tim would probably still want someone who at least understands what it was like to work with Steve and can try and bring out the best aspects of that and leave behind the worst aspects. 

    Personally, I suspect it’ll be Craig. Either that or it somebody who internally they know is reliable but they haven’t put in front of cameras much. 
    byronl
  • Reply 11 of 15
    welshdogwelshdog Posts: 1,902member
    Team Federighi here.
  • Reply 12 of 15
    JinTechJinTech Posts: 1,038member
    welshdog said:
    Team Federighi here.
    His hair would make a great co-CEO!
  • Reply 13 of 15
    I think John Ternus would be a good shout, and in some ways the obvious choice.  He's a product and design guy who seems to be taking point on lots of product launches, is reportedly well liked, and has relative youth and seemingly bundles of energy on his side.

    I guess Apple's pivot to software and services is the main strike against him, but I still think of Apple as predominantly a hardware company.
    edited November 2023 rezwits
  • Reply 14 of 15

    2) I've never seen curb spelled as kerb before. It's not wrong over all, but since it's quoting Tim Cook, an American, I'd say the quote should use the American spelling.

    https://www.grammarbook.com/blog/spelling/curb-or-kerb/
    British journalist here: the standard is to use British English in all contexts apart from proper nouns. 
    As British English attaches different meanings to the homophonic kerb and curb, it is correct to use this spelling in this context.
    Honkerswilliamlondon
  • Reply 15 of 15
    mattinozmattinoz Posts: 2,368member
    Marvin said:
    macxpress said:
    I'd bet the farm right now that Jeff Williams is the next CEO of Apple after Tim leaves. 
    I don't know why people keep suggesting this, it's been pointed out a number of times that Jeff Williams is almost the same age as Cook so if Cook retires at 70 in 7 years (2030), Jeff Williams would be starting as CEO at 67. He'd end up having to do the same transition again in a few years.

    Greg Joswiak would be 67.
    Lisa Jackson would be 67.
    Eddy Cue would be 66.
    Johny Srouji would be 66.
    Deirdre O'Brien would be 64.
    Craig Federighi would be 61.
    John Ternus would be 55.

    If Tim Cook retires at 70, around the same age as Bob Iger tried to retire, he will have been CEO for just under 20 years. For a stable transition, the successor would ideally be able to lead Apple for 10 years minimum before the age of 70.

    Federighi would almost manage this and would be a good fit but it feels like a long-term successor would be under 50 today, would start as CEO at 57 and be able to lead Apple for over 10 years. Tim Cook started as CEO at 51.

    This could be any of the younger people that show up in the Apple events. For example Colleen Novielli has been at Apple for over 9 years and would be around 46 in 7 years:

    https://www.linkedin.com/in/colleen-novielli-59a01147

    People are thinking about suitable candidates for a CEO transition today but they'd be taking over in 7+ years so it has to be someone suitable 7+ years from now. Almost all the leadership currently at Apple will be retiring by then and it will be a new generation that takes over. The old leadership will be Apple Fellows, board members, consultants etc and available for guidance.
    It would be interesting to run a word count of the younger Executives during Apple's public presentations. It would give a clue over time about who is moving up in the standings.


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