Apple CEO Tim Cook often sits with random employees at lunch

Posted:
in General Discussion edited January 2014
A new feature on Apple Chief Executive Tim Cook describes him as a down-to-earth leader who is easy to talk to, and makes people easily forget that he is the CEO of one of the largest companies in the world.

The cover story of the latest issue of Fortune details how Cook is changing Apple in its post-Steve Jobs era. The piece, written by Adam Lashinsky, kicks off by describing how Apple investors were shocked when Cook met and spoke with them at an investor meeting in February at the company's corporate headquarters.

Cook's style is a stark change from his predecessor, Apple co-founder Steve Jobs, who despised participating in such investor events. But despite the "shifts of behavior and tone" described in Lashinsky's article, he added that Cook is maintaining "most of Apple's unique corporate culture."

"In general, Apple has become slightly more open and considerably more corporate," he wrote. "In some cases Cook is taking action that Apple sorely needed and employees badly wanted. It's almost as if he is working his way through a to-do list of long overdue repairs the previous occupant (Jobs) refused to address for no reason other than obstinacy."

In doing things his way, Cook has also retained his disarming personality, which Lashinsky said most employees at the company seem to prefer. For example, Cook often sits randomly with employees in Apple's corporate cafeteria during lunch, while Jobs typically dined with design chief Jonathan Ive, who was knighted this week in his home country of the U.K.

Tim Cook at Foxconn
Apple CEO Tim Cook tours an iPhone production line at a Foxconn plant in Zhengzhou, China, in March.


Cook has also instituted major changes at the company, such as a considerable focus on using renewable green energy, bringing in independent audits of Apple's overseas supply chain, and also allocating $45 billion over three years toward a stock dividend and share repurchase program. And all of those changes have been made while Cook oversaw the two most successful product launches in Apple's history with the iPhone 4S last October and the third-generation iPad this March.

The Fortune cover story includes comments from an unnamed CEO of "an influential tech company," who described Cook as "down to earth, noncorporate, detail-oriented, and disarming."

"He's casual, grounded, and easy to talk to," they said. "I forgot he's the CEO of Apple. And that was not my experience with Jobs."

Lashinksy's book on Apple's corporate culture, entitled "Inside Apple," became available earlier this year. It profiled iOS chief Scott Forstall as the company's "CEO in waiting," declaring him the current most likely successor to Cook.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 72
    wardcwardc Posts: 150member


    I think most people agree that Tim is likable and a really great fellow all-around. I haven't heard much negative about him at all, I think he's very admired by the Apple community and seen as a positive influence at Apple.

  • Reply 2 of 72
    solipsismxsolipsismx Posts: 19,566member
    In a way that's cool and Cook seems like a nice guy but if I'm at lunch shooting the shit with fellow co-workers whom I likely consider friends and perhaps blowing off some steam about this or that and surely taking a break, having the CEO come sit with me for the duration of my lunch might not be the best thing.
  • Reply 3 of 72
    pokepoke Posts: 506member


    Cook interacted with investors when he was COO so he's just continuing in that role. Obviously Apple's culture is going to be different without Jobs. It's not like Cook was going to start shunning investors and acting like a dick towards employees because his title changed to CEO.

  • Reply 4 of 72
    applezillaapplezilla Posts: 941member


    I keep waiting to hear something bad about Cook. Never happens. He was a good choice.

  • Reply 5 of 72
    tipootipoo Posts: 1,119member


    CEO of company uses widely used management techniques. News at 7. 

  • Reply 6 of 72
    scotty321scotty321 Posts: 313member
    Okay, he's a nice guy. But can he innovate?
  • Reply 7 of 72
    island hermitisland hermit Posts: 6,217member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by scotty321 View Post



    Okay, he's a nice guy. But can he innovate?


     


    Innovate?


     


    Why does he need to innovate?


     


    He needs to manage.

  • Reply 8 of 72
    island hermitisland hermit Posts: 6,217member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post



    In a way that's cool and Cook seems like a nice guy but if I'm at lunch shooting the shit with fellow co-workers whom I likely consider friends and perhaps blowing off some steam about this or that and surely taking a break, having the CEO come sit with me for the duration of my lunch might not be the best thing.


     


    Personally, I would love it if my boss came to sit with me for lunch.


     


    ... as long as he wasn't a dick about it and canned someone for something he overheard.

  • Reply 9 of 72
    gustavgustav Posts: 826member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by scotty321 View Post



    Okay, he's a nice guy. But can he innovate?


     


    That's not his job. His job is to facilitate innovation and execute it.


     


    Quote:

    Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post



    In a way that's cool and Cook seems like a nice guy but if I'm at lunch shooting the shit with fellow co-workers whom I likely consider friends and perhaps blowing off some steam about this or that and surely taking a break, having the CEO come sit with me for the duration of my lunch might not be the best thing.


     


    He doesn't have lunch with you every day. He does it once, and then moves on. It's perfectly ok once in a while.

  • Reply 10 of 72
    wurm5150wurm5150 Posts: 763member
    scotty321 wrote: »
    Okay, he's a nice guy. But can he innovate?

    From a product stand-point? That's not his job. That's what he has Ive, Forstall, Mansfield, and rest of his team for.. He's done a lot innovation in the supply chain and logistics. But overall his job is to run the company in a way that allows his talented people to innovate.
  • Reply 11 of 72
    solipsismxsolipsismx Posts: 19,566member
    ... as long as he wasn't a dick about it and canned someone for something he overheard.

    "So I was at this bar last night and you wouldn't believe what I did in my drunken stupor. I left my iPhone prototype at the bar! I can't really remember what happened but I kind of recall this hot Korean girl coming up and saying hello to me. She was very touchy feely. You think she took it? I wonder if she worked for Samsung."
  • Reply 12 of 72
    island hermitisland hermit Posts: 6,217member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post





    "So I was at this bar last night and you wouldn't believe what I did in my drunken stupor. I left my iPhone prototype at the bar! I can't really remember what happened but I kind of recall this hot Korean girl coming up and saying hello to me. She was very touchy feely. You think she took it? I wonder if she worked for Samsung."


     


    , mused Cook as he sat with his employees at lunch.  image

  • Reply 13 of 72
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 9,715member
    tipoo wrote: »
    CEO of company uses widely used management techniques. News at 7. 

    Well that's better than being fired on the elevator when the CEO asks you what you've been doing.
  • Reply 14 of 72
    webfrassewebfrasse Posts: 147member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post



    In a way that's cool and Cook seems like a nice guy but if I'm at lunch shooting the shit with fellow co-workers whom I likely consider friends and perhaps blowing off some steam about this or that and surely taking a break, having the CEO come sit with me for the duration of my lunch might not be the best thing.


     


    You sound like a real clever guy...

  • Reply 15 of 72
    jmc54jmc54 Posts: 207member


    So the CEO of the the company you work for, wants to join you for lunch, and you can't put off your BS session or to blow off steam for a day to talk with him??? REALLY????


     
  • Reply 16 of 72
    ryukryuk Posts: 29member
    Really who care who he sits with ? & it sounds creepy to me
  • Reply 17 of 72
    gazoobeegazoobee Posts: 3,754member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by tipoo View Post


    CEO of company uses widely used management techniques. News at 7. 



     


    Exactly.  And your boss is your boss, not your friend.  


     


    It's nice enough that he does this once in a while and it's a positive move for both parties, but anyone who makes the mistake of thinking your boss is a "friend" or just "one of the team" or any of that BS is an idiot.  The boss can't ever be 100% genuine, open and equal with the employees and the employees can never *really* say everything they think to their bosses.  It's just the way the master/peon relationship works.  

  • Reply 18 of 72
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 33,141member
    solipsismx wrote: »
    In a way that's cool and Cook seems like a nice guy but if I'm at lunch shooting the shit with fellow co-workers whom I likely consider friends and perhaps blowing off some steam about this or that and surely taking a break, having the CEO come sit with me for the duration of my lunch might not be the best thing.

    Depends. If you're badmouthing him, them it's going to shut you up. But if you're talking about what you see are problems, them it just might encourgage you to keep talking.

    I'm just concerned that this prevents him from spending time with Ives. He should do that too.
  • Reply 19 of 72
    bwikbwik Posts: 564member


    I always maintain you learn more from ground level employees than you do from upper level employees.


     


    If upper mgmt of a megacorp does not have a clue what is happening, that's the beginning of the end of that megacorp.  Seen it lived it.


     


    That said, Tim Cook does need to make sure Apple introduces innovative products.  I believe Apple is stabilizing and won't innovate much anymore.  Innovations will come from the next Apple currently headed by a 24 year old in a garage somewhere.  They won't be coming from Tim Cook, although it appears he was an excellent choice to be CEO of Apple the megacorp.

  • Reply 20 of 72
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 33,141member
    , mused Cook as he sat with his employees at lunch.  :lol:

    As Tim is gay, I doubt a girl would I Teresa him that much. He doesn't seem to be the trawl the bar type. Besides, I think he's with someone.
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