Tim Cook described as a 'machine,' 'riveting' in upcoming book about Apple after Steve Jobs

Posted:
in General Discussion edited March 2014
The Wall Street Journal on Friday published an excerpt from an upcoming book detailing Apple's corporate culture since the passing of cofounder Steve Jobs, with the snippet offering perspective on Tim Cook's ascension within the company.

Cook
Apple CEO Tim Cook speaking to ABC on government surveillance. | Source: ABC News


In a piece adapted from the upcoming book "Haunted Empire: Apple After Steve Jobs," author and former WSJ reporter Yukari Iwatani Kane describes Cook's early days at Apple and how the CEO has changed the corporate atmosphere since taking over for Jobs in 2011.

Along with a brief overview of Cook's life as a student, his business pedigree and entry into Apple, the short excerpt takes a deeper look at the chief executive who has had to steer the company under the ever-present shadow of Jobs' legacy.

A recurring theme throughout the piece is Cook's attention to detail and an almost machine-like way of operating in both his work and private lives.
To some, Cook was a machine; to others, he was riveting. He could strike terror in the hearts of his subordinates, but he could also motivate them to toil from dawn to midnight for just a word of praise.
When he first joined Apple, those who met Cook in passing considered him an affable and down-to-earth Southerner -- the piece includes a Mister Rogers reference -- but not many people knew him outside of the workplace. Those who worked under him noted a quiet intensity never seen in public. As COO, he was methodical and wanted his subordinates to treat Apple like a $20 billion company when it was still a $6 billion firm.
Meetings with Cook could be terrifying. He exuded a Zenlike calm and didn't waste words. "Talk about your numbers. Put your spreadsheet up," he'd say as he nursed a Mountain Dew.
Cook is also described as being the "polar opposite" of Jobs. Where Jobs would yell and belittle his employees, Cook used silence as a weapon.
Cook also knew the power of silence. He could do more with a pause than Jobs ever could with an epithet. When someone was unable to answer a question, Cook would sit without a word while people stared at the table and shifted in their seats. The silence would be so intense and uncomfortable that everyone in the room wanted to back away. Unperturbed, Cook didn't move a finger as he focused his eyes on his squirming target. Sometimes he would take an energy bar from his pocket while he waited for an answer, and the hush would be broken only by the crackling of the wrapper.
The excerpt goes on to detail Cook's management style after he became CEO. For example, the Apple chief is changing the company's work climate through various initiatives like charity programs, while being more sociable and open to employees than Jobs.

"Haunted Empire: Apple After Steve Jobs" will be published on Mar. 18 by HarperBusiness
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 51
    Awesome! Tim is like Kai Proctor from [I]Banshee[/I], except that he doesn't dispose of people who mess up in a meat grinder… that we know of.
  • Reply 2 of 51
    asciiascii Posts: 5,941member
    Just because you're methodical and exacting doesn't make you a machine, it's the only way to do logical thought, for machine or man.

    By the way, Haunted Empire is a very cool title.
  • Reply 3 of 51
    I feel he is moving the company forward with purpose and determination. As he intimated, longs will be rewarded.
  • Reply 4 of 51

    So is anyone taking bets on how long before Elon Musk becomes CEO of Apple?

  • Reply 5 of 51
    otterfish wrote: »
    So is anyone taking bets on how long before Elon Musk becomes CEO of Apple?

    I'll take that bet. Never.
  • Reply 6 of 51

    Tesla could become a huge Co. without Apple. Esp if he sells batteries to every car manfacturer and controls the charging stations.

  • Reply 7 of 51
    I've often pondered - if Tim had have being on the NeXT team...
  • Reply 8 of 51
    otterfish wrote: »
    So is anyone taking bets on how long before Elon Musk becomes CEO of Apple?
    Musk does not follow he leads.
  • Reply 9 of 51
    jungmarkjungmark Posts: 6,716member
    otterfish wrote: »
    So is anyone taking bets on how long before Elon Musk becomes CEO of Apple?
    I think the odds of that occurring is equal to the odds the Cleveland Browns have at winning the Super Bowl next year.
  • Reply 10 of 51

    Tim Cook described as a ‘machine,’ ‘riveting'...


     

    Machines tend to do that, yeah. If it was intentional, I applaud the pun.

     

    Originally Posted by otterfish View Post

    So is anyone taking bets on how long before Elon Musk becomes CEO of Apple?

     

    February 30.

  • Reply 11 of 51

    Extry Extry!  Read all about it!

     

    Former Wall Street Journal Reporter Sells Out to Cash In!

  • Reply 12 of 51
    nagrommenagromme Posts: 2,834member
    All this may be true, complete, and unbiased, but I wouldn't jump to be certain it is:

    http://daringfireball.net/2014/02/fitting_facts_to_the_narrative
  • Reply 13 of 51

    Originally Posted by jungmark View Post





    I think the odds of that occurring is equal to the odds the Cleveland Browns have at winning the Super Bowl next year.

     

    Even smaller odds, I'd guess.

     

    About the same as for the Cleveland Browns to win the Super Bowl in July of next year.

  • Reply 14 of 51

    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

    Sometimes he would take an energy bar from his pocket while he waited for an answer, and the hush would be broken only by the crackling of the wrapper.

     

    I wonder how often poor little Scotty Forstall got the silent treatment.

    Especially after the iOS 6 Maps update.  

    And all that old-school skeuomorphism.

  • Reply 15 of 51
    paxmanpaxman Posts: 4,612member
    nagromme wrote: »
    All this may be true, complete, and unbiased, but I wouldn't jump to be certain it is:

    http://daringfireball.net/2014/02/fitting_facts_to_the_narrative
    Very good article by John Gruber. Couldn't agree more.
  • Reply 16 of 51
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 31,401member
    solipsismx wrote: »
    I'll take that bet. Never.

    Agreed.
  • Reply 17 of 51
    sflocalsflocal Posts: 4,700member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by otterfish View Post

     

    So is anyone taking bets on how long before Elon Musk becomes CEO of Apple?




    No.  Why?

  • Reply 18 of 51
    gtrgtr Posts: 3,231member
    sockrolid wrote: »
    I wonder how often poor little Scotty Forstall got the silent treatment.
    Especially after the iOS 6 Maps update.  
    And all that old-school skeuomorphism.

    Tim pulled him into his office and, for three whole hours, didn't exchange very stern words with him.
  • Reply 19 of 51
    wonkothesanewonkothesane Posts: 1,397member

    "Meetings with Cook could be terrifying. He exuded a Zenlike calm and didn't waste words. "Talk about your numbers. Put your spreadsheet up," he'd say as he nursed a Mountain Dew."

     

    Interesting that calm, focus and avoiding waste is considered "terrifying".


     

  • Reply 20 of 51
    solipsismxsolipsismx Posts: 19,566member
    Agreed.

    I'm glad you agree because I'd hate to lose another bet to you.
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