The critics were impossibly wrong: Apple CEO Tim Cook was -- and is -- the right person fo...

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A lot of nonsense has been said about Tim Cook since he took over as chief executive of Apple nearly a decade ago, and with his company's latest quarterly blowout, he has proven the naysayers all wrong yet again.


Products under Tim Cook

The story of Tim Cook's tenure as Apple CEO will undoubtedly be the meteoric rise of the iPhone, which is the bedrock of Apple's success and profits. The iPhone is arguably the most successful consumer electronics device in the history of computing, and the vast majority of that success has come under Cook's watch.

The iPhone is not only the bar by which Cook's success will be measured. The shadow it casts is so long that other companies and their CEOs will be and have been graded on that same curve.

The first iPhone debuted in 2007, four years before Cook permanently took over as CEO. It was not developed nor released under his watch, which has led some critics to say that he cannot live up to the standard set before him. After all, nothing released under Cook has been nearly as big of a success, right?

Hogwash.

The Apple Watch is the most popular smartwatch on the planet, accounting for 40 percent of all sales.

AirPods hold an estimated 25 percent of the audio wearables space, with one firm pegging 2020 sales at 108.9 million units.

Apple's cloud services -- dating back to iTools, MobileMe and .Mac -- were a joke. Under Cook, the services umbrella has shaken that reputation and grown to a $50 billion per year business that would rank among the Fortune 100 if it stood on its own.

That's not to mention continued dominance of the iPad versus competing tablets.

And then there's the Mac. Critics might say the Mac has languished under Cook's leadership, but the 2020 introduction of the M1 processor is the single biggest change to the platform in over a decade, and consumers are responding accordingly.

This week's record breaking earnings report boasted the best quarter ever for the Mac in terms of revenue. In fact, the last three quarters since the first M1 Macs launched have been the three biggest quarters for the Mac in the history of the company.




Critics may point to failing keyboards or Touch Bar annoyances or prolonged stagnation for the Mac mini, but such incidents fail to see the forest for the trees. The Mac is stronger than ever in 2021, and looks to only get stronger.

The Mac is once again setting the tone and redefining the PC space.

While there have been a few misses with the "can't innovate anymore, my ass" trashcan Mac Pro the most glaring example of a misfire, Apple has largely righted the course from those missteps and stayed on target with new products and product categories. Apple's product lineup is more diverse, robust and successful than ever, and Tim Cook can take a considerable amount of credit for all of it.

Wall Street performance under Tim Cook

It's hard to argue with results.

The relationship between investors and Tim Cook hasn't always been rosy -- at a shareholder meeting in 2014, he told an investor to "get out of the stock" if they only wanted him to focus on the return on investment related to environmental concerns. But Apple has delivered time and time again with blowout quarters and continued growth, leaving investors satisfied with the performance of Apple as a whole, and Cook as an individual.




It has paid off handsomely for all involved. Under Cook, Apple became the first company to reach a $2 trillion market cap. And since Cook owns 0.02 of all outstanding shares of Apple, he has benefitted alongside shareholders and institutional investors, making him a billionaire.

It was also under Cook's watch in 2012 that Apple began an aggressive share buyback program and dividend payment for investors. That program continues to this day -- a cash dividend of 22 cents per share, increased by 7 percent, will be payable to shareholders on May 13, and Apple has increased its existing share repurchase program by $90 billion.

Environmental and social issues under Tim Cook

If Cook has his way, his advocacy for the environment, sustainability, and social justice will be just as big a part of his legacy, if not moreso, than the products brought to market and the profits raked in during his tenure.

Under Cook, Apple's operations are carbon neutral and run on 100% renewable energy, and the entire company is on track to have a carbon neutral footprint by 2030. As part of this week's quarterly earnings report, Apple emphasized its continued environmental efforts, including 8 gigawatts of new clean energy that it will bring onto the grid.




Even the harshest skeptics have taken notice. Greepeace, which was an outspoken critic of Apple for years during the Steve Jobs era, has done a full 180 on Apple, naming it the "Greenest tech company" in 2017.

On social reform, last year at WWDC, Cook also unveiled a $100 million Racial Equity and Justice Initiative, which began in the U.S. and will expand globally. The goal of the program is to "challenge the systemic barriers to opportunity and dignity that exist for communities of color, particularly of the Black community."

Critics will point to Apple's continued reliance on cheap labor from China, home to countless reports of inappropriately long working hours and inhumane conditions, as a sign that Cook hasn't done enough. They're not wrong, but singling out Apple in a problem that affects virtually every global corporation to some degree is extremely narrow. And even there, Apple has looked to move some production away from China, and has also used its global footprint to put pressure on assembly partners like Foxconn to improve labor conditions.

There is also the larger problem of e-waste created by users constantly upgrading their gadgets to the latest and greatest, but even here Cook has made strides in sustainability with a number of recycling and trade-in programs that aim to reduce waste and reuse materials where possible. They've even showcased the company's recycling robot, named "Daisy," which can disassemble up to 200 iPhones per hour.

Ultimately, as a publicly traded corporation, social and environmental issues are not Apple's responsibility. And yet Cook has made these defining issues regarding the planet and its people a key part of his leadership, because he personally believes it is the right thing to do.

Customer and employee satisfaction under Tim Cook

You don't reach record sales across all of your product lines without making some happy repeat customers along the way.

Time and time again, surveys have shown Apple ranking number one in consumer satisfaction among users of computers, smartphones and tablets. The numbers are so impressive that Cook himself repeatedly cites them in calls with investors and interviews with the press.




Loyalty for Apple is not only strong among its consumers, but also its employees. Satisfaction with Cook among Apple's ranks has been consistently above 90 percent in employee surveys, peaking in 2016 when Glassdoor gave him a 96% approval rating.

Whether buying or making the company's products, the people within Apple's orbit are generally pretty happy.

What's left to complain about?

Cook's tenure at Apple -- whenever he ultimately chooses to end it -- seems destined to be remembered as a success story from start to finish. His time at the helm has not been perfect, but for "just an operations guy" who was following in the footsteps of Steve Jobs, he has taken Apple to greater heights while also remaking the company in his own image.

Even for those unhappy with some of his decisions, anyone attempting to portray Cook as the wrong person for the job of Apple CEO is grasping at straws. Small ones, like the kind you put in your coffee.

It's all the more remarkable when you consider what a larger than life presence Steve Jobs was, and how much Jobs's image came to define Apple. With that in mind, it's no wonder that anyone thought Apple under Cook would be doomed to failure.

And yet, Cook keeps proving them all dead wrong, one blockbuster fiscal quarter after another.
Dogpersonp-dog
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 60
    22july201322july2013 Posts: 3,062member
    His financial results are undeniable. His environmental results are undeniable. His human rights results are deniable.
    rob53DogpersonPezathedbaBeatsbeowulfschmidt
  • Reply 2 of 60
    Good to underline what a terrific job this guy does. I knew he was great right from the start, when he (and not so much Jobs) saved Apple by a complete overhaul of its logistics. As a stockholder it's great to see the value of the stocks grow and grow and grow, but it is even better to see Apple is in every way a good company. Thanks Tim!
    Scot1Dogpersonlolliverp-dogFileMakerFellerradarthekatBeatsjony0
  • Reply 3 of 60
    MplsPMplsP Posts: 3,683member
    Apple hasn't been perfect since Tim took the helm but I would agree with the article; overall they are doing well.

    chasm
  • Reply 4 of 60
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 10,043member
    MplsP said:
    Apple hasn't been perfect since Tim took the helm but I would agree with the article; overall they are doing well.

    Oh, and they were perfect under Jobs? Deal with your Cook hatred.
    mike1p-dogbaconstangBeatsStrangeDayswilliamlondonjony0
  • Reply 5 of 60
    rob53rob53 Posts: 3,012member
    It's sad people would even think about criticizing Mr. Cook for his success as CEO, and everything before, at Apple. People love to hate and the media picks up on everything negative while rarely "wasting" any time acknowledging the good a person has done. Let's compare Tim to the other CEO's of major companies and see who's the most honest, cares about customers the most and cares about the world the most, plus a host of other positive things. There's no contest. Tim wins by a landslide, game over.
    lkruppDogpersonlolliverp-dogDnykjpRfC6fnBsFileMakerFellerroundaboutnowbaconstangradarthekatBeats
  • Reply 6 of 60
    JapheyJaphey Posts: 1,410member
    lkrupp said:
    MplsP said:
    Apple hasn't been perfect since Tim took the helm but I would agree with the article; overall they are doing well.

    Oh, and they were perfect under Jobs? Deal with your Cook hatred.
    Did he say he hated Cook? Was Jobs’ name even mentioned?  I must have missed that. 

    Why are you such a dick at all times? You could just pass right on by, but instead actively choose to drop in and share your negative energy with everyone. You obviously have significant hate issues of your own to deal with. Try meditation. Or marijuana. 
    chemengin1MplsPmuthuk_vanalingamDogpersonAutigerMarkboboliciousPezalolliverDnykjpRfC6fnBspascal007
  • Reply 7 of 60
    WgkruegerWgkrueger Posts: 352member
    Japhey said:
    lkrupp said:
    MplsP said:
    Apple hasn't been perfect since Tim took the helm but I would agree with the article; overall they are doing well.

    Oh, and they were perfect under Jobs? Deal with your Cook hatred.
    Did he say he hated Cook? Was Jobs’ name even mentioned?  I must have missed that. 

    Why are you such a dick at all times? You could just pass right on by, but instead actively choose to drop in and share your negative energy with everyone. You obviously have significant hate issues of your own to deal with. Try meditation. Or marijuana. 
    I don’t see any hate there but “since Cook took the helm” has an implied Steve Jobs there and “doing well” is a rather extreme understatement. 

    p-dogwilliamlondonBeatsjony0
  • Reply 8 of 60
    Was there ever any doubt? Since the early days of Tim coming on, I have noticed Apple has become more open, plays nicely with the competition. Things have improved significantly and Apple has an ever increasing presence. Steve Jobs was excellent, but imo he didn't play as nice with others and so the Apple brand was mostly relegated to a corner, apart from the iPhones
    p-dogradarthekat
  • Reply 9 of 60
    MplsPMplsP Posts: 3,683member
    Wgkrueger said:
    Japhey said:
    lkrupp said:
    MplsP said:
    Apple hasn't been perfect since Tim took the helm but I would agree with the article; overall they are doing well.

    Oh, and they were perfect under Jobs? Deal with your Cook hatred.
    Did he say he hated Cook? Was Jobs’ name even mentioned?  I must have missed that. 

    Why are you such a dick at all times? You could just pass right on by, but instead actively choose to drop in and share your negative energy with everyone. You obviously have significant hate issues of your own to deal with. Try meditation. Or marijuana. 
    I don’t see any hate there but “since Cook took the helm” has an implied Steve Jobs there and “doing well” is a rather extreme understatement. 

    My, how people can read into things - anything to take a positive comment and make it negative. As usual @lkrupp is flying off the handle. I said 'since Cook took the helm' because that's what the article (and my comment) referenced - Apple since Tim Cook became CEO. Any reference to Steve Jobs is completely imagined and serves more to reveal people's own predispositions than anything else.
    muthuk_vanalingamlolliverwilliamlondonpascal007radarthekatBeatsTRAGcrowley
  • Reply 10 of 60
    Japhey said:
    lkrupp said:
    MplsP said:
    Apple hasn't been perfect since Tim took the helm but I would agree with the article; overall they are doing well.

    Oh, and they were perfect under Jobs? Deal with your Cook hatred.
    Did he say he hated Cook? Was Jobs’ name even mentioned?  I must have missed that. 

    Why are you such a dick at all times? You could just pass right on by, but instead actively choose to drop in and share your negative energy with everyone. You obviously have significant hate issues of your own to deal with. Try meditation. Or marijuana. 
    Well said!!! That was exactly what I was thinking when i read @lkrupp's comment. There was NOTHING offensive in @MplsP's post. That was a silly, unwarranted rant.
    boboliciouslolliverwilliamlondonpascal007JapheyradarthekatTRAG
  • Reply 11 of 60
    WgkruegerWgkrueger Posts: 352member
    MplsP said:
    Wgkrueger said:
    Japhey said:
    lkrupp said:
    MplsP said:
    Apple hasn't been perfect since Tim took the helm but I would agree with the article; overall they are doing well.

    Oh, and they were perfect under Jobs? Deal with your Cook hatred.
    Did he say he hated Cook? Was Jobs’ name even mentioned?  I must have missed that. 

    Why are you such a dick at all times? You could just pass right on by, but instead actively choose to drop in and share your negative energy with everyone. You obviously have significant hate issues of your own to deal with. Try meditation. Or marijuana. 
    I don’t see any hate there but “since Cook took the helm” has an implied Steve Jobs there and “doing well” is a rather extreme understatement. 

    My, how people can read into things - anything to take a positive comment and make it negative. As usual @lkrupp is flying off the handle. I said 'since Cook took the helm' because that's what the article (and my comment) referenced - Apple since Tim Cook became CEO. Any reference to Steve Jobs is completely imagined and serves more to reveal people's own predispositions than anything else.
    I’m going on the assumption that you meant it was me reading into things in this reply. I agreed with you that there was no hate in what you originally said but I thought your reasoning was weak. You originally stated that “Apple hasn’t been perfect since Tim Cook took over the helm” and further replied that you didn’t mention Steve Jobs. But you actually did imply Steve Jobs.  It’s the “since” part that gives away the meaning I’m taking from that statement as “since” implies “prior to” and prior to Tim Cook was Steve Jobs. Anyway, I hope this was helpful in your future engagements with others using the English language.  Oh, and Krupp has been rather dickish here of late, IMO.
    Beats
  • Reply 12 of 60
    MisterKitMisterKit Posts: 454member
    A well stated article.

    get seriousradarthekat
  • Reply 13 of 60
    dewmedewme Posts: 4,402member
    Tim Cook was exactly the right person at exactly the right moment in Apple's evolution. The product, services, content, and partnering investments that Apple has made under Tim Cook have bought Apple a level of resiliency that we could never have imagined on the day he took over.

    We can nitpick little things, but things like Apple Watch and especially the move to Apple Silicon are going to have a profound impact on the industry that will resonate for another decade or more. M1 and its successors are going to change the course of personal computing as we know it. The M1 is a perfect symbol of the merits associated with working smarter rather than simply working harder. Apple Silicon, as symbolized by the M1, will be one of Tim Cook's shining legacies.
    p-dogradarthekatBeatsjony0
  • Reply 14 of 60
    DAalsethDAalseth Posts: 2,220member
    I’m going to admit that I was wrong about TC. At first I took him for a business wonk with no broad vision for the company. But it’s become clear that he’s known where he’s wanted Apple to go, and his vision has been spot on with great financials and great products as the result. I totally misjudged him. We can stop talking about finding another Steve Jobs. Clearly people will need to start talking about finding “the next Tim Cook” when he retires.
    lolliverp-dogdewmeblastdoorroundaboutnowbaconstangradarthekatBeatsDetnatoribill
  • Reply 15 of 60
    PezaPeza Posts: 198member
    Cook is loved because he generates masses of profit, and whilst he does that the city and share holders will love him, they couldn’t care less about anything else he does like ignore human rights in foreign lands to mass produce products cheaply, their is no conscious when it comes to money and power. Personally I don’t like him, he’s awful to watch in the presentations. Steve was a great presenter and knew how to convincingly talk about a product passionately, Craig’s good also as he has a sense of humour and brings it out in stage, but Cook no, he’s just annoying and comes across as the arrogant man he most likely is.

    Oh and I would not state the ‘iPhone’ was the it’s successful consumer electronics device of all time, I would claim the mobile phone was, also wasn’t it the massive success that saved Apple from bankruptcy under Steve Jobs? An awful lot of things under Cook have not gone well.
    edited April 2021 elijahg
  • Reply 16 of 60
    wood1208wood1208 Posts: 2,781member
    History proved that the critics were TOTALLY wrong about Tim Cook but Steve Jobs was right to tell Apple Board to appoint Tim Cook for the CEO job.
    lolliverthedbap-dog
  • Reply 17 of 60
    thedbathedba Posts: 682member
    dewme said:
    Tim Cook was exactly the right person at exactly the right moment in Apple's evolution. The product, services, content, and partnering investments that Apple has made under Tim Cook have bought Apple a level of resiliency that we could never have imagined on the day he took over.

    We can nitpick little things, but things like Apple Watch and especially the move to Apple Silicon are going to have a profound impact on the industry that will resonate for another decade or more. M1 and its successors are going to change the course of personal computing as we know it. The M1 is a perfect symbol of the merits associated with working smarter rather than simply working harder. Apple Silicon, as symbolized by the M1, will be one of Tim Cook's shining legacies.
    Well said and let’s not forget that TC was handpicked by SJ, to succeed him. 
    I totally agree about Apple Silicon. That was one hell of a bomb shell reverberating through the PC industry. 


    Of course everyone knows the PC industry would’ve gone there naturally.  /s
    edited April 2021 p-dogdewmeradarthekatjony0
  • Reply 18 of 60
    Having worked at Apple both under Steve and Tim's tenure I can say that when financial success came to Apple employees shared in that success. Employee stock purchase plan, health insurance options for part time employees, education reimbursement, COVID support, stock grants across all parts of the company not just for Cupertino. As for suppliers Apple has steadily prodded their suppliers to provide better working environments, limits on hours worked, workplace audits on hiring and employment practices.
     Few westerners realize the cultural differences that influence the employer/employee relationship in other countries. It is not just a case of employers driving the employee with a whip, many workers are coming from rural areas and are driving themselves into the ground to save a family back on the farm. China, Indonesia, Brazil, India and others are evolving much as the U.S. did in the 1890's - 1920's and they are progressing fast, faster than the U.S. I think.
    Point being Apple is not perfect but has consistently driven to be a better employer and is holding their suppliers to a higher standard than most other companies. And that drive accelerated under Tim and company (except for the period during the :the asshat: before Angela). 
    Thanks to Tim, all of Apple and most of all to the Apple Customers that make it all possible. 
    FileMakerFellerbaconstangradarthekatsconosciutothtjony0
  • Reply 19 of 60
    blastdoorblastdoor Posts: 2,742member
    DAalseth said:
    I’m going to admit that I was wrong about TC. At first I took him for a business wonk with no broad vision for the company. But it’s become clear that he’s known where he’s wanted Apple to go, and his vision has been spot on with great financials and great products as the result. I totally misjudged him. We can stop talking about finding another Steve Jobs. Clearly people will need to start talking about finding “the next Tim Cook” when he retires.
    I think it’s fair to have been skeptical because Tim Cook isn’t a “product guy” in the way jobs was. But it turns out he is an “Apple guy” — he understands the value of the team. 
    FileMakerFellerroundaboutnowradarthekatthtStrangeDaysjony0
  • Reply 20 of 60
    Tim Cook deserves a lot of praise. From a customer standpoint, Apple has reliably delivered the products it promised even during the chip shortage. Apple rarely overpromises on its products capabilities. I do wish that Apple took more risks, although perhaps not at the "bet the company" level of Steve Jobs. Apple has the opportunity to disrupt the entire computer industry with the M1 and M2 processors but to do that they would have to draw far outside the lines. Steve would have created a Mac Nano by now costing around $300 with a M1 processor. It would have turned the industry upside down as the Windows world has literally nothing to compete with that. In other areas, such as VR, Apple is far behind the rest of the industry. Perhaps their AR glasses will redefine the market the way the iPhone did.
    elijahg
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