“Apple Inc. CEO Tim Cook has already begun grooming people who could replace him at the tech giant,” Annie Palmer writes for TheStreet. “‘I see my role as CEO to prepare as many people as I can to be CEO, and that’s what I’m doing,’ Cook said in an interview with BuzzFeed. ‘And then the board makes a decision at that point in time.'”

“Cook was joined by Angela Ahrendts, Apple’s head of retail. Rumors have swirled that Ahrendts is being lined up to serve as Cook’s successor, but she flat out denied that speculation, calling any talk ‘fake news’ and ‘silly,'” Palmer writes. “It’s unlikely that Cook, 56, is planning to retire from the company any time soon, but people still like to guess who would succeed him if he did.”

“Though Ahrendts shut down any rumors of her being fit for the CEO role, her impressive past would lend her some of the experience necessary. Ahrendts most recently served as CEO of Burberry, where she was credited for reviving the struggling fashion brand,” Palmer writes. “Not long after hiring Ahrendts, Cook described her success at the company as ‘off the charts.’ ‘I knew she was going to be off the charts, but she’s even more off the charts than I thought,’ Cook said in a 2015 interview with Fortune. ‘She came in so fast, there was no [learning] curve. I’ve never met a single individual like that before.'”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Palmer also bandies about the names Jony Ive, Phil Schiller, and (believe it or not) Eddy Cue.

God help us all if Apple’s BoD ever chooses the latter.

Ive doesn’t want it or he’d have it already. He already has the most power at Apple. He’s smart to let the CEO take the slings and arrows.

If Apple’s next CEO comes from inside the company, it’s likely to be someone other than these names. Ahrendts is the most capable, but she’s a year older than Cook, so she’ll be retiring around the time he does, barring any health issues or unforeseen catastrophe. The others are around the same age, too. (Ive is 50, Schiller is 57, and Cue is 52.)

Angela Ahrendts is Cook’s best hire to date. Plus, if he, God forbid, ever got hit by a bus, she could slide right into the CEO position. Of that, we have no doubt. Ahrendts’ track record is stellar. Having two world-class CEOs in the executive suite should give Apple shareholders a strong sense of security. Just as Jobs had Cook, Cook has Ahrendts.MacDailyNews, September 10, 2015

Steve Jobs left design chief Jonathan Ive ‘more operational power’ than anyone else at Apple – October 21, 2011