Tim Cook – Steve Jobs’ temporary replacement at Apple – seen as strong, disciplined manager

“Unflappable, analytical and highly disciplined. The man taking the reins at Apple Computer [sic] may not fill the role of brilliant visionary that Apple fanatics have assigned to Steve Jobs, but analysts say that veteran executive Timothy Cook has the right qualities to run the trend-setting technology company for at least the next five months,” Brandon Bailey reports for The San Jose Mercury News.

“‘He’s the guy that makes sure everything gets executed properly,’ said longtime Apple observer Tim Bajarin, president of the consulting firm Creative Strategies. ‘He’s excellent at getting things done,'” Bailey reports. “The 48-year-old Cook is ‘not a product innovator,’ said Brian Marshall, an investment analyst who follows Apple for Broadpoint.AmTech. ‘But he runs a very tight ship.'”

“Cook has been running many aspects of the ship since Jobs hired him in 1988 [sic] to overhaul the company’s manufacturing and distribution networks, which were notoriously disorganized at that time,” Bailey reports. “Now, as Jobs embarks on a medical leave until the end of June, analysts say Cook may be among the leading candidates to fill the Apple chief executive’s post, should Jobs decide to permanently cut back on his role at the company… Cook filled in for Jobs once before, when the celebrated CEO took two months off to recuperate from cancer surgery in 2004.”

MacDailyNews Note: Cook joined Apple in March 1998, not “1988.”

Bailey continues, “With a courtly manner and quiet Southern demeanor, the Alabama-raised Cook doesn’t shout or pound the table, according to those who’ve seen him at work. A recent article in Fortune magazine described a management meeting in which Cook was discussing a problem with Apple’s Asian operations. ‘This is really a problem,’ Cook reportedly said. “‘Someone should be in China driving this.’ Thirty minutes later, Cook turned to a subordinate and calmly inquired: ‘Why are you still here?’

Bailey reports, “The man immediately left the meeting, the magazine said; he drove straight to the airport and flew to China without a change of clothes.”

“Although he’s one of Apple’s highest-paid executives, with stock options that made him a millionaire many times over, he shares Jobs’ preference for wearing jeans and sneakers to work. Cook reportedly favors shoes made by Nike, where he’s been a board member since 2005,” Bailey reports. “While the boss is gone, Apple employees and investors will be watching Cook closely. Some analysts suggest that other executives are better positioned as potential successors to Jobs, but Marshall said Cook’s operational skills could carry him to the next level. ‘I view this next six months as Tim Cook’s trial period as CEO,’ Marshall said.”

Full article here.

MacDailyNews Note: Cook is Apple’s highest-paid executive, with a salary of $800,000, according to a report by Michael Liedtke for The Associated Press. Full article here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “James W.” for the heads up.]


  1. Cook will excel. Apple will remain strong and this will all set the stage for a new era in Apple operations– an era that isn’t dominated by one figure. The romantic version of Apple’s comeback is that it was all Steve. Steve honed the talent that was already there and gave the company direction. He didn’t do everything. Yet, while saying that, Steve’s not done yet either.

    After doing more reading on the Whipple surgery he seems to have gone through, Steve has some less than stellar times ahead, but may make a reasonable comeback. It does not hurt him to have so many resources at his disposal, either.

    Here’s to Steve’s most interesting comeback yet!

  2. I think this part:

    “Cook has been running many aspects of the ship since Jobs hired him in 1988 to overhaul the company’s manufacturing and distribution networks, which were notoriously disorganized at that time,” Bailey reports.”

    Really means 1998 instead of the 1988 mentioned, right?

  3. “Unflappable, analytical and highly disciplined. “


    There are countless people in business with those qualities, so it does not tell anything about Cook being ever able to replace “visionary” Jobs.

    However, Steven said he is going to do strategic decisions, so it is too early to wonder about Cook’s abilities anyway. The more so he already ruled back in 2004.

    Journalists have to generate clicks on their sites and materials, so those pointless publications, of course, will continue.

  4. The more I think about it, maybe Steve Jobs and the board should announce his permanent retirement. Announce Jobs will stay on as a consultant and board member.

    Lets get this stock slide over with. Not drag it out over the next six months and then have another set of speculation and rumors in June and have the stock slide start all over yet again.

    Steve needs to heal and recover. Retire. He can be a board member and advisor to management.

  5. I read an AP article concerning Tim Cook stepping in, a positive article, but got a chuckle out of this quote, in it they said

    “If there was an announcement tomorrow that Jobs is being replaced by God, the stock price would still go down”

  6. Apple will live on without Steve jobs as a company without a problem. Its Job’s VISION that “could” run out. I think Jonny Ive can handle the “passion” just look at how much he loves explaining the design of everything.

  7. As a fellow human being I wish Steve well, and I hope he returns.

    As a stockholder who’s made a lot of money on Apple, maybe it’s not such a bad thing if someone else runs the show for the next 6 months, or from here on out. Who knows what idiosyncratic policies Steve has in place that are holding Apple back? It’s time for Apple to think different.

  8. The posters saying that maybe it would be better for Apple if Jobs were no longer there are INSANE. Just because Cook can make the trains run on time (an important feat) doesn’t mean he brings everything to the table that Jobs does. Only ONE person has demonstrated that he has what it takes to run Apple well–and it ain’t Tim Cook. If we have to find out what Apple is like under a different CEO, fine, Tim Cook is worth a try. But to WISH it when Jobs is doing a SPECTACULAR job is just dumb. Don’t “fix” something that doesn’t need it. Some folks here have forgotten what huge challenge Apple is to run because Sreve makes it look so easy. The only reason Apple has thrived is because they continue to pull a rabbit out of a hat just about every year. Everyone was predicting Apple’s failure, even after Jobs returned. That is because what Apple is trying to do is unbelievably HARD. And they’re pulling it off! Even though many at Apple have contributed, there’s just no question that Jobs bears a lot of the responsibility for that.

  9. Tim Cook could certainly be a very successful CEO at Apple if he knows that he is responsible for running the ship and keeps Apple’s creative team intact and lets them do their job. I have a feeling he knows his strengths and weaknesses, and Jobs has surrounded himself with a great mix of visionary, creative, and “get it done” people.

    Remember people – Jobs doesn’t come up with every idea Apple works on. There are many people involved in the process.

    Apple will be fine. Things will be different without Jobs, particularly because there won’t be that one public figure to make synonymous with Apple.

  10. There is no doubt that Apple’s return from near-bankruptcy was achieved through the vision and creativity of Steve Jobs. However, much of the credit for Apple’s current efficiency and profitability should go to Tim Cook. Apple would still have been successful without him, but I don’t think Apple would have $25 billion (probably more now) in the bank if someone else was COO.

    Before the return of Steve Jobs and hiring of Tim Cook, Apple was an operational basket case.

  11. Tim Cook already runs the day to day operations at Apple. Without Steve, the visionary part of Apple is left vacant. Jony Ive is the one that turns Steve’s visions into the perfect hardware. Scott Forstall has been trained by Steve to master the devil in the details of software features, both Mac OS X and iPhone. But, he’s not a visionary. Bob Mansfield is the detail guy for Mac hardware. iPod currently has a committee running the division. Phil Schiller is a marketing and part time demo guy. Peter, Ron, Sina and Don run there respected divisions. None are visionaries. Bertrand, he’s from a different planet. There really is no drop in solution for replacing Steve. Does anyone have someone in mind? I doubt anyone does, including Steve.

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