BusinessWeek: Tim Cook should lead Apple capably during Jobs’ six-month medical leave

“As Apple Chief Executive Steve Jobs steps away from the helm for a six-month medical leave, the eyes of investors, customers, and employees are intently focused on his No. 2, Chief Operating Officer Timothy D. Cook,” Arik Hesseldahl reports for BusinessWeek.

“Cook, who will handle day-to-day operations while Jobs is away, is known as a skilled manager who makes up in operational chops what he lacks in marketing and design savvy. There’s little question Jobs will be missed. Yet Cook, who ran Apple in 2004 when Jobs was recuperating from cancer surgery, is widely expected to guide the company with a steady hand,” Hesseldahl reports.

“As COO, Cook is an indispensable member of Apple’s corporate bench. Where Steve Jobs is Apple’s public face and its final arbiter of product design and positioning, Cook is responsible for day-to-day operations, outside observers and former employees say. ‘Steve is the visionary,’ says one former employee who asked not to be named. ‘Tim is the guy who makes the trains run on time,'” Hesseldahl reports.

“For all his operational star power, Cook isn’t the master of marketing and products that Jobs is. In Jobs’ absence, product design decisions will likely fall to Jonathan Ive, senior vice-president of industrial design, the man behind the design of the iMac, the iPod, and many other products,” Hesseldahl reports. “‘When it comes to design, they most often defer to Ive,’ says Tim Bajarin, head of Creative Strategies, a tech consulting firm.”

Hesseldahl reports, “But don’t underestimate Cook, cautions Gartner analyst Mike McGuire. Having spent more than a decade in Jobs’ closely guarded executive circle, Cook will have learned more than a thing or two about how to launch successful products. ‘I don’t know Cook that well, but my guess is he isn’t just an ops guy,’ McGuire says. ‘I don’t think you survive at Apple as just an operations guy. I don’t think you get let into the inner sanctum as just an operations guy.'”

Full article here.

14 Comments

  1. Cook + Ives = Steve Jobs

    I know that equation isn’t entirely true, but it does have some truth to it. Ives knows what kick ass product looks and feels like, and Cook can make it happen.

    If this organization goes about its daily business by asking the question, “What would Jobs do?” I’ll be there is enough talent there for some absolutely groundbreaking products in the future. I really do believe that.

  2. The missing word is “again”! Tim Cook should AGAIN lead Apple …

    Trying to dump on Apple or state reality. Dumping makes the headlines. Will they stop spitting on Apple if Steve is unable to come back full time? No, they are set in their ways. They all wanted in in jail and proclaimed him guilty with the back dating stuff. They are still trying to bury the ax in Steve and Apple’s back.

  3. Bye Bye Apple. It is definitely time to sell everything off and give the money back to the investors. I’m sure the poor souls that purchased the stock at $180/share would like to see something from their investment.

    Apple is nothing but an over priced toy company without Jobs. The rest of the so-called management team are no more than a bunch of yes-men hacks waiting to cash their paychecks.

    It’s sad that Jobs is having health problems and I really hope that he gets better but it doesn’t sound good. Gizmodo was right about Jobs leaving and I don’t think he is coming back because the recovery numbers from pancreatic cancer is not good.

    But now is the time to get rid of yiour mac hardware and software. Start moving your data to IBM hardware before you are left in the cold. Same goes for the overpriced toy called the iPhone.

  4. @Mac Realist

    The REAL Zune Tang is back!

    I’ll move to Windows when they put out a better operating system and the Dells and HPs of the world put out superior hardware designs.

    I have a feeling that with or without Jobs at the helm I’ll be working on an iMac and Macbook well into the next decade.

  5. “Bye Bye Apple. It is definitely time to sell everything off and give the money back to the investors. I’m sure the poor souls that purchased the stock at $180/share would like to see something from their investment.”

    You’re sooooooooo right. Did you know that jobs personally came up with all the ideas, all the products, all the designs and even built the Apple stores by hand on the weekend. Sadly, I am not even really typing this because all my Apple computers stopped working as soon as the announcement was made.

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