“For the next six months, Steve Jobs has asked Tim Cook run Apple while Jobs convalesces. For Cook, that must feel a little like getting the keys to dad’s Porsche. For Jobs, it suggests he’s confident Cook won’t drive the company into a ditch,” Nick Wingfield reports for The Wall Street Journal. “Rick Devine has a unique view of the relationship of the two Apple executives. Devine was present when Jobs and Cook met for the first time in 1998. At the time, Devine was an executive recruiter at the firm Heidrick & Struggles, which Jobs had hired to conduct searches.”
“Devine arranged to bring a number of candidates for the manufacturing job to Silicon Valley to meet with Jobs. Most of them didn’t last long in the lion’s den with the famously brusque Apple co-founder. Devine recalls Jobs getting up and walking out on one candidate – a hapless, hirsute executive from Compaq Computer – five minutes into the interview,” Wingfield reports. “‘The guy had a beard and collected barber chairs,’ says Devine. ‘Steve is very focused on people he can connect to emotionally.'”
MacDailyNews Take: LOL! Can’t you just picture Jobs’ face when the guy started talking about his barber chair collection? Thanks, Nick, we needed that.
Wingfield continues, “Cook, also a Compaq executive at the time, was a better fit… Devine drove Cook to an office near the Palo Alto, Calif., home of Jobs, where the Apple executive sometimes takes meetings when he’s not at the company’s headquarters. Devine sat listening to their conversation from another room as the two chatted. He sensed that Cook’s cool, unflappable demeanor impressed Jobs, who is more exuberant by nature.”
“Convincing Cook to join Apple was a stretch. Apple was then a deeply troubled company that Jobs hadn’t yet begun turning around, while Cook’s employer, Compaq, was on the top of the PC business,” Wingfield reports. “Jobs started selling Cook on the notion that Apple would one day be great again… ‘I heard him say he thought the stock could be $100 someday,’ says Mr. Devine. Apple’s stock was trading at less than $20 at the time. Without the impact of subsequent stock splits, Apple’s shares closed Wednesday at $341.32.”
Full article here.