When Apple CEO Steve Jobs met Tim Cook

“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.


  1. Interesting stuff and it points out something that makes all this hullaballoo about Steve seem stupid.

    Steve only hires people that basically think like him or approach things in a similar way and Steve hired pretty much everyone who works at Apple in the upper echelons.

    If there was ever a company where all the people behind it walk in lock step and are interchangeable, it’s Apple. At companies like Microsoft, you only have to go down to the VP level (second from the top) to find some real wingnuts, and definitely some folks who think at opposite poles to the supreme leader.

    It’s likely that Microsoft will change quite drastically when they finally give Balmer the heave-ho. It’s not that likely at all that Apple will change significantly even if Steve died tomorrow. They might not execute as well, but the philosophy and more importantly the “group think” is strong.

  2. “Without the impact of subsequent stock splits, Apple’s shares closed Wednesday at $341.32.”
    That sentence was a bit of a waste of space. Without the impact of stock slips Dell’s shares would be higher too. If mr. and mrs. Stalin had used a condom…
    You can’t really look at things that way.

  3. @Wandering Joe
    Your lack of financial understanding is showing…

    You MUST look at things that way when it was stated in the article “the stock could be 100$ someday…” otherwise it looks like those goals weren’t reached (currently trading at 80$) and thus a failure.

    So instead of a stock growth of 5x (@100), it’s really more like 17x the price (@340) that was discussed to show just how far it has come.

    It’s not a ‘what-if’ scenario,on what could have been, its fundamental calculation.

    MW: School. as in “finish it first.”

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