WSJ profiles Apple’s Chief Operating Officer Tim Cook

ZaggMate“Apple Chief Operating Officer Tim Cook is stepping in again for Chief Executive Steve Jobs, who announced Monday morning that he was going on medical leave,” The Wall Street Journal reports. “Here a quick refresher on Mr. Cook’s career.”

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“Mr. Jobs, following his return to the company in 1997, hired Mr. Cook in 1998 to oversee the manufacturing of Apple’s computers,” WSJ reports. “At Apple, Mr. Cook shed bloated inventories and whipped the company’s supply chain into shape. He rose to become the No. 2 executive at Apple under Mr. Jobs. Beginning in August 2004, Mr. Cook ran Apple for two months while Mr. Jobs recuperated from surgery to remove a cancerous tumor from his pancreas.”

“Mr. Jobs later gave Mr. Cook responsibility for Apple’s world-wide sales and its Macintosh computer division,” WSJ reports. “In 2005, he was appointed chief operating officer. In 2009, he stepped in for Mr. Jobs again; Mr. Jobs went on medical leave for the first half of the year and and had a liver transplant.”

WSJ reports, “Mr. Cook ran day-to-day operations during Mr. Jobs’s absence and was praised for his ability to make Apple’s sprawling operations move on time. He has established himself as the CEO-in-waiting since his stint taking over for Mr. Jobs.”

Read more in the full article here.

Also, read more on Tim Cook in the WSJ’s profile from 2006: Apple’s No. 2 Has Low Profile, Big Impact


  1. Tim Cook, Phil Schiller, Jonathan Ive, Scott Forstall, Bob Mansfield, Bertrand Serlet, Ron Johnson, et al., have what it takes to competently and successfully run Apple.

  2. It’s somewhat different this time. The last time, Tim Cook was the “interim CEO.” This time, Steve Jobs “will continue as CEO and be involved in major strategic decisions for the company.”

    Tim Cook was (and will be) running day-to-day operations in both cases, but I think he is already mostly running day-to-day operations at Apple, even when Steve Jobs is not on leave. That’s why things ran so smoothly last time, and will again this time.

    Steve Jobs is the visionary and chief strategist. 2010 was a key “strategic vision” year for Apple, with iPad’s debut, the radically redesigned iPhone 4, and the deal-making for Verizon iPhone. Now that Verizon iPhone is officially real, the rest of 2011 will be a year that Apple “executes” the strategy. Most (if not all) of Apple’s big “events” for 2011 are already known (Verizon iPhone, iPad 2, iPhone 5, Mac OS X Lion). There is NO BETTER person to lead that effort, and make it all happen, than Tim Cook. That’s what “operations” is all about.

  3. Steve jobs knows no matter how healthy he is he is getting older. Which means at some point he will retire.
    He loves apple so you can guarantee he has people in place. And not people like Steve balmer. These guys Tim cook included are smart they know how apple is run and they will do well.

    Steve is 1 in a million but he could give his Steve powers to someone else. Ha
    No really Steve would not get this far knowing he has had medical problems and he is getting older without having people in place to take over.
    I would bet behind the scenes more of them do lots more then we see. Then some day Steve retires and says you know this major thing and this well Tim cook and a few others actually handled it I was just observing my future team in training.

  4. People like SJ rarely retire. They live for their work – its what keeps them going. However Apple is no longer a 1 horse show. SJ has built up a team that is highly competent and driven. Whilst they may not have all of SJs attributes, they each have a part of his skill set so that combine they make a great team that replicate SJs unique vision.

  5. Tim Cook won’t be of any help to Apple. Nobody will be of any help to Apple. Steve Jobs is the only person holding Apple together, he’s the only person holding the share price up. The announcement of his imminent demise will destroy Apple. The hedge funds will dump every share they have of Apple. The stock will plunge into the $150 range and the company will collapse even as they sell tens of millions of iDevices.

    Apple the company is a ghost once Steve Jobs soul is gone. There are so many people hoping for Steve Jobs to die and Apple to fail, that it is basically inevitable. Apple was never meant to succeed and now the computer industry will go back to the Microsoft way. Bill Gates is healthier now than he was 30 years ago. Steve Jobs is an empty husk. That’s just how life is. Survival of the fittest.

  6. Steve Jobs is irreplaceable. If he does not come back to Apple, we will sense a slight lack of focus and drive. We won’t feel the sense that the employees are running a little bit scared and eager to please the Tyrant. The ruthlessness in negotiations and complete lack of compromise in design will be diminished, but not gone. They will be a changed company. At this stage of the game, it might not be a disadvantage in a business sense, but the world won’t stop anymore for the latest Apple presentation because the people running the company will be mere mortals.

  7. While Cook is the obvious favorite, with Shiller and Forstall right behind, I personally prefer Bertrand Serlet. He’s incredibly smart and wickedly funny, not to mention he’s been with Steve since NeXT and knows the OS inside and out.

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