Tim Cook is running Apple, but he’s not imitating Steve Jobs

Apple Online StoreTim Cook is absolutely relentless, Michael Janes an Apple executive tells Miguel Helft who reports for The New York Times.

Helft reports, “That relentlessness could be indispensable in the months ahead, because Mr. Cook may be tested as never before. He has been charged with running Apple’s day-to-day operations while his boss, Steven P. Jobs, the company’s visionary chief executive, is on medical leave.”

“Mr. Cook has done that twice before, briefly and successfully. Yet if Mr. Jobs’s health does not improve, Mr. Cook could be on the job for a long time,” Helft reports. “And while Apple’s succession plans are closely guarded, Mr. Cook is widely believed to be the most likely candidate to permanently replace Mr. Jobs.”

Helft reports, “In Silicon Valley, Mr. Jobs is also known for relentlessness. Yet on many levels, he and Mr. Cook are opposites. While Mr. Jobs is mercurial and prone to outbursts, Mr. Cook, who was raised in a small town in Alabama, is polite and soft-spoken. He is often described as a ‘Southern gentleman.’ While Mr. Jobs obsesses over every last detail of Apple’s products, Mr. Cook obsesses over the less glamorous minutiae of Apple’s operations.”

Much more in the full article here.

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


  1. What if the real reason Apple is making so much money is not Steve Jobs’ vision, but the execution of that vision by Tim Cook? Jobs had great ideas at NeXT, but his products were not profitable. One of the first things Jobs did upon his return to Apple was hire Tim Cook to execute his plans. Jobs can still do his vision thing without being at the office every day, but the real key to success commercially may be Tim Cook. If so, look out world, Apple is on the way to be the biggest and best company on the planet.

  2. Actually, Steve Jobs and his obsessive behavior was destroying NeXT. All of his loyal friends, who helped him found NeXT left the company, mostly because they couldn’t stand idly by and watch him self-destruct.

    During his hiatus from Apple, he learned a lot about himself, foremost being, he has to start trusting the people he hires if they are to do their jobs.

    Tim Cook is Operations, he makes Apple run and he’s certainly proven himself to be extremely competent for the last thirteen-years.

    I honestly don’t expect Steve Jobs to return to Apple. He doesn’t have to, and he could spend the rest of his days looking after himself.

    Apple will do fine without him.

  3. And Tim Cook doesn’t need to imitate Steve Jibs. He does fine As/IS, He know the company well, & he knows what people want just like Steve does.

    I hope this wont be the last time we here about Steve but Apple should still do well without him.

  4. I have heard, from a reliable source, that Steve is in real serious shape. This reliable source is someone who has interaction with Steve’s daughter. She has been really distraught lately.

    I think Steve being on leave is the best plan. He really does not need to be there everyday, and his health is more important. He survived cancer, and a liver transplant. A normal person is lucky to do one of those things. Doing two is amazing.

    I truly hope he make a recovery from whatever he is fighting and returns to Apple.

  5. Jobs is irreplaceable.
    Apple without him just wont be the same.
    It doesnt really matter – today, Apple is King of the Tech World, and Jobs is King of Apple.

    Tomorrow? Tomorrow doesnt exist.

    So be happy today and realise that the iOS and OSX are going to around for a while, and that Jonny Ive will continue to design great products, and that all the best of the best will want to work at Apple, and that Tim Cook will keep it mean and clean.

    Steve Jobs may not be back….but I would NEVER bet against another 5 great years from Steve!

  6. Apples success is down to the smart combination of good products, marketing and product supply. Jobs and Ive do the first thing and cook does the last.
    Cook joined apple in 97. Their supply issues did not really get better until the early 2000s. Switching manufacturing to Asia and moving to intel helped.

  7. @G4 is right. In OSX, Jobs created a true gem of an OS. Solid, proven, modular underpinnings with a modern UI on top. Unbeatable.
    Jobs was a menace to himself and Apple until thrown out.
    But he learned some hard lessons about himself and the realities and disciplines of doing business. If anyone at Apple were to be as disruptive as Jobs was in the 80s, Jobs would fire him with zero hesitation. The Jobs that returned to build the current was a self-chastened, self-disciplined leader with a vision that he spelled out pretty fully in 2001 – the digital hub – with Macs at the core. It’s still evolving today.

  8. newsflash – Tim Cook has been running Apple for years.

    Steve needs to be with his family. It is obvious this time around that Apple has a stronger culture than ever and that the 50,000 Apple employees know exactly what makes Apple, Apple.

    Instead of Steve having to look over their shoulder, they know exactly what he’s going to say, even if he is not there. Steve has taken Apple through media convergence and the company is strong for years to come, whether or not he is able to resume his day to day activities at Apple.

  9. Very disturbing comment about Steve being in “very serious shape.”

    I hope the family’s concern is no greater than the last few times, from which he recovered.

    I look forward to another miraculous return.

  10. But there are others who obsess over products like Steve does. They also work at Apple Inc.

    Jobs has had a sword hanging over his head for years, and he is keenly aware of it. Just watch or read his Stanford commencement address from 2005. Fending off that sword is one priority, but otherwise he has built a management team to protect his creation with his usual obsessiveness.

    As soon as the earnings euphoria passed on wednesday, shorts started hammering the stock over Jobs’ questionable return. They are taking some lumps today.

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