Is Apple CEO Tim Cook insane (or just one heck of a guy)?

“Tim Cook reportedly sent an urgent memo yesterday addressing alleged violations of health and safety at factories of suppliers, following negative stories in NYT and elsewhere,” Rocco Pendola writes for Seeking Alpha. “Cook says Apple is ‘attacking problems aggressively’ and that the company is leading the industry by planning to open up to the Fair Labor Association for inspection of suppliers’ facilities.”

“This sort of response is not very Jobsian. Neither are all of the feel-good memos addressing the ‘team’ and actions such as encouraging members to make charitable donations that Apple would proudly match,” Pendola writes. “That’s very San Francisco of Cook. And that runs in stark contrast to Jobs, who, while born in San Francisco, ended up being, according to Lashinsky’s account, the farthest thing from a ‘do-good liberal,’ at least in the financial and business matters we think we know about via the media.”

“Let me be clear about a few things. As a human, I prefer the Cook style over the Jobs style any day of the week. I’ve learned from experience that you’ll lead a better life doing things the Cook way,” Pendola writes. “That said, I think Jobs would hammer Cook for what he’s doing. At some point, Cook is going to write a memo or do the right thing one too many times out of concern for Apple’s ‘values.”‘ One of these moves could end up harming the business and hurting the stock. Simply put, Jobs probably stayed much further away from this sort of thing than Cook does not because he was a bad guy with no ‘values,’ but because he did not want to wake sleeping dogs or tiptoe around land mines.”

Pendola writes, “I’m not saying Cook’s way of being provides a reason to sell or not buy Apple stock. I am, however, pointing to an area of legitimate concern. People close to the situation seem to think that the worst in Jobs is what brought out the best in Apple. If that was indeed the magic, it’s about to be gone.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Tim Cook is not going to “harm the business” because he believes in doing the right thing and communicating it with employees (and everyone else). If anything, he’ll only enhance the business.

Related article:
Apple CEO Tim Cook calls New York Times supplier report ‘patently false and offensive’ – January 27, 2012

62 Comments

    1. +1

      And by the way what the hell is this guy talking about. SJ used to send off emails to people and company’s all the time. What a loser, Rocco do some research and stop trying to tell everyone how much better you would be at running Apple then Tim. My money is on Tim, I wouldn’t invest a dime in you.

    2. It is simple. Apple should focus on its own business strategy moving forward and look after ITS OWN workers or employees.

      Apple should not be fixing or trying to fix other companies’ workers conditions or labor issues, even if those companies are Apple’s suppliers; they are not Apple’s empoyees or workers. What Apple can do is set a baseline policy of minimum required labor conditions and request its existing or future suppliers meet those conditions, and discontinue those suppliers that are not compliant with the policy or standards. I don’t think this is difficult to understand or do.

      If Apple is concerned about employees labor conditions, it should look out for its own workers.

      Regading the NYT report “In China, Human Costs Are Built Into an iPad” by Charles Duhigg and David Barboza, quite predictable a report like that about Apple after excellent news, and very suspicious coincidence been published following day after Apple’s earnings release.

      Apple has never responded directly to reports like that, publicly or privately, or acted based on such reports, and would always conduct its own investigation to allegations and then would make its findings public. I believe Apple should continue doing that moving forward.

    3. The worst in Jobs brought out the best in Apple? What a stupid comment. The worst in Jobs did nothing positive for Apple. It’s sad that ass kissing fucks like this guy want to sound cool because they think treating people like shit is what drives employees to work harder. Running a company requires leadership not bullying because one can get by with it. There are other very successful companies in the world.

  1. *Sigh* Why does Tim Cook need to be a clone of Steve Jobs?

    Tim Cook knows what he’s doing. He’s really been running Apple for quite some time now, because Jobs was more into the product development side rather than operations, which is what Cook handled.

    Apparently Cook believes that when Apple gets sucker-punched by the NYT, he needs to make sure his employees know the truth, because their family and friends are going to be asking them about the allegations in the article.

    Rather than invoking the Cone of Silence, Cook prefers to communicate facts and truth to Apple employees. That’s commendable and the proper thing to do.

    And it certainly isn’t going to endanger Apple in any way.

    1. Tim Cook is clearly his own person. I like his openness and matter of fact way of communicating himself and his values.

      The Steve Job’s era at Apple is over. The next phase for Apple has begun. SJ’s gift is creating an extraordinary team of talented technicians and artists. Tim Cook is the perfect manager to guide this team to new heights.

      1. Agreed. Do people forget that Steve CHOSE Cook to be the CEO? Steve obviously knew Tim very well, and certainly knew what type of person he was, and therefore, that Tim would likely implement the sorts of things he has so far as well as the fact that he would have a different “style”.

        Anyone who thinks that Tim is “soft” or any less committed to perfection than Jobs is kidding themselves though – one look at what Tim Cook has done to Apple’s supply chain proves that.

        He will get the job done, and make Apple a better place to work at the same time.

  2. Steve Jobs used to get flak for not being ‘do-good liberal’ enough in regards to the health and safety at suppliers, charitability, niceness, etc.

    So now Tim Cook is being as ‘do-good liberal’ on these issues as pundits said Steve should be… And Tim is getting flak for it?

    What?

  3. I find it personally offensive that he’s characterizing treating employees fairly and giving to charity as a “liberal” and “San Francisco” thing, especially when the statistics say conservatives give 30% more to charity:

    http://abcnews.go.com/2020/story?id=2682730&page=1

    I really don’t want to start a flame war with this, that’s not my intention at all. It just offends me, as a conservative, to see this characterization, and it’s starting to happen more and more in my opinion (or maybe I’m just noticing it more). Please keep responses civil. I’m not trying to say conservatives are “better” people or anything like that, just pointing out something that irks me.

    1. now, I don’t want to get all political but the only reason that 30% number exists is because conservatives purchase moral high ground. charity is a tool of the conservative right and it’s a tool that pays off in a huge way. you don’t find a better value for your money than charity.

            1. Actually, all the data I’ve seen supports this. The working poor are the most generous class (as a percentage of income), while the non-working poor are the least generous.

              More interesting is that the middle class is the stingiest class overall (again, as a percentage of income).

        1. But while the rich do give more in overall dollars, according to the Social Capital Community Benchmark Survey, people at the lower end of the income scale give almost 30 percent more of their income.

        2. and the reason it’s so offensive is because it’s true.
          I’m not saying that all conservatives are corrupt or that conservatives don’t have hearts. or that all conservatives are nasty, two-faced hypocrites. not at all!
          but there is a highly moneyed and vocal minority of conservatives that make it seem that way 😉

          1. No, there isn’t, temprakneeoh.
            It is just what Hollywood has conditioned you to believe.

            I would go on to say that just as many rich Liberals act as you claim rich Conservatives do, except they get a pass, and then their actions are projected onto Conservatives.

            I’ll go you one better. Most private charities are formed around Conservative ideals, while most government charities lean left. Fair enough?

            A decent person will give to the best of their abilities, regardless of their political outlook.

            1. “A decent person will give to the best of their abilities, regardless of their political outlook.”

              “That’s the most ridiculous piece of hogwash I have read”

              I see. Maybe you need the medication…?

          2. Makes sense. Just like all liberals are not lazy, worthless spoiled children who don’t want to work for anything, want it all handed to them by other people who actually worked and sacrificed to obtain their success, or that they are obsessed with blaming successful people all their problems, and take no responsibility for the consequences of their choices. Not at all! But there is a highly vocal minority of liberals that make it seem that way. 😉

            1. No need to thank him; it’s the nature of the beast here.

              The slightest mention around here of “politics”, “moral beliefs” or “religion” is akin to throwing a lit match on a puddle of gasoline. The plus side – the response is rarely boring. 😉

    2. Please don’t think this is a flame war, but reading about the conclusion the story, you can’t discuss the methodology because there wasn’t any! It’s not really a study, but rather a wild generalization that never actually separates Liberal individuals from Conservatives. I’m not saying one side does more than the other, just that the quick and sloppy way they came up with the 30% number is worthless.

        1. Sorry I missed this yesterday. Thanks for saying this irked you, as it did me too. The term implies something that isn’t supported in fact.

          I always wonder how much money celebrities give to the charities they support on TV. My perception is that they give their time and celebrity to support the kids in Africa, but likely don’t dip into their own pockets. For example, in one example I was directly involved in, the celebrity made our charity pay for their hair and makeup from a specific person at a cost of $4200. Gee, thanks for giving.

  4. I’m a do-good liberal. The things we want are the things that everyone wants; fair play, reasonable labor laws, no cheating. I live in the midwest. It’sa what we do.

  5. Each time some media hack farted, there would be bleats that Jobs needs to address this and address that. And when he did, as in the bullshit antenna FUD, he was called ruthless.

    Nothing has changed, except now the reptiles have a new target in Cook via the slimy New York Times, which apparently has never heard of WalMart, et all.

    Fuck ’em.

  6. A company is only as good as its employees. The values Tim Cook are presenting will only enhance Apple. Apple expects only the best from its product designers to software engineers. As a result, Apple creates the best products on the market.
    Why would they not do their best to protect the very people who assemble their products in the various factories around the world? Apple is holistic and Zen in their approach.

  7. So ignoring human suffering was part of Jobs’ secret to Apple’s success? If this is true, I’m glad to see Cook try to change it. Apple has money enough to become and lead changes in the industry. Jobs brought Apple to the pinacle of its technical prowess. Perhaps Cook can make Apple a good corporate citizen of the world as well. Many people idolize Apple and Steve Jobs and ignore and discount any negative thing about them. I was astonished when the comment about the article about the NY Times article said that this would never happen under Jobs, as if Steve Jobs wasn’t implicit of the horrible conditions and abuse in the Chinese factories. Of course he was. He ignored it until it could no longer be ignored. And maybe Cook can help Apple live up to the ideals we fan boys like to attribute to Apple, but which they don’t always deserve. Perhaps Apple can show that you can turn out beautiful, innovative tech affordably and humanely. We’ll see.

    1. “… as if Steve Jobs wasn’t implicit of the horrible conditions and abuse in the Chinese factories.”

      Yes, I’m sure that the main condition Steve set for Foxconn and the other manufacturers was to create the worst hell holes imaginable for the employees.

      I think the question to ask all of these poor tortured souls is whether they are better off with or without the thousands of jobs created by Apple. If the answer is without then it’s time to head back to the rice paddies.

      I’ll bet you’re a card carrying member of the ACLU and PETA.

    2. Ignoring human suffering??? You’re jumping to the worst possible conclusion on the strength of a shameless hit piece, which makes you Certified Moron of the Day!!!

    3. What bullshit. I live in the Province of Alberta in Canada. We make a lot of money drilling and mining for oil. Texas Tea.

      We also kill about 150 workers in the oil industry every year. Who do we blame? The oil companies? The federal or provincial governments? The contractors? The sub-contractors? The lack of regulations? The automobile driving public? There are so many targets.

      The truth of it is that almost every fatal accident in the oil patch is due to human error.

      The workers know what they are getting into when they take the job. No one rounds them up at gunpoint and forces them to work, whether it is drilling for oil or assembling iPhones.

      We are responsible for our own wellbeing and we all have the option to tell them to take the job and shove it.

      Blaming the working conditions or bitching about the renumeration is just bullshit. If you don’t like it look elsewhere.

  8. Tim Cook is his own man, which I’m sure Steve Jobs was quite knowledgable of. I highly doubt that he expected Tim to attempt to be his clone. Anyone who thinks he shouldn’t follow his own heart and conscience is an imbecile. Tim Cook is going to do Steve and Apple proud.

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