Tim Cook’s doing fine, some Apple shareholders know nothing, but there are 3 things Cook needs to do

“There is a lot of chatter about Tim Cook these days,” Eric Jackson writes for TheStreet. “With each passing day, Apple seems to hit a new 52-week low. Yesterday, it gave up the spot of “world’s biggest company by market cap” to Exxon. You don’t have a steadily shrinking stock price without calls for the head of the CEO. I get that.”

“Yet, I struggle to understand what the critics are saying should be done by Tim Cook’s replacement,” Jackson writes. “What would they do if they were the CEO of Apple today?”

Jackson writes, “Succeeding Steve Jobs is a thankless job. Can you remember which NBC show succeeded Seinfeld on Thursday nights? Me neither.”

MacDailyNews Take: Is that supposed to instill hope in the hearts of the hopeless AAPL shareholders?

Jackson writes, “Be more of a showman? Isn’t this more of point one? Cook is who he is. He can get all the communications coaching he wants but he’ll never be Jobs. And even if he was, that was just one aspect of what made Jobs special.”

“By and large, I think Cook is doing all the important things right. Shareholders — and bloggers (who usually aren’t shareholders) — are wrong in their panting for the head of Tim Cook. Sometimes the hardest thing to do in investing is doing nothing. And waiting,” Jackson writes. “If you don’t like Tim Cook or Apple, sell your shares (or short your stock) and don’t use their products. I bought more Apple stock yesterday.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Tim Cook is the perfect man for this very difficult job. We can think of nobody better. There are only three issues we have with Cook so far:

• Marketing: Steve Jobs held a three-hour meeting every Wednesday afternoon with his top agency, marketing and communications people to approve each new commercial, print ad, web ad, and billboard. Does Tim Cook? If he does, does he have anything close to Jobs’ sensibilities in this area? Judging from Apple’s marketing since Steve left the building, he does not. Therefore, Cook needs to find a marketing guru to take Steve’s place, conduct these Wednesday meetings, and hold his marketing peoples’ feet to the fire until he/she is extremely satisfied.

• Presentations: Nowhere is it more obvious that Tim Cook is not Steve Jobs than on stage. Jony Ive needs to be convinced to take his passion live onto the stage. We saw him do it with extraordinary aplomb at Steve Jobs’ memorial. We see him do it in each new major product’s marketing video. Cook needs to cede the stage to the guy at Apple who is closest to having Steve’s vision, passion and presentation skills. Cook doesn’t strike us as having an overblown ego. He should step back. If Jony is reticent, he needs to be convinced. There is no rule that the CEO has to be the one presenting at Apple events. It is a total waste for Cook to keep trying so obviously hard to do something that is not his forte when Jony exists and is sitting right there backstage. We don’t hang on Cook’s every word (we just wonder why he’s overemphasizing some of them so much). We hung on Steve’s every word. We hang on Jony’s every word. It’s that simple. At the very least, have Tim MC the events, but make sure Jony is the one out there doing the reveals and gushing about the products. If Jony really loves Apple, and we’re sure he does, then he should demand the job. Step back, Tim, and focus on doing what you’re good at.

Operations: With his newfound extra time having Jony doing the events like he should be, Cook will have time to mentor and oversee his operations guy, Jeff Williams, and make sure nothing like the total fsckup that happened last quarter happens ever again. Apple is too big and too rich to screw up things like iMac availability for Christmas shopping season. This isn’t 1996. Steve Jobs would have gone on a spree with an axe. Tim Cook, operations genius, is ultimately responsible for Apple blowing some 800,000 iMac sales in fiscal Q113 (holiday quarter). (Hopefully, he blew them into this quarter.) If Apple had those iMacs ready like they should have, not two months late, then they would have handily beaten the street in all respects and we wouldn’t be having this conversation today.

Fix these three things (the marketing issue being the most difficult as Steve was a genius) and, like we said, Tim Cook is the perfect man for the job.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Fred Mertz” for the heads up.]

Related articles:
The curious case of Tim Cook, operations genius, and the missing iMacs – February 4, 2013
Apple pulls ‘Genius’ ad series from its website, YouTube channel – August 22, 2012

48 Comments

  1. One More Thing (that needs to be fixed): Apple’s web presence is subpar. Maps: I sent a correction about the location of a major hospital (demolished old site, relocated to next city), and no change 2 months later, even though the satellite view shows an empty block! When I search the iTunes store, the App Store, or Apple Support, I typically get everything except what I’m looking for. If, for example, I put the same support search in Google, I get what I’m looking for On The Apple Support Site. The Podcasts app sucks. iTunes has not kept pace with the growth in importance. iCloud lacks imagination.

  2. Shareholders know nothing? They know his self-serving brief to the Supreme Court endorsing taxpayer benefits for institutionalized sodomy is worth offending 50% of America! He needs to step down and have someone who keeps Apple out of godless Hollywood politics! Demonizing half of America may work for electing the worst president in history, but it doesn’t work in business! Apple embraces immoral sexual conduct and wants u, the taxpayer, to pay for it! No, Tim Cook is not doing fine! Not even close!

  3. Wozziefan, u lost me at Buffet and Eoz. Buffet is a socialist assh*ole. Woz, well, dated Kathy Griffin! Ives and Cook I agree with if Cook can keep his gay politics to himself. He’s great as a silent COO. Ives has charisma and oozes creativity and intelligence!

    1. @iMaki:

      you should learn the difference between economic theory which has never actually been implemented in the real world and the practical guidance of one of the world’s foremost capitalists. To attempt to link the two is the height of absurdity.

  4. Throw your hands in the air and wave ’em like you just don’t care. I’m just chalking this whole Apple collapse fiasco up as somebody upstairs doesn’t want to see me to get rich and enjoy myself. If Apple had reached $800 a share by now, in the spring I would have splurged on a late-model used Nissan 370Z and a Suzuki GSXR-1300 Hayabusa. But I guess it just wasn’t meant to be. If I’m soon to die, I’m going to wipe-out at high-speed with one of those vehicles. Tim Cook shattered my hopes and dreams and now I’ll have to merely give my ’74 Peugeot ten-speed a spring tune-up instead. Oh, well. The best laid plans of mice and men… with Apple, they’re sure to go astray.

    All the rest of the top tech companies’ shareholders are all popping corks and dancing in the streets as the whole darn stock market blows away all-time highs. That is, excepting Apple. Apple shareholders only get to listen to Tim Cook telling them to have patience along with the background sound of a funeral dirge. G-dammit all to hell. I don’t care who the heck it is. Somebody has to pay for ruining my summer. Feel my wrath.

  5. MDN i agree and don’t on takes. Apple is no place for Tim Cook. Ive probably, if he’s truly insane and passionate as promised. can he deliver? yes again (think i do). TC has helped the after Jobs drama times but now obsessed leader is the thing, the Flash letter, another one for Java would really welcome. Still in love with my Mac product btw 😉 (no one cares about marketing, operations and so on when u have passionate, obsessed , enthusiastic and visceral leaders).

  6. The worst Apple stock crash actually happened under Steve Jobs, on September 29th, 2000. The stock price fell fifty percent in one day after Jobs announced Apple’s new strategy to pursue long-range goals. Wall Street hates long-range planning, they only care about quarterly results.

  7. Who give a rat’s patootie about Tim’s stage presence? People buy the PRODUCTS, and they’re buying them in droves. Steve’s charisma was important in Apple’s dark days in keeping the hardcore fans onboard. But, AAPL’s price has nothing to do with stage presence, and the fact is that most of Apple’s new customers are not committed fans, just regular folks who care more about the products than the “vision”. As long as the rest of Apple’s creative and engineering teams keep innovating, product availability is Tim’s job #1. If you’re moaning about lack of charisma, you’re essentially validating the “Apple is a cult” meme.

  8. It seems to me that Apple may be within the letter of the law but legally avoiding taxes is hardly ethical. And surely no one believes there will ever be a tax code that cannot be evaded by smart lawyers.
    Will this cost Apple a lot of good will? And will this translate into a sizable hit on sales?
    What can Apple do?
    Interestingly, in the same issue of the New York Times that headlines the Apple article is an article mentioning that the government is cutting 20 billion from school lunches. How about Apple Lunches for school kids? Show that some of that money is going to nutrition for poor kids. Such a program would blunt some of the anger that may be coming at Apple and do some good.

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