Apple’s Tim Cook is not required to entertain us

“Ever since Tim Cook assumed the CEO position at Apple, there has been grumblings about his speaking style. The complaint is that he’s no Steve Jobs. He doesn’t have a great personality. He’s not charming and articulate. His voice cracks and growls. And he can’t seem to generate that special sense of anticipation, with a twinkle in his eyes, that Mr. Jobs was so good at in the past,” John Martellaro writes for TheStreet. “This is true. And it doesn’t matter.”

“Leaders have many different styles, and there are many factors that go into being a great leader. Of course, it helps to have a good speaking style, and Steve Jobs is a hard act to follow,” Martellaro writes. “However, the complaints I’ve read seem more focused on the CEO’s obligation, as the leader of the most wealthy and valuable tech company, to entertain us in a kind of high school pep-rally fashion.”

“In other words, if the products fascinate and charm us, then the CEO has an obligation to fascinate and charm us as well,” Martellaro writes. “Nonsense.”

Read more in the full article here.

33 Comments

      1. Charismatic, maybe. But that’s where Phil and Craig are stronger.

        Less scripted? Absolutely not. You think Steve jobs improvised his way through a presentation? He rehearsed every word, just like they do now.

        1. I think what they mean is to occasionally throw a little spontaneity or ad libs in there. Scripted is fine, but breaking script a little here and there is good for the soul. Like Phil Schiller saying “Don’t innovate anymore my ass!” Doubtful that was in a official Apple script.

            1. I didn’t and wouldn’t down vote you for that, but the story goes that Fred Astaire was once spotted practicing for an entire day taking a handkerchief out of his pocket on set… As a ballroom dancer myself, I can similarly confirm that I have literally spent the last month (practicing for more than an hour a day) with my MAIN FOCUS being on the position of my left thumb, and my results have improved measurably. The point being, if you are seeking perfection, every smile, every wink, every ad lib and every ‘breaking script’ is choreographed. So I can at least see why people would not be keen on advising Tim Cook to have ‘a little spontaneity’ in his keynote addresses…

  1. Actually, if you listen to Tim Cook speaking off the cuff he does a great job. When he answers questions at the stockholder meetings he comes across much better than when he gives the canned presentations introducing products.

  2. I don’t want him to amuse me or soothe me with sweet words. I want him to do something to attract big investors into the company. I want him to put some shareholder value into the company. I want him to keep the inventory flowing without constant supply chain hiccups. I want him to use that reserve cash pile for something that will move the stock price up, preferably a new side business where Android has no reach.

    I don’t care if he can’t tap dance, sing or juggle clubs. Just do what some of the other capable CEOs are doing for their companies when the stock market is at an all-time high. Get Apple out of this endless Grand Canyon-esque hole. Is that really too much for a shareholder to ask? Honestly. This is just not a normal situation happening. I’m sure the company is not doing as badly as it looks.

            1. well, -phobe is a suffix for “fear of,” so I’m not afraid of homosexuals, if that’s your accusation. However, the concept of inserting my penis in a man’s rectum makes me vomit…so, I’m more of a “homonauseobe.” Hope this explanation allays your fears and concern for my sexual preferences.

    1. Total nonsense. The stock market is NOT at an all time high and Apple is not at an all time low. I bought my 1000 shares of AAPL at $12 and then it split! “Grand Canyon-esque hole?

    2. Nonsense. The day that Apple starts prioritizing shareholder value is the day they become like all the other soulless corporate giants.

      Apple need to keep its focus on making best in class products with a focus on the user experience.

      This is what has gotten them to where they are, and will continue to propel them forward.

  3. At Cook’s pay rate, it would seem we’re already paying him for a significant amount of entertainment.

    Seriously, though, “entertain” is just a click-whore headline. The real issue is whether anyone believes what the leader says. Cook isn’t alone in seeing criticism for his apparent big disconnects with users, workers, and local communities affected by his decisions. With most Fortune 500 CEOs, threre is a serious issue of lack of fiduciary performance: specifically, the top executives undermine the company’s morale by taking increasingly obscene pay packages regardless of company success.

    Cook doesn’t exactly score well on the personal enrichment scale compared to the rewards given to Apple employees who build, sell, and support Apple products. In 2012, Cook took US $378 million, the highest paid CEO on the planet, not to mention 1 million shares of Apple stock. Did Cook take personal responsibility for the 2012 iMac debacle? Not really, he said “oops” and cashed in his bonus check.

    It’s not Cook’s “speaking style” that bothers people. It’s the fact that one can only tolerate a leader stuffing his pockets for so long while repeated slave-labor criticisms, retail leadership screw-ups, relatively poor stock performance, and inconsistent product sales occur.

    Meanwhile, in Switzerland, they’re voting to keep executive compensation capped at a maximum of 12 times what the lowest-paid worker in the organization is paid. It is long overdue that owners (shareholders) of US corporations reign in the excesses seen here.

    No human being on earth is worth hundreds of millions of dollars in annual compensation, especially when his predecessor puts him to shame in all objective performance comparison — on a salary of $1 annually and a hell of a lot fewer stock options.

  4. There is absolutely no risk of this ever happening. So, the article is totally unnecessary. Did the writer think we were at some kind of risk of Tim Cook entertaining us? How silly. There’s also no risk of him doing anything that will get the company back to where it was. No, that day has passed. Tim Cook era. It is what it is.

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