Apple CEO Tim Cook’s amazing leadership

“It wasn’t long after Apple, Inc. CEO, Tim Cook, took over for the late Steve Jobs and the tech media was howling for his head,” Mark Reschke writes for TGAAP. “August 24, 2014 will mark Tim Cook’s third year as CEO at Apple, and today boos and jeers have all but disappeared. The ‘Down with Tim!’ cries have been replaced with praise being piled onto the CEO.”

“The tech media and analysts piling onto Cook can be attributed to many motivations. Self notoriety, loathing of Apple, or simply being to quick to judge Tim Cook’s meekness, perceiving it as weakness rather than an emerging strength,” Reschke writes. “Cook’s leadership is is proving out to be the near perfect successor to Steve Jobs, pulling Apple in subtle directions Jobs would never have ventured.”

MacDailyNews Take: It’s quite impossible to say with any certainty where Steve Jobs might have ventured beyond that where he led would likely have been amazing.

Reschke writes, “The purchase of Beats Electronics is something that Jobs would never have approved.”

MacDailyNews Take: “Never” is a word that should be used almost never. That said, we’ll never know where Jobs’ and Iovine’s friendship would have led.

Reschke writes, “Steve Jobs was often blinded by tunnel vision, proving both a blessing and a curse for Apple. But it [sic] Jobs blind spots that are allowing Tim Cook to be the prefect Steve Jobs successor. His balanced, yet disciplined approach to leadership has given Apple a broader brush, benefiting developers and customers alike, and this Fall is going to showcase his leadership in ways no one thought possible following in the footsteps of Steve Jobs.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Tim Cook is an excellent CEO who’s been constantly underestimated and who has the thankless (monetary compensation excepted) task of following Steve Jobs. Nobody knows what Jobs would have or wouldn’t have done. Steve Jobs was famous for believing one thing with every fiber of his being (or at least saying he did) and then changing his mind and doing a 180-degree about-face the very next day. His malleable mind, not set in stone, was one of his greatest strengths.


    1. No one’s anointing him to sainthood. Besides, I don’t pay attention to the endless, fickle whining, personal attacks, and product rumor- mongering. Just looking forward to my new iPhone- my 4S is definitely showing it’s age- though it’s still indispensable.

  1. The achievements of Jobs were very quickly apparent and monumental. The achievements of Cook have yet to be seen, as the cash flow that Apple enjoys today was entirely set up by Jobs’ management. Those who think Cook is an “amazing” leader need to reflect further on the time frame it takes for a leader to make a decision until the rest of the world feels it. Cook, for better or worse, still has nothing tangible to point to as a personal achievement other than stock buybacks and managerial shuffling. Software and hardware product development have been shifted to a slower pace and the changes implemented under Cook have yet to yield fruit. No one knows if they ever will. What we do know is that Cook is spending a lot of money on executive compensation, space ship offices, giveaway software that removes features, iCloud services that frankly aren’t competitive with the industry, and questionable acquisitions of companies that offer unprofitable music services and overpriced fashion headphones. Apple has been unable to be first into any new product category, preferring for unknown reasons to wait YEARS, not months, to determine whether competitors’ products are sales hits. MAYBE this is a good direction for Apple, but ever since Jobs left us, Wall Street has seen Cook as a slow and dithering leader who has turned Apple from a tech growth stock into a blue chip value stock. Buying back shares is what companies do when they can’t ship. Real artists ship.

    1. Even if all of your premises were true, all you’re really saying is that Apple today is not the Apple you wish it were.

      Coca Cola continues churning out the same old thing. Proctor and Gamble continues with the same old thing. The oil companies continue making the same old thing. Oh sure:they “enter new markets” like orange juice or tooth paste or plastics, but just like Apple under Steve and Tim, they enter a market, seek profitability in it, and keep the product lines fresh.

      Steve came back in 1997 and disrupted the mobile telephone handset business 10 years later.

      Tim has been at the helm for three years, and while R&D have been progressing along, Tim has been revamping the company around the new realities of size and dominance and scrutiny. By my count this gives R&D some financial security for the next seven years.

      1. No, I am not just saying that Apple isn’t what I personally want it to be. Why do you think Wall Street continues to value Apple so lowly compared to its cash flow? Because they don’t think Cook is doing a very good job of maximizing profitability, long or short term. Mac users are also rather disappointed that the platform has been iOS-ified and hardware development practically stagnated on many product lines. Enjoy your iOS7, because the majority of people who defected from iOS to Android cited that as one of the major reasons. The present cash came from Jobs. The future cash flow will depend on Cook stopping the bloat of Apple bureaucracy and starting getting lean teams to work on continuous product development that delivers USER delight, not just some flat GUI that Ive shit out.

        1. “Why WS values Apple lowly compared to its cash flow?”

          How about the “trees don’t grow to the sky” theory of the limits to growth? Wall Street worries that Apple’s best days are behind it, and cannot keep up the pace of cash flow/dividend/sales growth, simply because it is now so big that it cannot possibly continue. Yet this is not exactly based on insightful analysis. It is an emotional argument. An old wive’s tale or perhaps urban myth. Wall Street simply cannot _imagine_ Apple entering new, large markets. Like health care tech, automotive tech, personal tech. Or even growing into the remaining huge portions of some sectors that it is not presently in (like business IT). Or that the markets Apple is big in might continue to grow beautifully.

        2. Shit talk = shit brains = shit relevance to Apple today.
          You can always tell the clueless ones, not even remotely capable of understanding what it takes to run a megacorp. Smart heads don’t deal in generalities or shallow thinking.
          MDN…how about an ‘Ignore’ button?

      2. Coca Cola is a poor analogy. We’re talking about high tech here. The fear is that Apple could become the next Microsoft or RIM with something newer and better leapfrogging them. Apple *must* deliver and Cook simply isn’t doing it. Nobody is biting at Coca Cola’s heels. They don’t have the margins that competitors want to steal and they don’t have a product that goes obsolete in a few years.

        1. “Fear”

          That is the entire basis of the naysayer argument. It’s certainly not the numbers, the shattered corporate records, or logic.

        2. And yet, what other tech company is coming out with ANY new product lines, at all? Bigger screens on existing products is not innovation, it’s evolution. People keep saying Wall Street is worried that some other tech company will leapfrog Apple with something amazing, but in 30 years that’s never happened. Apple studies the markets, looks for a dysfunctional product (cell phones, tablets, MP3 players, whatever), figures out what’s wrong with it, and enters the market with a better alternative that disrupts the old market.

          I can’t think of a single other tech company with this competency. They’re all collectively focused on making the cheapest product they can to maximize profits, or squeezing customers caught in their respective monopolies, or copying Apple’s products as explicitly as they can to steal Apple’s potential customers.

          What really holds back Apple’s evaluation in investor’s viewpoint is that they don’t believe Apple can continue to operate this way. They truly believe Apple’s size will lead to a hubris that will stagnate its performance, and convert it to an ordinary company chasing quarterly profits, just like everyone else.

          We’ll see. I continue to bet on Apple. Their company ethos still appears to me to be focused on producing new product lines to fix existing or dysfunctional nascent products, replacing them with products that people can’t do without, all the while continuing to iterate their other devices into mature products lines.

      1. Firsts?

        major hardware that was revolutionary for its time:
        Apple I
        Apple II
        several versions of iPod
        Apple TV

        major software that was revolutionary for its time:
        Mac OS
        Mac OS X
        Final Cut

        not to mention interfaces that Apple got right:
        unified visual GUI across apps

        All of this stuff was without peer when launched. No hardware that Cook has released has been anything but a derivative of what came before — and in the case of Apple TV, displays, iWork ’13, iCloud, FCPX, etc — it isn’t even a performance leader in the market.

        1. Most of your claims of “firsts” are EXTREMELY wrong. A partial refutation of the obvious ones:
          A) iTunes was a tweak on an existing product which Apple purchased. The only thing remotely “revolutionary” about iTunes was that iPods were useless without it.

          B) Mac OSX was a tweak on an OS that Apple purchased. NextStep was “revolutionary.” Apple modified it for their purposes.

          C) Final Cut was a product that Apple purchased. Avid was revolutionary. Final Cut Pro was evolutionary.

          D) Logic was around for years before Apple purchased it, and other products in the same category were around even longer. Performer and ProTools are still arguably better products.

          Temper your enthusiasm. When you get carried away, you lose credibility.

    2. Well said, Paul … well said indeed. You won’t find many takers around here for your reasoned evaluation of the hapless Mr. Cook but you have hit the nail on the head. With the single exception of the Mac Pro (years too late and still unnoticed by the professional, corporate, and government markets due to continued promotion of gadgets, there hasn’t been a single “great new product” from Tim’s pipeline which consists of ordinary updates, tweaks, and nothing worth all the hype that continues to pour fourth on this site. Tim should take his fortune and go away!

      1. First to use mouse they got from Zerax as pointer. First to make one piece Mac. First to open company stores. First to drop the CD tray, First to Firewire, first to Thunderbolt. Other stuff too.

    3. “Apple has been unable to be first into any new product category, preferring for unknown reasons to wait YEARS, not months, to determine whether competitors’ products are sales hits.”

      This sentence typifies the double standard the media, and you, have set up for Tim Cook. How long did it take Steve to enter the phone market?

  2. It’s too good not to comment “The tech media and analysts piling onto Cook can be attributed to many motivations. Self notoriety, loathing of Apple, or simply being to quick to judge Tim Cook’s meekness, perceiving it as weakness rather than an emerging strength.”

    Don’t forget the rather large and often full shovel that the jouranalists and analysts carry around.

    Oh and harken to the voice of Balmer…”Manipulators, manipulators, manipulators.”

  3. Most people recognize Steve’s genius and his stature as “the leader of the faithful and the defender of the faith” of Apple’s creative machine. Yet there remain those who dislike all things Apple. And there seem to be those, perhaps even some Apple fans, who decry Steve’s choice of hand-picked successor. Don’t ask me why. Fortunately, history is proving all Apple detractors to be what they really are: village idiots.

  4. Does a new CEO really make a difference to a successful company?

    Let’s ask Microsoft. Or HP. Or Blackberry.

    And while Apple is coasting on the momentum set up by the era of Steve Jobs it has not gone off the rails and ended up in a ditch since Cook has taken the reigns.


    It may take more time to tell but so far I don’t see any problems.

  5. Do we have to put down Steve Jobs to see the qualities of Tim Cook? Jobs was unique and he left Apple in the hands of Cook before he was forced to retire. We will be able to judge Tim Cook after he quits Apple and what he will have achieved. For now we can say he is continuing and improving the legacy. He was already key to Apple success and keeps up the good work. Like Jobs he does well sometimes and screw up some other times. Nobody is perfect. Of course it’s easy with Apple strong financials. There is room for errors. It starts to be annoying those article comparing both. But the worse is to put Steve Jobs down. It’s unstandable.

  6. Jesus, make up your mind, MDN. You’ve called for Tim to be fired every third day, then acted like you knew all along how wonderful he was the other two. You give me whiplash.

Reader Feedback

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.