Tim Cook is better for Apple than Steve Jobs would be

“Tim Cook is doing a better job running Apple than the late Steve Jobs would,” Jeff Reeves writes for MarketWatch.

“I think most investors would agree that the two CEOs are quite different. And, on balance, Cook is the better man for the job today,” Reeves writes. “Here’s why: Cook cares about investor sentiment: In March, investing icon and ‘Mad Money’ host Jim Cramer got a surprise call from Tim Cook wishing him a happy 10-year anniversary. Could you imagine Steve Jobs calling up Cramer the showman? Even more telling was when Cook emailed Cramer in August to give a rare mid-quarter update of sorts, including a report that China sales were going strong. It’s hard to believe Jobs would care so much about this kind of investor-focused communication.”

“Cook cares about shareholders: It’s not all touchy-feely talk from Cook when it comes to advocating for investors, either. There’s also a strong history of dividends and buybacks, including more than $126 billion in capital returned to shareholders since the end of 2012. Jobs was famous for hoarding cash rather than distributing it because he wanted to reinvest in Apple’s growth,” Reeves writes. “It’s great that Jobs had the vision to create devices that so many people wanted, but making these high-quality gadgets and delivering them around the world, on time, is no small feat. It’s not an exaggeration to say that without a best-in-class supply chain, Apple’s image wouldn’t be quite so polished regardless of its innovative tech toys.”

“Cook isn’t afraid to admit mistakes, such as apologizing for a botched Apple Maps rollout in 2012,” Reeves writes. “This is not the same company with the same needs it had 10 years ago, and in many cases (including this one), a change of leadership allows for a new vision to take hold.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Even when the comparison to Jobs is favorable to him (rare), Tim Cook has a thankless job, but the hundreds of millions of dollars he gets for it certainly help to assuage the torment.

This is a futile exercise. There is no way to compare the two, not knowing how Steve would have grown or how he would have run the company had he not been preoccupied with not dying, or actually dying, for the last several years of his tenure. Jobs had certain strengths, vision, charisma, and marketing to quickly name just three of many, that Cook & Co, have struggled and continue to struggle with in Jobs’ absence.

There’s no way to say whether Apple would be better off today with X or Y as CEO. It’s just quixotic mental masturbation.


    1. Anybody better than that guy who invented the Mac, please stand up.

      You never really worked and produced on a Macintosh, neither double-checked its Backbone to make really sure you can make a living upon that Machine?
      Well we freelancers do, no matter what profession. We would never post shit like that.

      When we use the Mac, we know the sky is the limit. You only get this on a Mac. Working on a rocksolid housing Laptop with 16 desktops dedicated each one to an application running, same time 3 Pro Apps rendering on suspend while you easily do your VM updates on Win 10.
      Starting hitman and laughing about my own Windows years.

      The Mac will always be the best Desktop OS and the only reason for declining Mac sales was the strict emphasis on iOS Development. That lead to regardless deployment of OS X over the past years and a huge shadow on Apples reputation, because the Mac is – if you check the facts – the 1st reason why Apple is extremely successful.

      Back to the Mac now, again

      1. Why engage in a pointless one-dimensional comparison between Cook and Jobs, who inhabit an n-space of factors? Of course Apple would be better off now with both Cook and Jobs. But since that’s not one of the options, who really cares? If Jobs were alive now, it’s likely that as Apple has grown into the largest company in the world by revenues and some other important metrics, the balance of the roles of Jobs and Cook would have evolved. Cook’s human-sized ego is unarguably better suited for managing shareholders and negotiating with federal regulators, and his world-class operational expertise is better for building and managing an enormously successful supply chain and strategically deploying worldwide financial resources. But it’s equally obvious that the future of the company’s inventiveness and vision would be better off in Jobs’ hands than in, say, Jonny Ives or whoever is really running products. now.

        You might notice that Apple’s senior management doesn’t have a senior VP of Products. They didn’t need it under Jobs. Instead, they have a Chief Design Officer and SVPs of Internet SW and Services, Worldwide Marketing, HW Engineering, SW Engineering… no head of products really.

        For now it’s working because the spirit of Jobs is still leading the company in absentia. He’s like the voice of Obi Wan, and people still ask themselves “Would Steve have liked this” when they make design and feature decisions.

        1. This comment is copied from another post, but still is – imho -a perfect coherence to your opinion.

          Read before posting opinions that only reflect market numbers and companies expectations and marketing notes.

          iPhone has not won any war. Blackberry is and will be 1st choice for Washington for many years to come.

          Smartphones have in general become the backdoor to our mind, unfortunately because we put a little too much trust in technology, just like the Prometheus Complex will explain.

          Not only do we depend on technology that keeps us from harm by “coincidently” betraying us (well the chinese did it!) , which is proven to be true since iOS 8, Apple Music and of course the iCloud.

          You just check the changes concerning Terms of use since iOS 6 and Mavericks. Scary? Well just tale your time for the comparison and you see what  turned into.

           in fact did not turn his back on consumers years ago at all,  became the biggest tech con in history by following the rules of Wall Street.
          Fact is they need to compare to others in terms of stock price, that puts Apple in that position of serving investors instead of customers. Just FACTS, no excuses until this mark.


          , this is your very own historic call now !
          –> Proof that we can rely on your technology to become the standard supplier of silicon and software within our future devices, like phones and cars and garage, everything home and banking and maybe fucking too?

          This is outrageous, not in a good way, because Wall Street now has that greedy hand in your pocket, it is your iPhone.

          That is the reason why SONY might sell its phone business in the near future. They only do not make enough money on their phones because of Apple, no word about the “wrong” OS they used, but maybe the Russians will buy SONY and … you will see where this blind politics of scale (economies of scale allegory) become reallydickless.

          Think and beware of just posting foreign opinions, just because it is so convenient.

          The hackers won’t stop because of Wall Street.
          They are all in ONLY because of “ is fucked by Wall Street”, and they have awesome skills. #

          I guess this guy really needed to point out, that the spirit of Steve is crying everyday because of Wall Street at his neck.

    2. Though Tim may believe and embrace what Steve advocated/believed, I’m not convinced the principles are inherent in his being, like they were in Steve. Tim is extremely valuable, talented and good for Apple now, but I don’t believe the following is found in his DNA, to the depth found in Steve’s.

    3. Tim Cook is not better than Jobs.

      -Apple Maps botched;
      -Retina iMac launch botched;
      -Introduces heavier and thicker products compared to previous year (iPad and new iPhones);
      -Apple music a trainwreck UI/UX;
      -Poor hiring decisions (Angela Ahrendts);
      -Botched Apple Watch launch and the Apple Watch itself not a runaway hit;
      -Apple TV a shell of what Jobs had lined up (TV channels as Apps that can be subscribed to).

      63% of Apple’s revenues come from the iPhone, a product Jobs created. The bottom line: Cook has not been Apple to successfully develop and market any new category product. He is riding the coattails of Steve Jobs. As Jobs worried in Walt’s biography, “he’s not a product guy”.

      I do not support Tim Cook as CEO.

  1. I like Tim for running Apple. I liked Steve for his keynote speeches. They have their own strengths and weaknesses. But just like the “King’s Speech” With time and practice, Tim is getting better.

  2. The comparison of Steve to Tim and Tim to Steve are getting a bit tired.

    Face it. A startup entrepreneur is not the person who leads the largest corporation in the world. There are giant CEO needs that must be filled by people trained in CEO functions. You aren’t born with them.

    Even Steve Jobs delegated to his other managers so he could keep his hands in conceptual design.

    Steve Jobs understood the need to establish principles for the company as it grew so he established the Apple University to carry on the core messages.

  3. Jobs & Cook were a binary singularity, that is to say that together they combined to make a completely new and separate being. One half of that binary singularity has passed on, and what Cook can channel of that other person is still very useful to Apple, however we are wrong to expect Cook to be, and act, and make decisions the same way Jobs did, we can however expect that Cook will make the same decisions he made when Jobs was still with us… I expect most, but not all will reflect exactly what the 2 together would have decided, of the remaining decisions, I expect some will fail & others will prosper. Either way we can expect and will get the very best leadership of Apple Inc. We miss Steve’s charisma…., not necessarily his leadership. In Cook we have the best person at the helm of the best company on the planet. So please give it a rest already. You know…, The King Is Dead! Long Live The King! and all that stuff.

  4. We need a product guy, someone who uses the hardware and the apps every day, who looks as some feature and says “this is great” or “this is lousy, we need to fix it” His viewpoint needs to be that of the user, and not just the iOS consumption device, but also the production device, which is OSX.

    Not there at this point. And its definitely not Ives.

  5. “Cook cares about shareholders …” If that is true he would do the best thing possible for us: step down because Wall Street has no confidence in his leadership and doubt the future with him at the helm. Until then, just get used to owning shares selling for about a third of what they are worth.

  6. There is no way to know what he is saying is true. It’s like people who say “America would have been just as great if X or Y or Z.” You don’t know. All you know is that Jobs did what he did, and Cook has done what he has done. Why doesn’t this guy go work in climate prediction? He’ll up his salary and get more fame for producing the same ridiculous prognostications.

  7. The only reason they say this is because Tim gives investors what they want. Steve gave customers what they want want. In then end Customers need to win for investors to win. So I am betting in the long run Steve would have been better. Short sighted investors only care about today.

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