Six reasons why Tim Cook is doing a great job as Apple’s CEO

“It was about three years ago when Apple’s shares were tanking from $101 to $55 (post-split prices) that there were numerous articles saying the company’s Board should fire Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO,” Chuck Jones writes for Forbes. “At times articles blaming Cook surface such as the one by Forbes contributor Jay Somaney, which normally don’t take a complete view of Apple or cherry pick its stock performance to try and demonstrate that the shares have not performed well.”

“A CEO should be judged on many criteria with the company’s stock price being just one of them,’ Jones writes. “Below I’ll go through six areas that I believe demonstrate he is doing a very good job [and] add two more that are basically average…”

• Executive hires may not be one of Cook’s strengths
• The culture has changed
• Operational execution has been outstanding
• Strategy: sticking to its knitting
• Recent financial results have been stellar
• Apple doing well against the competition
• New and future products have potential
• Capital returns to shareholders is a positive

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take:

People who underestimate Tim Cook, earnestly or not, are like potholes that cause bags full of filthy, beautiful money to fall out of armored cars right into our laps.MacDailyNews Take, April 24, 2012

SEE ALSO:
​Apple’s dirty little secret: Sucky software – why Apple’s entire UX/UI team needs to be fired – November 19, 2015
What Steve Jobs gave Apple that Tim Cook cannot – November 18, 2015
New Apple Pencil stock begins arriving at some U.S. Apple Retail Stores – November 17, 2015
Apple’s new iPad Pro debuts with forced reboots, missing Apple Pencils – November 16, 2015
Apple’s perplexingly incomplete launch of the iPad Pro – November 16, 2015
Apple’s major problem is Tim Cook – November 16, 2015
At Apple, it seems as if no one’s minding the store – November 13, 2015
Publishers underwhelmed with Apple News app – November 13, 2015
Apple’s joyless iPad Pro launch: WTF are the Apple Pencils and Smart Keyboards? (4-5 weeks away) – November 12, 2015
Apple’s best days are behind it or something – November 7, 2015
Apple TV 4 is a beta product and, if you bought one, you’re an unpaid beta tester – November 5, 2015
Apple Watch has arrived for just 22 percent of preorder customers – April 28, 2015
Open letter to Tim Cook: Apple needs to do better – January 5, 2015
Tim Cook’s mea culpa: iMac launch should have been postponed – April 24, 2013
Tim Cook open letter: We fell short with new Maps app; we are extremely sorry – September 28, 2012
With obtuse iPad 2 launch, Apple fails to delight 49,000 customers per day – March 21, 2011

52 Comments

  1. I personally have no issues with TC. For me, he is the main reason how Apple have managed to ship products in such volume over the last decade. Without that Apple could not have the record revenues and profit that they have achieved.
    As always pundits throw mud around hoping that it will stick. That at least works to keep the stock price at the ridiculously low levels.
    The FUD that goes around is that Apple cannot maintain their historic dominance in the phone market. But Apple have already shown that it is not market share you need to focus on but profit share. Every other company thinks selling the most products will win but that only works if you have good profits. Maintaining that margin means you have to build good products that customers want.
    The hardest job the TC has is how to manage the company as it gets even bigger. They have to keep doing what they did to be so successful. It is hard to maintain that ethic but if any company can do that it will be Apple.

    1. Tim Cook is the WORST CEO out there right now.

      He gets too much credit for babysitting Apple, when a rhesus monkey could do just as good if not a much better job!

      It’s no surprise that Wall Street has no confidence in him. He’s lazy, incompetent, opinionated and narrow minded.

      His main concern is pushing his gay agenda… everything else is secondary.

      His string of failed products is embarrassing:

      The buggy, cheaply made, ridiculously overpriced, Apple Watch
      One Port Underpowered Macbook
      Trashcan non-upgradeable yet prohibitively expensive Mac Pro
      Lackluster , buggy, expensive, also ran Apple Music
      Overpriced, awkward, and lacking a solitary “Pro” feature pretty much sums up the iPad Pro

      And he wonders why Wall Street and thousands of former Apple consumers hate him?

      1. Your post started out poor, descended to awful, and then plunged off the cliff to abominably dismal when you started your rant list with the “…buggy, cheaply made, ridiculously overpriced Apple Watch.” You are so stupid that you started your list with the Apple product that has received widespread praise in terms of design, build quality, appearance, and function. And the Apple Watch Sport is very competitively priced – you do not have to buy the stainless steel version, or the gold Edition.

        Honestly, a capuchin monkey could write a better post.

      2. TCS —

        Your post belies incivility, a failure to appreciate culture in any sense of the word, and a low IQ. You are an embarrassment. Need anyone say more ?

          1. Yes, you are right. My comment about TSC’s low IQ probably pushes the limits of polite social intercourse, and I apologize if it seems uncivil. On the other hand, I do believe in the “no asshole rule”, and sometimes it is necessary to call offensive people, like bigots, out with strong language.

            But I did not call anyone — let alone the CEO of a company I admire, and who I think is doing an incredible job — a rhesus monkey. Or lazy, incompetent, opinionated, and narrow minded. Or pushing a gay agenda. Which few intelligent people would consider true in any objective sense.

            Thus, my defense is this: I have no problem with candid speech provided it is true. And TSC’s post belies someone with limited powers of observation and reasoning. (Is this not the very definition of a low IQ?) It is a rant. And besides that, TSC sounds like a bigot. So he can take a hike, regardless of his IQ. Take that !

            1. Tx. You are right. I meant “reveals”.

              I hate words that sound like they mean the opposite of what they actually do mean… Maybe some day with enough wrong usage it will mean what it sounds like it does. Cheers!

            2. Although on second thought, to the extent TCS thought he was making an insightful and intelligent comment, then his statement did indeed BELIE the opposite: ie, incivility, etc. Right? Accordingly, I believe the word is used correctly. Though it is a bit archaic, for sure…

            3. @ssc

              That’s exactly what happens when you have a low IQ but try too hard to sound witty and intelligent.

              You wind up sounding like what you are: a brain dead ignoramus!

          2. handsomesmitty — Funny you should ask. I am actually a life-long Republican. Although my party affiliation was elected long ago, when the Republican party actually stood for something sensible (fiscal conservatism), and before they turned the country into “Idiot Nation” (…as the Green Day song goes). Did you read that Ben Bernanke is no longer a Republican: he is now an Independent. Too funny!

            Anyway, I see you would rather call me out for suggesting someone making an offensive and homophobe rant must have a low IQ, instead of calling out the person who made the offensive and homophobic in the first place. You doth protesteth too much.

            Let me guess – you are a Republican, right? You hate homos, immigrants, taxes, and climate change. You love God, and can manage to love your neighbor, at least in principle, just as long as they think and look just like you.

          3. Unhomelysmitty, you are a knee jerk far rightist who despises anyone to the left of reactionary. You somehow believe that describing someone as “low IQ” is not civil, but calling them an “asshole” is just fine.

            Some very fine people affiliate with the Democratic Party. The same can be said for the Republican Party. Personally, I do not like the party system, particularly with just two main contenders dominating elections for many decades. I prefer to go issue by issue with logic and reason.

      3. @TCS
        >>His main concern is pushing his gay agenda

        Ah, there’s your problem. Exactly how much of his work life do you think Tim Cook spends “pushing” this agenda? Probably less time than you spend whining about it.

        1. I’ve been saying for 4-years on MDN that Tim Cook is an incompetent CEO that uses Apple as his soapbox to promote his personal gay rights agenda!

          He has repeatedly shown that this is all he really cares about, as running Apple is ancillary to his primary mission… that being the radical and extremely aggressive promulgation of gay rights directed specifically at vulnerable Apple employees, apathetic Apple consumers and confused business partners… regardless of whether these individuals and organizations support Cook’s position or not!

          For being inherently incompetent at carrying out the duties of his job as CEO of Apple, and because his job at Apple is considered by his own actions to be secondary to his primary goal (which by the way has absolutely NOTHING to do with his job description as CEO of Apple), and because he is obviously unable to distinguish the difference between unrelated personal objectives and the duties entrusted to him by the Apple board, Tim Cook should immediately be relieved of his duties as CEO of Apple… nothwithstanding and in spite of the fact that said removal is 4-years too late!

        2. Agree. Tim Cook can have a greater favorable impact on the world with a passing comment in support of fundamental values of human decency and human rights …than the likes of TCS can foment divisiveness and hatred with a lifetime of crude put-downs and rants. That goes for TCS apologists like handsomesmitty, too.

      4. My beef with Cook’s dishonest personal motives is pretty straightforward.
        His promotion of the radical homosexual agenda under the guise of “human rights” at the expense of Apple’s core principals and identity.

        If Cook was so concerned with ‘human rights’ he’d be moving production away from communist China. Under just two dictators, communism is responsible for anywhere from 50-100 millions deaths in the 20th century alone, but Cook and his ilk are strangely silent.

        Cook sucks in more ways than one.
        One star this if you agree.

        1. Exactly correct. Economic slavery is still slavery. Cook is just acting like Wall Street’s puppet at the expense of Apple users who have been getting horrible freebie software and crappy services for several years now.

    2. So mud-slinging pundits are the reason the stock price is down? This is laughable. We’re talking about the most valuable and powerful company on the planet. If pundits are the problem Apple could have hired all of them at $1 million apiece and it would have been well worth the investment. Apple’s stock price is nearly 10% off of its highs of last year because the company has no compelling vision for the future.

      Besides the Apple Watch (which Apple is abysmal at marketing) and force touch, what have we really gotten in recent years? Bigger, thinner, lighter, faster and the Apple Music fiasco. Apple has tremendous resources and potential for the future, but Tim Cook has fallen flat on his face in selling that vision of what’s possible. Steve Jobs famously described Apple as being at the intersection of “technology and the liberal arts”, TC has abandoned that vision and replaced it with nothing.

        1. Here’s Cook’s Apple:
          Apple Watch: One centimeter thick. Confusing UI. Botched rollout.
          Apple TV: The future of TV is just so NOT apps. Terrible UI. (WHO decided a white bgnd in a dark living room was a good idea?) Still no power button for pity’s sake. Totally uninspiring.
          MacBook. Overpriced, underpowered and one port? Just inviting failure.
          5k iMac: Nice screen but why do I care about thin when I can’t see the back? Fully specced it’s $4,099. O_o
          Mac Pro: 2 years in and the poor pros are again scouring code for hints at an update. Sad.
          El Capitan: What a lazy, lazy update. Swipe gestures in Mail and checklists in Notes listed as key new features. Still no true dark mode. Apple takes a full effing year and delivers very, very little to talk about.
          Apple Music: UI is as bad as it gets. “Confusing mess” does not begin to describe this dog of an app.
          Beats: Why Cook, why??
          iPad Pro: Marginal. Keyboard is a fail. Pencil is a win. Hard to see it selling well.
          The iPhone is like a stream of bat’s piss. It shines out like a shaft of light while all around is dark.
          Signed, a very long term Mac user realizing that Steve left a numbers guy in charge…

    3. MDN last week criticizing Cook, now saying he’s the man. Same old flip flopping.

      63% of Apple’s revenue is from iPhone, a product Jobs created. Tim Cook inherited a pre established dynasty. A monkey could do it.

      As Jobs said in an interview, they’re working on the next iPhone, and the next one after that, and the next one. There was a several year product pipeline at Apple when Cook came into power.

      At this point, Cook hasn’t done anything but botch products and launches and buy Beats. We still have no sales figures for Apple Watch either. And Apple Music is a bleeding pile of trash.

      Apple’s stock isn’t rational either. The company should have been trading higher for years based on earnings. When it was going down is when Jobs death rumors and news were circulating.

      Tim Cook has far from proven himself.

  2. • Recent financial results have been stellar
    • Apple doing well against the competition
    • New and future products have potential

    These are the three that I believe are the most important and the three that are spot on for Apple and Cook.

  3. “Strategy: sticking to its knitting’
    Here he is talking about Apple buying “smaller tuck-in companies”, an area where other big companies often fail at. Yea, I agree.

    The Apple Car does not seem to fit in this category, but it does fit in the category “New and future products have potential”

  4. Understatement • Executive hires may not be one of Cook’s strengths

    Not for the better • The culture has changed

    No (iMac delayed, MacPro Delayed and not upgraded for over 2 years, Apple Pencil, iPad Pro keyboard)• Operational execution has been outstanding

    No its knitting is making customers happy first shareholders second, this has reversed • Strategy: sticking to its knitting

    Despite the above • Recent financial results have been stellar

    iPhone carrying them (quality is dropping this won’t last forever) • Apple doing well against the competition

    Always if Apple get some leadership • New and future products have potential

    Again Share holders above customers, not that that is totally bad, I’ll give this a pass • Capital returns to shareholders is a positive

  5. one T.C strength is the ability to open new markets and expand outlets. One example is China where Apple is having explosive growth. Dealing with prickly politicians and difficult business partners is a high art form and one which T.C is probably more suited for than ‘straight talking’ Steve jobs.

    (I suspect that’s why in spite of flaws in recent product launches the FINANCIAL results — due to new markets — is still so good. 11,100 million profit last quarter compared to less than 100 m for amazon ).

  6. If Wall Street thinks Tim Cook is a lousy CEO, then that’s a huge problem for Apple shareholders. As far as they’re concerned, it’s “Nero fiddled while Rome burned.” I’m sure the big investors see it that way and I’m not sure there’s anything Tim Cook can do to change their opinion. Apple may make far more profits than Amazon, but Jeff Bezos is considered the class valedictorian while Tim Cook wears the dunce cap.

  7. A couple more reasons that Tim Cook is doing a great job.

    -Wall Street just doesn’t get Apple. Not surprising, those without morals often cannot get those that do.

    -Tim doesn’t listen to a thing that Jay Morrison says. Mind you I think there are few that do.

    1. Different religions describe different morals. Shocking, but true. The Wall Street religion is the worship of Mammon. Everything is a commodity, even people. Their version of the Golden Rule is He who has the gold, Makes the rules. They take communion at Rosie O’Grady’s and Emmett O’Lunney’s. And He who dies with the most toys, Wins.

      As for JM, so sad that few listen to him. It’s a certainty that no one at Apple does. More’s the pity, as JM would be a memorable character on the Apple Board of Directors. External attacks have not slowed Apple, but as Eric T. Mole proved, hollowing them out from within is do-able.

  8. Atv4 is half ass. I won’t start listing those shortcomings, everyone’s done that already iPad pro has issues out of the gate, to which they acknowledged. The key features, pen and keyboard are 5 weeks out, pathetic. What’s next a solar powered flashlight

  9. Two more reasons Cook is doing a great job:

    – He is killing the competition (MS & Samsung)
    – He is giving a big middle finger to DC regarding proposed government invasion of citizens privacy.

  10. I would have done it differently, but who knows what would happen under a different set of priorities.

    Apple is a huge a cash machine and that makes the bastards of Wall Street who care not for the company – only how much they can squeeze out of the company, happy.

    I think the assumption of debt and payout of dividends is a mistake when the money could have been used for do many better things. I know Wall Street loves it, but I think it is pissing away a huge opportunity for Apple.

    It is also a mistake that Apple is still so dependent upon iOS for the overwhelming portion of it’s profit.

    1. I don’t particularly like taking on debt for buybacks but with so much oversea cash on hand, the risk is minimal.

      Your comment about iOS is a bit ridiculous. Apple created a new type of product with the iPhone and iOS. Now over 1 billion iOS devices sold. That is one of the most successful product families ever.

      Whilst I love the fact that Apple now sell over 20M Macs a year, that pales compared to the volume of iOS units and the revenue they command.

      1. The dependency upon iOS is a problem- a long term one.

        Steve Jobs realized that dependence upon the Mac was not a good thing and started broadening the line, adding services and making the company less susceptible to disruption. It is from that effort that iOS devices were born.

        The numbers I remember being quoted were about 70% of Apple’s profit comes from the iPhone. Being that dependent upon one product for 70% of your profit is a danger. Markets shift, disruptive technologies come along and eventually even the biggest kid on the block faces a challenge.

        My comment was that after all this time it seems Apple could be a little LESS dependent upon the iPhone.

        They could certainly spend more marketing the Macintosh line.

        1. Macs will never sell in the same volume as phones. The ASP is only 2X of the phones and sell about 8X less units. Therefore the phones bring in 4X more revenue.
          I get that Macs are part of the operation and I love what Apple has done for them. But you have to face reality that Apple’s largest business is in phones and they need to continue to evolve that as well as the Mac.
          Writing this on my 3 yr old rMBP. The best Mac I have ever had and still a freaking beast. Love this machine.

    2. Except Apple is not limited by lack of cash or funding. It has more cash than good ideas it can act on. Besides, borrowing rates are silly cheap, and any interest paid is deductible from revenues anyway.

  11. I don’t really see much of Tim Cook pushing a gay agenda; he decided to announce that he is, and he celebrates such events. I don’t believe Apple is pursuing any subliminal mind control to cause others to “convert”.

    I do believe Apple needs to relearn a Steve Jobs lesson: simplify the product line. Five types of iPads or iPhones is at least two too many of each, and maybe more like four too many. Phil Schiller has commented on “meeting every price point.” It is reminiscent of Apple’s having too many Macintosh versions causing public confusion. Keep the high end, discard the older models.

    Buyers will find the money to pay for the best quality and be ecstatic with their purchase; those who buy cheaper, inferior versions will become unhappy customers when they realize they didn’t get the best.

    Fewer happy, enthusiastic customers are much better to have than a greater number of grumbly, unhappy customers. The former group is loyal, the latter not so much.

    1. You haven’t been paying attention then. Tim Cook and Apple have made gay issues an important part of their personal and corporate mission: http://9to5mac.com/2015/10/30/apple-support-houston-equal-rights-hero/

      TC is one of the most powerful and therefore dangerous Social Justice Warriors (SJWs) on the planet and the stock price reflects this. The only passion TC displays is when he talks about “equal rights” and “diversity”, not a compelling vision for Apple’s future as a tech company. It reminds me of how Obama gets passionate and animated while decrying Republicans as bigots while showing no emotions towards the carnage caused by ISIS.

  12. The firing of Scott Forstall can be viewed two ways. Positively it may help make Apple more collaborative but Apple may have also lost a very strong development resource.

    I hold out hope that Scott will return to Apple after his sojourn into the self à la Jobs. [No, that’s not metaphysical! 😉 ] Browett: Stay away.

      1. Lovely anti-FUD:

        I believe it is better to compare Apple to the S&P 500 and NASDAQ vs. picking a handful of stocks. It is also better to take a multi-year timeframe vs. a one year or less or vs. a certain event.

        When you compare Apple’s stock from when Cook was named interim CEO on January 14, 2009, the shares are up 848% compared to the S&P 500 at 148% and the NASDAQ at 243%.

        When you start with August 24, 2011, when Cook was named the permanent CEO Apple’s shares are up 122%, the S&P 500 is up 77% and the NASDAQ is up 107%. While Apple may not maintain its outperformance I believe it has a decent shot since it is trading at a PE multiple substantially less than the S&P 500 or NASDAQ.

        Well, isn’t that interesting?

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