Over the last 5 years, would Steve Jobs have been a better Apple CEO than Tim Cook?

“Apple investors have been served reasonably well under Cook’s care. The stock’s return including dividends has more than doubled over his five-year reign, up 103% in that time,” Rick Munarriz writes for The Motley Fool. “That’s slightly behind the tech-heavy Nasdaq’s return, but it compares favorably to the S&P 500’s 86% gain.”

“His run hasn’t been a runaway success,” Munarriz writes. “The iPhone product line Jobs introduced nine summers ago continues to be the primary driver, here, accounting for 56% of Apple’s revenue and likely even more of its operating profit. Outside of the perpetual refreshing of the iPhone, iPad, Apple TV, and Mac lines, there isn’t a lot that wasn’t around when Jobs himself was still around.”

“There’s a fate far worse than merely being unspectacular, and it is — it pains me to say — what may have happened under Jobs if he had been calling the shots over the past five years,” Munarriz writes. “He likely would’ve pushed through the high-def TV he was working on before his passing — he had ‘cracked it’ after all — even as the market was falling more in line with cheap set-top devices like the Apple TV the tech giant already had. He possibly would’ve resisted making iPhones larger — a move that caused a huge spike in business two years ago — or iPads smaller, a move that may have extended its fleeting success.”

MacDailyNews Take: Load of crap. Munarriz has no idea of what Jobs meant by “an integrated television set.” Jobs routinely killed projects and constantly stated things publicly in order to throw off competitors (for one example, saying that “nobody reads books anymore” months before launching the iBooks Store).

Full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Oops, we just broke Betteridge’s law of headlines.

We’d take the visionary Steve Jobs as Apple CEO over anyone. Suggesting otherwise is just motley foolishness.


    1. Possibly. In this one specific instance, your opinion may be as good as any other… Don’t get a swelled head, though. Developing an innovation into an empire is an exceedingly difficult and uncommon event. It is even more difficult when you have to overcome existing empires.

      Innovation comes from many directions. Apple’s massive R&D budget may very well yield some gems. And Apple may also acquire key innovations by buying other companies or licensing IP.

    2. In my opinion, there is no “next” Steve Jobs, or “next” anything else. It is a despicable media construct, nothing more. It seeks to manipulate us, to subliminally revise our social expectations and thereby influence our votes. This is a psychological technique that works well on disaffected minds but not at all on engaged minds.

      That being said, I divine that Donald Trump has inspired you with his vision. Am I right? He definitely attracts disaffected minds. Or is it that Hildebeest is more unthinkable? Um, I don’t know, I think Chris Cristie would have been unthinkable., but that’s just me.

  1. Who can say, its all speculation, but as an Apple user since 1983, Apple IIe, and having built two businesses using Apple products across the board, over 20 Macs, 2 iPhones, 2 iPads, I have never had the doubts that I do now. Primarily, the area of concern is the Mac. My business is built on 3rd party software, approximately 12 specialized apps which are critical to my workflow. Very little use of Apple apps, Safari and Mail, other than that….. The 3rd party developers are being whip-sawed with the “change for the sake of change” mentality that causes them to endless development cost get passed on to the users.

    My primary 3rd party app was developed by ex-Apple employees who for the first time are looking at the possibility of creating a Windows version. Believe me, they don’t want to do that, but their primary concern is their customers, for which I am eternally grateful. I don’t like Windows, but it does work fine, admittedly i don’t use it much, primarily for website testing. The most important app that I use, which is an animation app is more important to me than the operating system. I don’t think the developers will have to go that far, but they recognize the possibility.

    I don’t care about the stock price.

  2. Hm? Jobs would have focused more on Apple. Apple would not be on the DOW Jones list.
    Hm? Perhaps, there would have been no split, 7 for 1, only to turn around and do a stock buy back.
    Hm? perhaps, he would not borrow any money, with Apple having access to so much cash.
    Hm? Perhaps, he would have spread out product announcements so they look to occur every quarter.
    Hm? NO WATCH! at least not that ugly incarnation that we see now.

    Perhaps, Perhaps, Perhaps, but then again he, Jobs, did give us iPod socks, in different colors too.

  3. Hard to compare anyone to Steve Jobs. That will always be a losing proposition. Even he screwed up sometimes but often admitted on stage.
    In a way the biggest one was when he released iTunes and admitted he had missed the potential of digital music.
    But in a typical Jobs way, he understood the mistake and turned it around. As we all know now, iTunes led to iPod which ultimately led to the iPhone.
    Maybe that is what Cook is lacking. An understanding of what went wrong and then the determination to correct the error and double down on fixing it and turn it into a win for Apple.
    The lack of Mac updates is a big issue for me. Waiting for the next big thing from Intel can really limit options and I would have prefer some more incremental updates from Apple.
    Putting all product releases on a Fall schedule is very hard. This reminds me of the days when Apple had to rush to announce at MacWorld. Releasing products throughout the year helps maintain the momentum of Apple constantly moving forward and it also helps reduce the pressure on Fall releases and inventory ramping.

  4. I’ll always miss Jobs. It’s not the same with Cook.

    I liked Steve because he was deadly focused on Apple, Apple and Apple, not politics, social issues and making Carl Icahn happy.

    Maybe Jobs couldn’t have pulled any more rabbits out of his hat, but I think he would have pushed his teams harder to get more projects out to market.

    Cook is overly quiet and boring. Cue is scatter brained. Software is poor lately. Let’s hope it’s a lull, because at the current rate of boredom, there will be no more magic left at Apple and they’ll just be one of many tech companies.

  5. Jo,

    “I liked Steve because he was deadly focused on Apple, Apple and Apple, not politics, social issues and making Carl Icahn happy.”

    I could not say any better than this!!!

  6. We all know that this is an exercise in speculation, but I feel that it would have gone much the same. There would have been improvements in the quality of final products before they were released, but for the most part, it wouldn’t be much different. Maybe the Mac would have faired better, but I’m not sure – Steve was pushing for the computer in your pocket as much as anyone.

    Except for the whiners. They would have to find something else to whine about. And there’s no doubt they would have done so! They just wouldn’t be able to say “Steve would have done _______”

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