Apple CEO Tim Cook gets an A-Minus from Barron’s

“It is the law of entropy that things get more complicated over time,” Tiernan Ray writes for Barron’s. “In the five years since Tim Cook took command of Apple from co-founder Steve Jobs, the company and the world in which it operates have become much more complex.”

“For dealing with these changes, Cook will receive a nice five-year bonus, the vesting of 980,000 shares of restricted stock units that Apple granted him when he became CEO in 2011,” Ray writes. “With Apple stock recently trading at $107.87, that’s a $105 million award.”

“So, how has Cook done in those five years? I’d give him an A-minus,” Ray writes. “By carefully shepherding the company through a tumultuous time in the tech world, he nearly doubled revenue, to an expected $215.4 billion in the fiscal year ending next month. He more than doubled profit, to a projected $8.26 a share, which led to a doubling in the price of the shares. Apple has generated total returns of 120% during his tenure, including reinvested dividends, beating the 110% of the Standard & Poor’s 500 index.”

Read more in the full article here.

Apple’s Tim Cook era in five charts – August 24, 2016


      1. It really isn’t all that arbitrary.

        The reason why I tend to agree with a C- (or perhaps even lower) is based on two things: an excellent CEO is first and foremost a visionary and secondly a great leader.

        And for both these reasons, Cook is a very weak CEO.

      2. To be a little more specific I would add, Tim Cook’s management style is reactionary, not visionary.

        In terms of leadership, he’s more of a follower than a leader as would indicate the lack of any innovation which has been most obvious since he sits at the helm of the company.

        If I had one piece of advice for Tim, it would be to stop relying on marketing which is currently Apple’s only true strength.

        Marketing only works for a while, until people who buy Apple products understand they’re being tricked (not to use the word fooled) and abused into believing they are using some special technology.

        1. don’t really want to get into a fight but I like to opine apple marketing is VERY WEAK.

          here’s a test:
          in 5 seconds I can name several great Ad campaigns done by Steve Jobs : 1984, Think Different, Mac PC guy (get a Mac), iPod Music dancing silhouettes , etc.

          try that with with Tim Cook’s marketing:
          can anybody even visualize several coherent ad campaigns (even with marketing SVP schiller reputed to have hired ‘hundreds’ more in house ad staff) done under Tim Cook in 5 seconds ?

          any recent ad campaign went ‘viral’? into public consciousness , into press debate? Think Different was discussed in Time Magazine, Mac Pc Guy in every tech blog, 1984 is still being studied in ad schools. Apple campaigns used to win ad awards by the bucket load.

          where now?
          Where are the Mac ads?
          Macs made MORE MONEY than iPads in the April quarter yet no Mac ads. Not even CHEAP we ads. Jobs had one new ad a MONTH under Mac PC guy (66 different ads over 4 years) which dwindled off to near nothing around the time T.Cook became interim CEO.

          there was PRACTICALLY NO MAC MARKETING DURING THE WIN 8 FIASCO YEARS! astonishing, no attempt to grab market share. Business schools will study this in the future as one of the biggest marketing blunders ever. Since then Apple has allowed Msft to get out Win 10 which has shipped 200-300 Million copies….

          Imagine how many more Macs they would have sold if they marketed…

          the only iPhone ads seem to be about PHOTOGRAPHY, for YEARS. Every android user I know shrugs, ‘huh?… my android ALSO take photos so whats the big deal?.”

          All the OTHER advantages of Apple iOS : that Apple makes BOTH OS and hardware resulting in better fit and better support, lack of malware, smoother functioning, ease of use, BETTER RE SALE VALUE, more expensive materials (like super hard aluminium costing 2-3 time normal), way superior PRIVACY, etc are NOT mentioned in apple marketing!

          (apple sacrifices a lot of money by NOT stealing user data like Google yet apple does NOT tell anybody about it via ads and use it to boost sales… )

          there are no MARKETING PROMOTIONS like tie ups to get iPhone users to buy Macs (example buy an iPhone, get 10% off a Mac if you buy one in 30 days, since there are Hundreds of millions of iPhone users with PCs that can be a big sell) etc.

          for people who want to flame me note that Bad Marketing with SLOPPY HARDWARE FIT and SLOW UPDATES had resulted in things things like Apple’s share of the education market (which they had great share) dropping to around to around 10% while Chromebooks have got to over 50%. , and recently Mac sales which have topped PC averages for years have fallen BELOW averages…

          no Mac marketing etc is like as if Tim cook has SWITCHED OFF THE ‘OPEN’ FOR BUSINESS SIGN to save money or something.

          (I was in Advertising and watching Apple marketing has been a hobby. Steve Jobs was a marketing GENIUS).

          1. before people think I’m a Cook hater, I think he’s done a reasonable job (with a few glaring exceptions like the above and the Pro mac line)

            I enjoy using my iPad Pro 12.9 and pencil.

            Note Jobs great performance was due in part to HAVING COOK as COO ( of course that also says Jobs can spot, hire and inspire talent. ) Cook had a very good job at Compaq and he left it after Job’s great sales speech to work at a struggling Apple. apple was being crushed by competitors in manufacturing costs and Cook straightened out the supply chain.

            I also don’t see many out there that can replace Cook . Elon Musk is a visionary but I wonder if even he can run Apple’s giant operations with sales in dozens of countries .
            (some days I think Apple should buy Elon’s businesses and make him a SVP and see what happens. Tesla’s market cap is smaller than Neflix’s and it probably has a lot of tech useful for an Apple car, cut short R&D time. But I don’t know enough about the car business to say with any authority ).

          2. Nonsense, Windows 8 was so bad it was free advertising for Apple. Apple had billions in free advertising paid for by Microsoft’s endless failures.

            Windows 8 was an awesome ad for Macs. Windows 10 is an even better ad, now that Microsoft has gone all Google and officially spies on you (rather than unofficially as was the case before anyway).

            1. ask you yourself:

              say i agree that win 8 was a bad ad..


              (a) is bad ad alone better ..

              (b) or bad ad PLUS good advertising from apple

              which do you think will sell more?

              if you answer (a) you are totally clueless

    1. The reason the board still keeping Tim Cook because TC earned huge profits and a enormous cash hoardings which is not easy to dismount him. There is no reasons to do that, if it was like Marisa Mayer of Yahoo, it would be easy for the board to remove TC and replace him with another person. But who could guarantee the new CEO would perform better than TC?.

  1. The comparison of Jobs vs Cook will never end. Good for Cook (and Jobs!) for ignoring that fact and pressing on.

    Q: Is Cook ‘reactionary’.
    A: I’d say so.

    Q: Is Cook ‘visionary’.
    A: I’d say not. He depends upon others in the company to be the visionaries. He’s a very good manager with an excellent understanding of new markets as well as third party manufacturers and assemblers. Much as I despise feeding China: Criminal Nation, Apple’s work with China has provided very good quality.

    Q: How many current CEOs come up to the level of Tim Cook, especially considering the shoes he had to fill?
    A: Incredibly few. This is an era of profound ExecuTards who’s mantras include these horrors: (a) Short term thinking (i.e. Long term disaster), aka screw the future (b) Screw the customer, feed the stockholders., aka parasitism. Considering this decay of quality capitalism into Garbage In: Garbage Out self-destruction, Tim Cook is a brilliant CEO. Not kidding. He’s stuck to Apple’s original manifesto and elaborated upon it in the modern era, despite the hardcore pressures to make Apple into just another crappy company.

    Q: Has Tim Cook allowed Apple to face-plant?
    A: Yes, occasionally: Apple Maps, IP and prototype robbery, a few hardware and software blunders of note, lost attention on the Mac, occasional bad hires (Browett), some tenuous stockholder relations.

    Enough analysis. All told, Tim Cook is impressive to the point of deserving an A-. I can’t disagree with that assessment. But we here at MDN would like to give him a C- or worse regarding the Mac. That’s a shame. I hope he cleans up Apple’s act with respect to the Mac, which let’s face it, is Apple’s foundation despite all the lovely profit frills from other devices. (IOW: No, the iPhone is not Apple’s foundation. No, iOS devices do not replace the Mac. Wake up Tim).

    1. The Cook haters/clowns couldn’t care less about the facts. They possess zero analytical skills with respect evaluating a company’s performance or that of its CEO or Board. These clowns expect the Apple of Jobs to continue the roll without any end or evolution. They understand little abut growth and the evolution of the industry. They think without the next change the world, can’t live without it product, Apple is a failure.They don’t get it and never will. They don’t want to. This website provides a forum for them to rant and rave in return for lots of clicking. They would be better served by going to BGR and doing battle with the Apple hating trolls/fandroids that have taken control of their comment section. At least then, the wars would be far more interesting entertainment.

      1. The Cook lovers/apologists couldn’t care less about the facts.

        Cook inherited a great company. The larger iPhones and the SE have kept Apple profits humming along.

        Beyond that, nada. Buggy software, half-baked products, total ignorance of the Mac line, dumbing down software and ignoring the pro market is just a few.

        Cook is more interested in rainbow pride parades, watch bands and fashion runways.

        Soon he will descend from a C- to a D or lower.

  2. Though not a Cook fan (some of his civil rights and ‘diversity’ rant is sheer sophistry); however, the headline about Barron’s ‘grading’ him was really irritating- it brought to mind the oft quoted segment of a Teddy Roosevelt speech:

    “It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.”

    Magazine writers are not in the arena…Cook is.

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