Ex-Apple CEO Sculley: Tim Cook got Wall Street to fall in love with what Steve Jobs built

“Apple CEO Tim Cook is no Steve Jobs in terms of innovation, but he’s managed to build shareholder loyalty as fierce as that of the company’s devoted user base, former Apple CEO John Sculley told CNBC on Friday,” Chloe Aiello reports for CNBC. “Apple likely wouldn’t be what it is today without Cook, Sculley added. ‘Steve Jobs created a loyalty with users that is unparalleled in the consumer technology world. What Tim Cook has done, he’s built a loyalty with shareholders,’ Sculley said on Squawk on the Street.”

“‘Tim’s not a product person, per se,’ the Apple co-founder Jobs once said about his eventual CEO successor,” Aiello reports. “Sculley said that may very well be, but Cook excelled in business, carrying the tech giant through the death of its charismatic leader to the historic $1 trillion valuation that Apple hit on Thursday.”

“Whereas Jobs cultivated customer loyalty, based on incredible products, Cook used the Apple reputation to build a ‘brilliant business model,’ Sculley said, adding that instead of inventing the best, new technology, Cook buys back stocks, hordes cash, and gives out dividends,” Aiello reports. “Sculley also praised Cook for really monetizing the services end of the business, which analysts expect to be a bigger and bigger revenue driver in the coming quarters and years.”

“Amazon is ‘valued as a growth stock, not a value stock the way Apple is, so you’re betting on Jeff’s brilliance to continue to open up new lines of business,’ Sculley said,” Aiello reports. “‘Bezos is the “best CEO in the world right now,’ Sculley said. ‘My bet would be the next one going over a $1 trillion is Amazon.'”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Crap, we hate agreeing with that unprepared sugared water sales bozo.

“Oh, but Tim Cook has made Apple the world’s richest company! The stock price is near record highs!” some might say. And that’s true enough.

Others might say, “Let’s be honest, Steve Ballmer could’ve generated the same kind of money running Apple Inc. given the massive momentum Steve Jobs handed over at his death. Sometimes, in fact, it looks like Steve Ballmer is running Apple. Although, no, it doesn’t really, because even Ballmer would have updated the Mac Pro by now, made sure he had enough Apple Watches ready so as not to pretty much totally kill launch momentum, had enough Apple Pencils and Smart Keyboards on hand for the iPad Pro launch, enough AirPods at launch, etc. Even Monkey Boy would have had an Amazon Echo knockoff on the market for Christmas 2016, at the latest, too. Not missing Christmas 2017. Deny it if you must, but you know it’s true.”

Listen, Tim Cook has some very admirable qualities. For just one example, his stance on privacy is important and unparalleled. We’re not sure we’d have such privacy with any other CEO this side of Edward Snowden. (Of course, Cook’s ability to make that a selling point is in question as the near total lack of privacy doesn’t seem to dissuade literally billions of people from surrendering it daily to FaceBook and Google.) His commitment to clean, renewable energy is another.

Still, after this latest delay, missing Christmas with HomePod, thereby ensuring millions more Amazon Echo and Google Home units find their way under Christmas trees this year and all of the ancillary negative offshoots of that (Spotify rather than Apple Music subscriptions, for example), we’re left wondering:

How much would Apple Inc. be worth today had a Jeff Bezos-type CEO taken over the reins instead?MacDailyNews, November 21, 2017

Former Apple CEO John Sculley: What I learned from Steve Jobs – May 29, 2018
John Sculley: Apple TV will be the company’s most revolutionary product (as if he knows anything) – September 1, 2015
John Sculley: Forcing Steve Jobs out of Apple was a mistake – April 18, 2014
Failed Apple CEO John Sculley: If I were Samsung, I would tap Ron Johnson – April 10, 2013
If John Sculley says Apple must do this then Apple probably shouldn’t – January 17, 2013
Former Apple CEO Sculley gives his take on Steve Jobs – January 13, 2012
John Sculley: I wish I told Steve Jobs ‘This is your company, let’s figure out how you can come back and be CEO’ – Septemeber 13, 2011
Steve Jobs steps down the first time: The 1985 press coverage – August 26, 2011
John Sculley: Apple’s big mistake was hiring me as CEO – October 14, 2010
Sculley: Uh, maybe I shouldn’t have fired Steve Jobs – June 7, 2010


  1. Idiotic article reporting on an idiot…

    “Apple likely wouldn’t be what it is today without Cook, Sculley added”

    What a joke. In 2011 Jobs had done everything that makes Apple money. Cook is low level functionary whose job is to collect all the money that Jobs created.

  2. Apple’s products have gotten better since Steve Jobs’ death, not worse.

    I’m typing this on an iPhone X wearing AirPods with an Apple Watch on my wrist. The iPhone C is hands down the best iPhone yet. When paired with AirPods and an Apple Watch, the iPhone X is even better. Apple services are way better now too…

      1. No, actually Patrick is right on the money.
        Steve did a world class job as CEO, but people tend to forget the things that didn’t go right under Steve.

  3. Nope. The iPhone is what Wall Street fell in love with. Whenever someone analyst says she expect a downturn in iPhone sales, Wall Street panics.

    If Tim is so good at business, why all the product flops? Oh, right, he’s not a product person. APPLE MAKES PRODUCTS! That’s the business. This is Tim, the business man…

    – Apple Maps
    – Siri
    – Severely neglected Macs
    – MacBook Pros that ship with a serious heating problem.

    Yeah. Right. Wall Street love him.

    What Wall Street loves is the iPhone because every iteration adds moderate improvements but still sells a boatload because people love the iPhone. I see people with ancient Macs that they hardly use these days, but they have iPhone X units and use the crap out of them.

    I believe he might genuinely be the nicest man that ever worked for Apple, but he’s still riding the tail of the iPhone comet.

  4. I think those who diss Tim Cook as “the pipeline guy” miss the point that he’s also very much a values guy. This is not just a willy-nilly feel-good feat.
    It was Tim Cook who kicked out Google from Maps and Facebook from the OS. This matters very much!!
    THANK YOU, TIM !!!

    1. is “assisting” the Chinese in limiting and, or presenting only the “right” kind of info to the citizens. Yeah, yeah I know he’s got a business to think about, but some “values” deserve to be put in the drawer for awhile

      Of note, just this week, Google announced they were going to reconsidered their browser strategy with China and will issue a browser to “assist” the Chinese in their information goals.

      “Follow the money” is so often just a cliche. but sometimes it hovers over the stink like a buzzard over a carcass.

      1. valid point.
        Still, privacy is a real value for Apple as a selling point (I’m sold) AND for society. Apple approaches “the line” from a different direction than, say, F***book. Tim can’t fix China. But he has more merits than just “pipeline”.

  5. I am very tired of the overly geeky Jobs worshippers who cannot get it through their one-thought minds that the times the are a’changin’. Steve Jobs was an unparalleled visionary who saved Apple; Tim Cook is an operations manager who made Jobs’ rescue possible and profitable and kept the momentum that Jobs built and increased it, something that the geeks seem to think would happen all by itself. Jobs is dead; get over it. Comparing Jobs and Cook is odious, simple-minded, and useless.

  6. Wasn’t Sculley the “Salesman” running Apple into the ground…. Basing your whole business plan on the whims of the consumer will drive you in 100 different directing never doing great on any of them. When the consumer decides Apple is no longer in style, it will be to bad Apple will have driven away its core users who were more patient and loyal. Pride before the fall!

  7. TC is a brilliant guy, best COO Apple had who helped Jobs push Apple to greatness. That said it is painfully obvious he is no Steve Jobs. While i can’t see any replacement for him as CEO of Apple i think in many ways he’s STILL acting as a COO instead of a CEO: he’s doing the COO thing of providing tools and streamlining operations but he doesn’t seem to be DIRECTING his SVPs , masterminding like Jobs.

    too often the SVPS like Jony Ive seem to be indulging in their pet hobbies instead of fulfilling a ‘mastermind mind ‘ plan. we’ve got Ive working on Christmas trees, Coffee table books, spending huge amounts of time on Campus furniture, ceiling lies, door handles etc (one and half years to approve the door handles alone according to Reuters ), so much so that his official Apple.com bio was changed to include ‘Campus designer’ WHILE things like almost the whole Mac line (Apple’s second largest hardware money maker), the EDUCATION MARKET, etc FELL APART. other things under other SVPs like SIRI under Cue , an extremely important part of iPhone, also fell apart. ABSURDLY SIRI is ranked below an A.i built by GIANT GROCERY STORE Amazon.

    Today the situation seems to such that many senior officers like the Tv guys, the Ad guys like Tor Myhren etc report directly to cook rather than the SVPS (cue and Schiller in my examples)

    2) Note that while TC has been a reasonably good caretaker 90+% of Apple profits come from products created under jobs. The neglected Macs dwarf Airpods, Watch, Beats etc by billions in revenue every quarter.

    Services revenue which TC is praised for is mostly made up of Apple Care Warranties and iCloud monies, things like Apple Music make almost nothing (it probably loses money like Spotify) which means that Services rev DEPENDS ON CONTINUING HARDWARE SALES, and that goes back to the troubling question of neglect of Macs and SIRI for iPhone…. ( its only after years that belated action seems to be being taken)

    3) everybody is praising TC for the ‘trillion ‘ milestone which is an artificial metric. Artificial because is the next milestone 1.1 trillion, or trillion EUs, ?? What is more important is percentage growth per annum. Some people have said investors are better offf with TC than Steve jobs which is absurd. look at stock and dividend adjust aapl growth charts etc. since the start of jobs second tenure, Jobs performance for aapl growth is way way higher than TCs., ie investors would have made a lot more money under jobs tenure.

    1. forgot to point out:

      4) WS is NOT in love with Apple, it’s got one of the lowest PEs around, they value Msft, alphabet, Amazon way more , as analyst PED says WS values Apple like ‘going out of business industrial’.

      Cramer just said if WS even considered Apple to be as goood as Protor and Gamble —the maker of Huggies diapers — aapl would be worth 300 a share.

    2. Write on!

      You covered all the points I can think of in your posts. Best for Apple if pipeline goes back to COO and they hire a creative and hard driving CEO that can rein in Jony’s obsessions and get products out on time.

      MDN’s take is SUPERB, particularly Ballmer, and so are the quotes from Sculley, cough: “Apple CEO Tim Cook is no Steve Jobs in terms of innovation”

      Saved the best for last, the insight from Jobs:

      “Tim’s not a product person, per se,’ the Apple co-founder Jobs once said about his eventual CEO successor” Nuff said and out of the founders mouth.

      So obvious to everyone except the fanboys and apologists. Here’s hoping with the trillion dollar achievement on his resume, Cook goes back to what he does best freed up from all the distractions and the hunt for a new CEO is on …

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