Apple Inc.’s “management oversees a workforce of 132,000, which has more than doubled in size since Tim Cook took over as CEO from co-founder Steve Jobs in 2011,” Aaron Tilley and Wayne Ma report for The Information. “Nineteen people directly report to Mr. Cook, overseeing hardware, software, services, chips, artificial intelligence, marketing, finance and other areas (the figure includes Mr. Cook’s executive assistant and excludes a senior leader who reports to Mr. Cook and another executive).”
Cook “avoids meddling in product decisions, as Mr. Jobs did, people familiar with his leadership said. ‘What’s different today is that Tim is much more of a delegator,’ said David Yoffie, a professor at the Harvard Business School, who has studied Apple extensively. ‘Apple is a more traditional type of organization today relative to what it was under Steve,'” Tilley and Ma report. “Relations between the company’s senior vice presidents are less politically volatile than they were in the Jobs era, said current and former employees. When conflicts arise, Mr. Cook expects his lieutenants to resolve their differences. Mr. Jobs often picked sides and saw benefits to pitting executives against each other, they said.”
“The downside, though, is that Apple no longer has a singular voice akin to that of Mr. Jobs, whose instincts on product and marketing matters were unusual for a CEO,” Tilley and Ma report. “While Apple still releases innovative products, it has faced growing criticism that its offerings are no longer as inspiring and polished as they once were.”
Read more in the full article here.
MacDailyNews Take: The Apple Watch is a perfect example of the difference between Steve Jobs’ Apple and the post-Steve era under Cook. We, the users, were the Apple Watch alpha and beta testers, collectively standing in for Steve Jobs, doing much of what the singular genius would have done before release by brute force and sheer numbers after release. It took four generations of Apple Watch, but we’re here now!
Of course, what we predicted years ago has yet again come to pass:
As Apple CEO, Steve Jobs focused on two things – product design and marketing. He was a genius at both. His talents cannot be replaced with one person. In fact, his talents in either discipline cannot be replaced by one person. Jony Ive and Phil Schiller without Jobs cannot be expected to perform as if Jobs was still working with them.
A team of people – talented people who actually get it and who are all on the same page – is an absolute necessity for Apple’s success, but it creates a problem: Jobs was a single filter. A unified mind. The founder. A group of people simply cannot replicate that. This is not to say that they cannot do great work (we believe Apple does, and will continue, to do great work) just that Apple is fundamentally affected by the loss of Steve Jobs and has to figure out a new way to work. — MacDailyNews, April 8, 2014
There is a pattern of botched/incomplete launches from Apple Inc. under Tim Cook that is rather glaring and worrisome.
Apple’s management team should really stop whatever they’re doing right now and take a long, hard, cold look in the mirror.
This is one time where Tim Cook & Co. really should be asking themselves, “What would Steve do?”
Because what Steve would do is push harder, not settle for less than the best and not be carelessly frittering away the brand equity that he (along with Jony Ive, Tim Cook, Phil Schiller, Eddy Cue et al.) worked so incredibly hard to build. – MacDailyNews, November 18, 2015
Apple only really works when one person is in charge. The problem is that said overlord has to be multifaceted and multitalented and there was, of course, only one Steve Jobs. Obviously, Steve Jobs is missed and, yes, Apple does need a Jobsian product architect. Unfortunately, Steve was a unique genius and his shoes, so far, have been impossible to fill. — MacDailyNews, January 9, 2017
Half a decade after Steve Jobs’ death, people are beginning to see the results of the lack of a charismatic, focused leader.
You cannot go from Steve Jobs to someone who “doesn’t like people arguing” and not effect a profound culture change. – MacDailyNews, April 10, 2017
Steve Jobs would get it. Tim Cook? Well, he released it. Just like he released Apple Maps. If it’s not crystal clear by now, it should be: Cook can’t see it. He’s very good at some things; other things he simply cannot see. This is not a knock. The ability to be so detail-oritented, so absorbed in the end user experience to the exclusion of all else, is a rare ability.
“Tim’s not a product person, per se.” – Steve Jobs discussing Tim Cook, as quoted by Walter Isaacson in “Steve Jobs”
Cook needs to assign people to these projects who can do what he cannot, who can see what he cannot see, and make sure these people are as focused and obsessed as Steve Jobs. There may only be one person at Apple who can do this reliably: Jony Ive. Unfortunately, he may be too busy being chief designer of all things Apple (hardware and software) to also do what Jobs did so incredibly well: Focus on a wide range of products, experience each of them as the end user does, and not allow products out the door until they can perform as Apple products should perform. It’s highly likely there is not enough time in the day for all Ive would need to do (or even to do all that he’s supposed to be doing already). [It also might be impossible for anyone to be so involved in the hardware and software design to be able to step back far enough to experience it as the end user would and therefore be able see a product’s flaws from that, the most important, end user’s perspective.]
Cook needs to find people who are obsessive about the end user experience and assign them to these type of projects… To state the obvious: Steve Jobs was one-of-a-kind and truly amazing. No hyperbole. Cook needs to try to replicate Steve Jobs as much as possible with a group of people, each of whom can contribute various elements of Jobs’ wide range of skills. — MacDailyNews, November 11, 2013
Apple’s desperate Mac Pro damage control message hints at a confused, divided company – April 6, 2017
What Steve Jobs gave Apple that Tim Cook cannot – November 18, 2015
The culture at Apple changed when Tim Cook took over as CEO – April 10, 2017
Lazy Apple. It’s not hard to imagine Steve Jobs asking, ‘What have you been doing for the last four years?’ – December 9, 2016
Open letter to Tim Cook: Apple needs to do better – January 5, 2015