Do I believe that Tim Cook is the absolute best person to be CEO of Apple?
No, I do not.
Someone more focused on the actual business at hand (delighting customers) and who has the ability to sell it onstage would be more successful. Likely wildly more successful. In the Apple CEOship as defined by Steve Jobs, Tim Cook is out of his element. He cannot keep products updated. He cannot innovate fast or far enough. He cannot even manage to have adequate supplies on hand at launches, repeatedly. Sometimes, he can’t even and won’t ever ship what he’s promised. To ice his half-baked, lopsided cake, his stultifying keynotes make waiting in line at the DMV seem exciting. Several of his VPs routinely do a far better job onstage than he.
I admire his commitment to privacy. (But, again, if Cook really were fully committed to privacy, we’d all have end-to-end encrypted iCloud data by now, inaccessible to anyone but the users who actually own it.) Certainly, Cook does really seem to care about equality, diversity, and the environment – also highly admirable traits.
However, I do not admire a CEO who lacked the foresight to realize the painfully obvious fact that neglecting the company’s flagship Mac for 5+ years would be a huge issue. An issue that would fester. A wound that would grow and be very difficult, if not impossible, to heal. One that would leave a permanent scar.
How could an Apple CEO not fathom the depth of Mac users’ passion? It’s inexplicable, but by now it’s plainly true that Cook never fully got it, regardless of its obviousness. The untenable Mac Pro situation proves it. I’m not sure Cook gets it even now. And when he finally rolls out a new Mac Pro half a decade too late, he will not be absolved.
A smart, prepared CEO – or even a mediocre one – would have created and maintained a team dedicated to truly taking care of the Mac – all Macs – and easily avoided a raft of bad feelings and bad publicity from the very users to whom the company he heads owes its very existence, but Cook plainly lacked the foresight to do so. It’s an obvious, easy, first-day-on-the-job concept, but Cook utterly blew it. There is no valid excuse. It’s just plain tone-deaf mismanagement; a total lack of foresight from, unsurprisingly, someone who would never be mistaken for a visionary.
Almost anyone could have done a better job with the Mac than Tim Cook. It’s as if Tim Cook said to himself, “Gee, how can I piss away all my goodwill with Apple’s core users as irretrievably as possible?” And then he set about to do just that. Well, mission accomplished! That’s more than I can say for AirPower.
A CEO who really understood the Apple that Steve Jobs built would have known implicitly that Mac users demand state-of-the-art excellence and he would have made sure to always take proper care of them and the Mac product line — hardware and software — regardless of how many asininely-named iPhones he was moving. Yet, Cook failed to properly take care of the Macintosh (of all things!) for many years. He rubber-stamped Jony’s fevered Mac Pro dream. Then he left it to rot for over half a decade. He also approved, tacitly at least, the infamous butterfly keyboard, presumably in the interest of shaving off half a millimeter about which nobody gave a rat’s ass. Aside from the Mac, he trotted out AirPower, promised it would ship last year, then killed it via a late Friday email dump after printing it on new AirPods boxes. No, really. Unfortunately, I could go on and on and on.
He came from Compaq, after all.
After what Steve Jobs built, a chimpanzee could run Apple profitably for many years. (Yes, even Steve Ballmer could do it.) — MacDailyNews, April 10, 2017
Will I shed a tear when Tim Cook finally exits Apple? Take a wild guess.
Let’s face it, Steve Jobs’ track record of picking Apple CEOs was less than stellar.
Hopefully, when the time comes, Sculley II isn’t up next. Yes, it could be worse. Cook fans can bask in whatever solace they can scrape up from the bottom of that sentiment, at least. No, I’m not expecting another Steve Jobs, but I’d settle for someone who’d at least be able to grasp that neglecting the Mac Pro, not to mention for so long, would be an obvious, glaring, reputation-tarnishing mistake.
As you may have gathered by now, I and the rest of the staff at MacDailyNews are not here to blow smoke up Apple Inc.’s C-Suite’s collective ass. We are here for Mac users — and, by extension, iOS, watchOS, and tvOS users — and we demand excellence at all times and in all endeavors.
If you can’t deliver, why are you still here?
SteveJack is a long-time Macintosh user, web designer, multimedia producer and, when he awakes from Rip Van Winkle-esque slumbers, a contributor to the MacDailyNews Opinion section.
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