Tim Cook fiercely disputes ‘absurd’ WSJ report in scathing statement about Jony Ive’s departure from Apple

Dylan Byers for NBC News:

Apple CEO Tim Cook (Photo: Getty Images)
Apple CEO Tim Cook (Photo: Getty Images)
Apple Chief Executive Tim Cook on Monday fiercely disputed a report about the departure of design chief Jony Ive and the company’s ability to uphold its commitment to innovative design.

In a rare, scathing statement sent exclusively to NBC News, Cook took issue with a report published Sunday night by The Wall Street Journal that said Ive had grown frustrated with Cook’s leadership and alleged lack of interest in the design production process. Cook said the report does not match reality and fails to understand how Apple’s design team actually works.

“The story is absurd,” Cook said in an email. “A lot of the reporting, and certainly the conclusions, just don’t match with reality.”

“At a base level, it shows a lack of understanding about how the design team works and how Apple works,” Cook said. “It distorts relationships, decisions and events to the point that we just don’t recognize the company it claims to describe.”

Colleen Schwartz, senior vice president of communications for The Wall Street Journal, said in a statement that the newspapers stands by its reporting… On Sunday night, The Wall Street Journal‘s Tripp Mickle reported that Ive “had been growing more distant from Apple’s leadership” in part because he was frustrated with Cook’s “more operations-focused company,” according to several sources familiar with his departure who were not named.

“People in the design studio rarely saw Mr. Cook, who they say showed little interest in the product development process — a fact that dispirited Mr. Ive,” Mickle reported…

“The design team is phenomenally talented,” Cook told NBC News. “As Jony has said, they’re stronger than ever, and I have complete confidence that they will thrive under Jeff, Evans and Alan’s leadership. We know the truth, and we know the incredible things they’re capable of doing. The projects they’re working on will blow you away.”

MacDailyNews Take: Oh, some palace intrigue to jazz up the summer doldrums! 🙂

Tim Cook can protest all we wants, but the fact of the matter is that if Jony Ive were fully engaged and intellectually challenged, he’d still be an Apple employee.

That the muse lasted this long without his master is actually rather amazing.

Let’s move on to the next phase, shall we?

30 Comments

  1. Yes, let’s. A bit more functionality and less emphasis on as thin and as light as possible would be nice. Not taking away from any of the engineering or design, but the trade-offs, and there are always trade-offs, seem to be skewed more towards form and less towards function the last few years. A prime example- the previous (though technically still current, I suppose) Mac Pro. Or perhaps the new keyboard design that just doesn’t seem to be on par with regards to durability as previous designs were.

    1. Well I guess if we just want function we will be getting more of the iPhone battery case philosophy breaking out into the Apple mainstream. That will really cheer up the ‘form over function’ detractors I’m sure. It’s all about balance and I suspect that under Cook it’s all about cheapness over impact in the creative decision making for the sake of squeezing out more profit. Bureaucrats like Cook don’t understand why that might get people’s back up and thus you get the delusional statement above. How can you even respect, let alone believe a man who has such little self awareness that he again uses that much mocked ‘blow you away ‘ mantra yet again when not even the most loyal fanboy can take it seriously.

      As an aside, I am glad that Apple is producing a version of the Foundation Trilogy for it can’t have escaped everyone that the post Jobs Apple story is eerily echoing in microcosm that story. What with totally aimless leadership living comfortably but increasingly distantly off of a great inspirational figurehead and unable to accept its not recognising the even the facts of the present, let alone preparing for an increasingly unpredictable and changing future.

      1. Apple honestly hasn’t blown me away with anything in years. Their stuff is good, even great, but not for the money they’re charging. iMacs and Macbooks, especially pro models, that force you to pay for upgrades to RAM and storage upfront isn’t aspirational, it’s price-gouging.

        1. If one criticises another for being homophobic, that does not mean the person making the criticism is “heterophobic” – rather than being against homophobia.

          It is like suggesting that if one criticises a white person for being racist about a person of color, they person is also are racist against white people.

          It is an inverted logic – whether the person criticising the bad behaviour is interpreted as being inherently biased against the class of person making the bad statement rather than the content of the bad statement itself.

            1. I have no problem with you having the freedom to express your opinion in the form of speech. You can and will be judged however. So…

              Tell you what! Let’s just end the controversy with you f*ing yourself!
              Or are you Autophobic too?

    1. While I absolutely agree with Jimbo regarding the “CORRUPT mass media” the WSJ stands alone as the balanced voice in dead tree media, same as Fox News in television media and Mike Savage in broadcast media.

      The reporting is common sense and Apple customers have dealt with the neglectful consequences of Cook’s beancounter leadership since being named CEO.

      Certainly, we are not INSIDE APPLE witnessing day to day operations first hand, same as WSJ. But neither was Woodward and Bernstein inside the Nixon White House.

      Dustin Hoffman in “All the President’s Men” playing Pulitzer Prize Winner WP investigative journalist Carl Bernstein of Watergate fame, spoke a famous line that applies to this news report:

      “If you go to bed at night and there is no snow on the ground, when you wake up there is snow on the ground, you can say it snowed during the night although you didn’t see it, right?”

      Bottom line: Tim has finally been exposed in the national media as who he really is behind the wizard curtain. He does not like it for obvious reasons. Pitiful personal damage control IGNORANT of REALITY does not cut it Tim. You should remember that and change your ignorance of technology that FOUNDED Apple…

  2. Do you remember the iPod model released in 2006? . . . probably not . . . but you do remember the first iPhone in 2007 . . . Apple will be releasing new iPhones in 2020 along with Apple Glasses . . . it will be a paradigm shift. If you look at the “street view” in the new Apple Maps (augmented reality), it really is preparation for the new Apple Glasses . . . in summary, Apple’s 2019 products are like their 2006 products — no one will remember them once the “next big thing” comes along.

  3. Actually I do remember the 2006 iPod 2nd generation Nano, an improved version of my favorite form factor iPod. 🙂

    I’d like to see a “fatter” iMac with doors for RAM and SSD with a robust cooling system that could run all cores at maximum clock continuously. Plus a few USB/SD ports on the side. Extra credit for a stand that could switch to portrait. 🙂

    1. You are right, that would be a great combination of form AND function. Mind you I have never understood why, especially after you see the new Mac Pro, the whole back can’t come off the IMac. But then we know that’s a marketing ploy.

  4. Tim Cook has done an admiral job of running Apple. Is he perfect? Who is? Ti’m has proven himself beyond a shadow of a doubt to be a fantastic captain of the ship, and there’s no reason to doubt that he will steer it to even greater, greener pastures.

    1. “Tim Cook has done an admiral job of running Apple.”

      And just then you woke up.

      Cook is an unimaginative beancounter riding first class in the iPhone gravy train Steve built.

      He takes away far more products, features and upgrade paths than he introduces while raising prices.

      Thank the maker your ignorant cheerleading does not change reality…

  5. Jony Ive was and over the top prima donna untouchable sacred cow fer fer a very long time, all he did was tweek other designers designs, good riddance, along with his chauffeured limo.

  6. Tim doth protest too much. There is probably an element of truth in all this.

    Also the products that would via his oft-used but seldom realized expression that would “blow us away” are still mostly vaporware if they truly exist at all. Even the new Mac Pro, a product ridiculously overdue, is a product that might’ve “blown us away” in 2016 but in 2019 merely has exasperated it’s pro customers by it’s over-the-top lateness instead. There is little real joy about it coming out of a protracted and late development and lazy, careless attention to the problem to begin with. We are still licking our wounds.

    I haven’t felt excited in the way I used to about new Apple products in a long time and that was when Jobs was still around. I still think there are a lot of things Tim does wrong in his role as CEO that only Apple insiders know to be true. If this is the style in which he cannot seem to break himself then not much is going to change until he is replaced. Doubtful the epiphany Cook needs will ever show up to someone so entrenched in his old ways and inadequate level of ability and vision in an industry like technology.

    1. “Tim doth protest too much.”

      Superlative observation and absolutely correct, Peter.

      Cook is certainly accurately portrayed in the LAST GREAT large circulation newspaper — the accurate award winning and highly esteemed WSJ.

      Proof is in the reporting:

      “People in the design studio rarely saw Mr. Cook, who they say showed little interest in the product development process — a fact that dispirited Mr. Ive,” Mickle reported…”

      Case closed! I can only imagine Sir Jony was certainly “dispirited” for many, many years working for the unimaginative beancounter CEO who does not have a creative bone in his body. All politics and profits, everybody on his team would be too after wonderfully working with Steve.

      Cook worship of iPads, SJW pursuits, killing popular products, ignoring Mac Pros for almost six years, dumbing down software, removing useful ports and other features all in the holy name of PROFITS. Talk about out of touch, certainly, with Cook it’s an art form.

      Mistakenly, I probably blamed Jony too much for years for the THINNESS obsession shaving MM off of manufacturing costs on several products. Now I suspect he was under the direction of the master beancounter.

      Certainly, offering less for more conducting daily business when selling millions of products every quarter contributes handsomely to the bottom line at NO ADDITIONAL BENEFIT to Apple’s customers.

      Explains why Cook has simply taken Apple where Apple has never gone before — PROFITS… 💰💰💰💰💰

    2. More from the article, Peter:

      “Mr. Ive grew frustrated as Apple’s board became increasingly populated by directors with backgrounds in finance and operations rather than technology or other areas of the company’s core business,” the report stated.”

      Gee, what a surprise. Again, totally believable news article to stack the deck (board) with like minded beancounters.

      As you have stated clearly Peter, I also have not been in awe of Apple under Cook as I once was with Jobs in command. The last awe inspiring Apple product announcement for me was the iPad 9.5 years ago.

      The watch is meh, began under Steve, released under Cook. But a niche product like Airpods. The sales are lackluster otherwise Cook would release the numbers. Then again, Cook’s retreat began last year when he reversed over a decade of policy not releasing numbers of lackluster iPhone sales.

      Apple is now run by a very defensive beancounter CEO covering his arse at every turn that has no love or understanding of creative technological greatness. Run of the mill typical CEO that has no talent only connections.

      After the passing of Steve, the minimal requirements for the Apple board is finding a creative CEO well versed in technology and not entirely focused on profits. That would be the second coming of Scott Forstall. With Scott at the helm, he could bring back Jony Ive to take Apple to greater heights.

      Apple board, PLEASE make it so…

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