Apple’s likely next CEO is more Tim Cook than Steve Jobs – and that’s bad news

Scott Mautz for Inc.:

Let me be the first to say that Tim Cook has done a superb job at Apple… Operations has taken the front seat, and the focus on it will continue with the recent elevation of Jeff Williams, COO and now Chief Design Officer (with the departure of Apple’s iconic Jony Ive last month). This marks Williams unequivocally as the CEO heir apparent.

But is it what this company most needs?

The opposite seems to make more sense, grooming a true visionary CEO, a design-minded behemoth who can serve and fuel the company’s DNA while being influenced (by a talented COO) to channel that vision into operation friendly output… I love market valuation increases, operational efficiencies, and higher margins as much as the next business leader. But I’d feel more excited about and mentally invested in the future (not just the future of Apple) if the next CEO were more like Steve Jobs than Tim Cook.

MacDailyNews Take: First of all, there was only one Steve Jobs. Visionaries of his ilk don’t grow on trees and they’re not “groomed.”

Secondly, can no one bother to look at Williams’ and Cook’s ages? They’re nearly identical in age! Tim Cook is 58 years old. Jeff Williams is 56.

Accordingly, we view Williams more as an insurance policy than a successor. If all goes well, by the time Tim Cook retires, Williams will be close to or at retirement age, too. If Cook decides to leave and do something else before retirement age, then Williams is right there, ready to step in for Apple. For Cook, there won’t be the years of succession questions that Steve Jobs faced.

The CEO can work with whichever visionary eventually arises (they’re rare, but Apple attracts top-notch, er… high quality talent).


    1. More to the point: when has any “professional manager” taken care of customers and company like the founder? The one trait that all corporate executives possess is their ability to line their own pockets before taking any personal responsibility or sacrifice. Timmy is just another gutless dickless entitled exec maximizing short term stock price by outsourcing all production and buying back stock. Just like all of them do. Then they pack “compensation committees” with their golf buddies so the obvious self-ratcheting pay scale always guarantees multimillion salaries and bonuses no matter how the company performs over the long haul. China didn’t become powerful on its own. It had dickwads like Cook helping them every step of the way.

  1. It could be argued that in any sector of business, science, the arts, philosophy or politics that there are maybe A COUPLE of people of the very top tier per CENTURY.

  2. I despise all this talk about the next Apple CEO. Timbo’s done a fantastic job and I hope he continues to lead Apple for the next quarter-century.

    Apple’s mission under Tim is to make humanity better. What more could you want?

    1. The only “fantastic job” Cook has done is ride the iPhone gravy train first class and playing the SJW warrior dragging all Apple employees WITHOUT their permission into partisan politics and ignoring the flagship MacPro for almost SIX YEARS! We need a creative CEO and not a stiff arm’s length clueless beancounter CEO…

    1. Broadway productions appear very closely aligned with Cook’s Netflix-wannabe strategy. Nobody at Apple seems capable of delivering consistent hardware innovation anymore.

  3. It’s true – there will never be another Steve Jobs, and that is all there is to it. Sorry, Zuck, Elon, and millennials the Bay over – you will never be him, he was born, not made and you were not. It’s that simple.

    Cook has done his best, as much as I dislike his Apple (and I do dislike it, but for their respect for privacy) as I’m sure his successor will.

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