Apple CEO Tim Cook and his deputies are increasingly focused on a succession plan as Cook enters his 10th year as Apple’s Chief Executive Officer.
[Cook’s] management group is filled mostly with senior vice presidents who have worked at Apple for more than two decades, made tens of millions of dollars and are at or near the ages of 55 to 60 when many previous executives have stepped aside. That, along with typical corporate planning, has spurred the Cupertino, California-based company to cultivate its next class of top managers, said people familiar with the matter who asked not to be identified talking about internal company discussions…
The next group of leaders will need to navigate rising global antitrust concerns, build stronger relationships with app developers, reduce the reliance on Chinese manufacturing and find devices or new services to carry the company beyond the iPhone.
The CEO has given no indication he’s ready to retire, but if the 59-year-old Cook moved on tomorrow, look no further than Chief Operating Officer Jeff Williams, 57, to take over. Williams is seen as the heir apparent, having run the company’s global operations under Cook for the past several years.
MacDailyNews Take: Of course, if Cook were to retire at, say, 65, it would make little sense to have Williams take over at age 63.
In many ways, Williams is seen as pragmatic as Cook and as someone who wouldn’t let the company miss a beat. He is an operations-focused executive like Cook rather than a product visionary like Jobs or former design chief Jony Ive.
MacDailyNews Take: If Cook leaves at age 65 or later, Apple at that time would likely be better served by a charismatic visionary, however rare that may be (Apple would have the money to find him/her), than by another, let’s face it, boring operations guy/gal content with building upon Jobs-inspired core products. If Cook left this afternoon, we have no doubt that Jeff Williams would be a fine replacement for the next half decade or longer.
Regardless, Apple is smart to be working on a succession plan.
By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail. – Benjamin Franklin