Who is Tim Cook? That’s a question many have been asking since he took over from Steve Jobs as Apple CEO. In a new profile, the the Wall Street newspaper does a good job of trying to break down the details about the man who now runs a business valued above the GDP of some major economies. The play reveals how Mr. Cook never tried to emulate his predecessor and this brought both benefits and problems.
Incremental is revolutionary
One of the biggest criticisms of Mr. Cook’s leadership is the lack of innovation, breakthrough new products. He would rarely visit the company’s design lab, which Jobs did almost daily. As the article notes:
Where Mr. Jobs orchestrated great leaps in innovation, usually defined by new products capable of disrupting industries, Mr. Cook made Apple more representative of himself. The 59-year-old CEO, like the company he runs, is cautious, collaborative and tactical.
This has made Apple huge sums of money, but can lead to accusations of incrementalism. Although, as former Apple staffer Chris Deaver commented in the article, “the incremental is revolutionary for Apple.”
Leaving meetings with Tim Cook in tears
While the stories of Mr. Jobs’ angry response to staff who failed to meet his expectations are legendary, Mr. Cook’s seemingly easier departure is no less demanding of his subordinates, which leads middle managers to “filter” those on their team before meeting. with him to make sure they are well prepared. “It’s about protecting your team and protecting it. You don’t waste your time, ”explained a staff member. “If he feels that someone is not sufficiently prepared, he loses patience and says ‘Next’ as he flips through a page of the meeting agenda,” according to the source. “People left crying.”
Privacy – not just for users
As we regularly note, Mr. Cook is a deeply private man. During Thanksgiving in 2018, “guests saw him dining alone at the secluded Amangiri Hotel near Zion National Park,” according to the article. “When a guest next ran into him, he said he had come to the hotel to recharge his batteries after an eventful fall punctuated by the deployment of Apple’s latest iPhone. According to a guest, Mr. Cook said “they have the best masseuses in the world here.”
An exception to this confidentiality is Mr. Cook’s decision to go out publicly, after meeting individually with other senior Apple executives. He has since said his reason for doing so was to help inspire others.
Associates say it was vintage Tim Cook, an example of consciousness balanced by a methodical awareness of pros and cons. Mr Cook said he ultimately wanted to be a role model for young people who were bullied or worried that their families would disapprove of them.
How Tim Cook plays politics
The article notes this subtlety with which Mr. Cook has navigated his relationship with US President Donald Trump and advocates on issues such as human rights. For many, however, his stance is at odds with Apple’s significant activity in China. Its factories have recently been accused of exploiting Uyghur Muslim workers, which Apple strongly rejects.
The truth is, until Mr. Cook decides to reveal a part of himself publicly, as has happened with his sexuality, the rest of us will be largely left to guess what drives him. . And he will probably continue to make even more money at Apple.