Apple COO Tim Cook as Possible Steve Jobs Replacement?

Fortune provides a detailed profile of Apple's COO Tim Cook and asks an ongoing question: Could this be Steve Jobs' eventual successor? Speculation about who might replace Steve Jobs has remained a hot topic ever since his scare with pancreatic cancer four years ago. Cook is certainly high on the list as he was chosen by Jobs to take over day to day operations at Apple while Jobs was out for surgery in 2004. Steve Jobs has since made a made a full recovery with recent reports indicating that there has been no recurrence.

Fortune describes Cook as a workaholic who has been essentially running Apple for years. Meanwhile, Cook's demeanor is described as demanding and unemotional. He is credited for helping Apple become the "cash-generating machine" that it is today:

There are two basic ways to get great profit margins: Charge high prices or reduce costs. Apple does both. The marketing and design drive consumers wild with desire and make them willing to pay a premium; Cook's operational savvy keeps costs under control.

Cook is one of the highest paid executives at Apple and is said to be involved in more aspects of Apple's operation than any other executive.

Critics of the possibility, however, point out that Cook does not share Jobs' vision:

"They need a brilliant product guy, and Tim is not that guy. He is an ops guy - at a company where ops is outsourced."

But others suggests that Cook might simply need to surround himself with those who complement his weaknesses "just as Steve has Tim around to make up for his".

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