Apple CEO Tim Cook as Steve Jobs' Replacement

cook hero20110204PCMag asks the question "How Will Tim Cook Lead Apple?" after the surprise resignation of Steve Jobs last week. They offer some quotes from an ex-Apple employee and a look back at a detailed Fortune profile of Cook from back in 2008.

Fortune's Tim Cook profile came at a time when there were some ongoing health concerns about Steve Jobs which raised the question of who would take over upon Jobs' departure. The Forbes profile describes Cook as "demanding and even-keeled" and credits Cook for keeping Apple running like a finely tuned machine, keeping tabs on supplies, production and product forecasting.

Think of Cook's contribution like this. 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. Thus Apple is a cash-generating machine. Cook has called the company a place that is "entrepreneurial in its nature but with the mother of all balance sheets."

One ex-Apple employee speaking to PCMag simply states that "Tim Cook is the person who really runs Apple", but that they don't see him as "that visionary guy" to replace one of Steve Jobs' major roles at the company.

It's that role of visionary that many feel will be hard, if not impossible to replace. Salesforce chief executive Marc Benioff aptly described Jobs ability to show him the future:

“[Steve Jobs] has probably given me more help and more advice than just about anybody," Benioff said of Jobs. "And when I get in trouble and I kinda get lost in my own vision, I’ve been fortunate to be able to go and see him and he’s been willing to show me the future a couple times.”

The general consensus, of course, is that it's simply not realistic to expect any one person to replace Steve Jobs. From the same 2008 Fortune article, they point out that Cook will simply need people around him to make up for any weaknesses, just as Jobs had Cook around to make up for his.

Top Rated Comments

stevearm Avatar
133 months ago


"... just as Jobs had Cook around to make up for his [weaknesses]."

This is an unsupported, non-sequitur. The article establishes no evidence nor argues that Jobs had defficient operational skills, yet throws in this claim in the final clause. I object to this off-hand remark, and recoil at its self-evidential nature. To this reader's mind, it is an error of editorial quality and fact.

Oh dear.

I hate to break this to you, but Jobs is not a god. He's not perfect and does make mistakes.
Score: 13 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Jobsian Avatar
133 months ago
I keep fantasising we could preserve Jobs somehow, cryonics or even if someone could come up with a Jobs neural algorithm mimicker.
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
griz Avatar
133 months ago
Ive is more of a design visionary than a product visionary. It takes someone like Jobs to see the future vision such as iMac, iPod, or iPhone but Ive makes that vision sexy. It's entirely possible to design a sexy looking brick that noone wants or needs.
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
nwcs Avatar
133 months ago
I'm almost expecting to see a promotion for Johnny Ive in the next few months. I bet he's been personally groomed by Jobs to take over some of that visionary role. Maybe that's what has kept him at Apple when it was rumored that he was leaving last year. That Jobs maybe promised him a career path beyond where he's at right now.
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
SilianRail Avatar
133 months ago
$383 million for an accountant. :eek:
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Chupa Chupa Avatar
133 months ago
I wish Tim all the best but part of me just can't imagine Apple will be the same without Jobs' unique vision.
It may be hard to imagine in the woods but if you step back remember that Apple invented the world's first PDA, the Newton, while Jobs was at NeXT.

Apple System 7, QuickTime, HFS Plus, the Apple Quick Take, and the PowerBook all were all also introduced after Jobs was kicked out of Apple and before his return.
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Related Stories

studio buds family

Beats Studio Buds Debuting Today With Active Noise Cancellation, Stemless Design, and More for $150

Monday June 14, 2021 8:00 am PDT by
We've seen a lot of teasers about the Beats Studio Buds over the past month since they first showed up in Apple's beta software updates, and today they're finally official. The Beats Studio Buds are available to order today in red, white, and black ahead of a June 24 ship date, and they're priced at $149.99. The Studio Buds are the first Beats-branded earbuds to truly compete with AirPods...
airtag in hand

Apple Enhancing AirTags Anti-Stalking Measures With Android App and Shorter Sound Intervals

Thursday June 3, 2021 11:10 am PDT by
Apple is enhancing AirTags security to prevent stalking using the Bluetooth devices, Apple told CNET today. Apple is already sending out over-the-air updates to AirTags that will shorten the amount of time before an unknown AirTag alerts you if it is in your possession. At the current time, AirTags play a sound after three days of being away from their owner. After the update, AirTags will...
maxresdefault

Here's How Apple's New iPhone to iPhone Data Migration Feature Works in iOS 12.4

Tuesday July 23, 2019 1:20 pm PDT by
Apple this week released iOS 12.4, the newest version of iOS 12 available for iPhones and iPads. One of the new features in iOS 12.4 is an updated data migration option that uses device to device transfers rather than relying on iCloud. Apple didn't provide much information on the new data migration feature, so we thought we'd check it out in our latest YouTube video. Subscribe to the ...
youtube apple tv

YouTube Discontinuing 3rd-Generation Apple TV App, AirPlay Still Available

Wednesday February 3, 2021 3:09 pm PST by
YouTube is planning to stop supporting its YouTube app on the third-generation Apple TV models, where YouTube has long been available as a channel option. A 9to5Mac reader received a message about the upcoming app discontinuation, which is set to take place in March.Starting early March, the YouTube app will no longer be available on Apple TV (3rd generation). You can still watch YouTube on...
tmobilelogo

T-Mobile Data Breach Included Personal Information of Almost 50 Million Customers

Wednesday August 18, 2021 5:41 am PDT by
T-Mobile has issued a statement with further details about a cyberattack that the company confirmed earlier this week, confirming that the data breach included the personal information of almost 50 million current, former, and prospective customers. Late last week, T-Mobile confirmed that a forum post that purported to offer data from more than 100 million people was the result of a company...
airtag precision finding

AirTag Includes U1 Chip for 'Precision Finding' Feature

Tuesday April 20, 2021 12:11 pm PDT by
Apple's long-awaited AirTag was finally unveiled today, and as expected, the small circle-shaped accessories can be attached to items like wallets, keys, and more to allow them to be tracked in the Find My app. As was rumored ahead of release, each AirTag is equipped with a U1 chip, and on devices that also have U1 chips, there's a Precision Finding feature. U1 Ultra Wideband chips are...
m1 macbook air

Kuo: Mini-LED MacBook Air Coming in Mid-2022

Thursday July 22, 2021 7:48 pm PDT by
Apple will release a new version of the MacBook Air around the middle of 2022, Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo said today in note to investors seen by MacRumors. The upcoming MacBook Air will feature a 13.3-inch mini-LED display, which would make it the second Mac to gain mini-LED technology after the 2021 MacBook Pro, which is rumored to include a mini-LED display and is expected to launch later ...
Apple Films Tom Hanks Finch First Look

Apple Original Film 'Finch' Starring Tom Hanks to Premiere November 5

Thursday August 12, 2021 8:52 am PDT by
Apple today announced that the original film "Finch," starring Tom Hanks in its titular role, will premiere on Apple TV+ on Friday, November 5 and shared a first-look image from the film. The first look at "Finch," shared by Apple. The film, which is anticipated to be an awards season contender, revolves around a man, a robot (played by "Get Out" actor Caleb Landry Jones), and a dog that form ...
2016 macbook pro flexgate b

Apple Faces Another Class-Action MacBook Pro ‘Flexgate’ Lawsuit

Thursday August 20, 2020 6:43 am PDT by
Another class-action complaint has been lodged against Apple, which claims that the company was aware of a MacBook Pro design flaw that caused some devices to have backlight display issues (via Apple Insider). The so-called "flexgate" problem was present in some MacBook Pro models manufactured between 2016 and 2017. The problem appears as dark patches along the bottom of the MacBook Pro's...
macbook air m1 first benchmark

Apple Silicon M1 Chip in MacBook Air Outperforms High-End 16-Inch MacBook Pro

Wednesday November 11, 2020 4:43 pm PST by
Apple introduced the first MacBook Air, MacBook Pro, and Mac mini with M1 Apple Silicon chips yesterday, and as of today, the first benchmark of the new chip appears to be showing up on the Geekbench site. The M1 chip, which belongs to a MacBook Air with 8GB RAM, features a single-core score of 1687 and a multi-core score of 7433. According to the benchmark, the M1 has a 3.2GHz base...