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
130 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
130 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
130 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
130 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
130 months ago
$383 million for an accountant. :eek:
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Chupa Chupa Avatar
130 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)

Top Stories

REC ASA CODE2016 20160601 205816 2745

Elon Musk Reportedly Demanded to Become Apple CEO as Part of Potential Tesla Acquisition [Update: Musk Denies]

Friday July 30, 2021 9:04 am PDT by
Tesla CEO Elon Musk reportedly once demanded that he be made Apple CEO in a brief discussion of a potential acquisition with Apple's current CEO, Tim Cook. The claim comes in a new book titled "Power Play: Tesla, Elon Musk and the Bet of the Century," as reviewed by The Los Angeles Times. According to the book, during a 2016 phone call between Musk and Cook that touched on the possibility of ...
General Apps Messages

Android iMessage Competitor Puts Pressure on Apple

Friday July 30, 2021 3:15 am PDT by
Google and the three major U.S. carriers, including Verizon, AT&T, and T-Mobile, will all support a new communications protocol on Android smartphones starting in 2022, a move that puts pressure on Apple to adopt a new cross-platform messaging standard and may present a challenge to iMessage. Verizon recently announced that it is planning to adopt Messages by Google as its default messaging...
Apple watch series 5 new case material made of titanium 091019

Titanium Apple Watch Series 6 Models Currently Widely Unavailable

Sunday August 1, 2021 6:21 am PDT by
Models of the Apple Watch Series 6 with titanium cases part of the "Apple Watch Edition" collection is currently widely unavailable for pick-up in several of Apple's retail stores in the United States and is unavailable entirely for delivery in major markets. Noted by Bloomberg's Mark Gurman in the latest edition of his "Power On" newsletter, titanium models of the Apple Watch Series 6,...
ifixit iphone12 mini

Apple to Make Space for Larger Batteries in iPhones, iPads, and MacBooks By Adopting Slimmer Peripheral Chips

Monday August 2, 2021 2:12 am PDT by
For future iPhones, iPads, and MacBooks, Apple plans to use smaller internal components in an effort to increase the size of the device's battery, according to DigiTimes. Image Credit: iFixit Specifically, Apple plans to "significantly increase the adoption" of IPDs or integrated passive devices for the peripheral chips in its products. These news chips will be slimmer in size and allow for...
Flat 2021 MacBook Pro Mockup Feature

Unreleased Apple Macs and Apple Watches Listed in Eurasian Database Ahead of Fall Product Launches

Monday August 2, 2021 9:34 am PDT by
Apple is preparing for a slew of fall product launches according to new filings that showed up today in the Eurasian Economic Commission database. There are listings for new Mac and Apple Watch models, all of which have previously unknown model identifiers that indicate that they're upcoming devices. There are six new Apple Watch identifiers, including A2473, A2474, A2475, A2476, A2477, and...
a15 chip

iPhone 13 and Redesigned MacBook Pro Chip Production Hit With Gas Contamination

Friday July 30, 2021 5:44 am PDT by
The most important TSMC factory that manufactures Apple's chips destined for next-generation iPhone and Mac models has been hit by a gas contamination, according to Nikkei Asia. The factory, known as "Fab 18," is TSMC's most advanced chipmaking facility. TSMC is Apple's sole chip supplier, making all of the processors used in every Apple device with a custom silicon chip. Industry...
iPhone 13 Wi Fi 6E feature update

Wi-Fi 6E Explained: What It Could Mean for iPhone 13 and Beyond

Monday August 2, 2021 8:00 am PDT by
The iPhone 13 is widely expected to come with Wi-Fi 6E capabilities, and while it may seem rather nuanced to the average consumer, with only improved speeds and being "up to date" in the realm of Wi-Fi technology, it's actually a fairly significant improvement, laying the groundwork for much of what we know the future holds. To truly understand Wi-Fi 6E, MacRumors sat down for an exclusive...
youtube premium lite

YouTube Tests Cheaper 'Premium Lite' Subscription for Ad-Free Viewing

Monday August 2, 2021 3:22 am PDT by
YouTube is piloting a new cheaper subscription tier in Europe called "Premium Lite," which offers ad-free viewing minus YouTube Premium's other features. First spotted by a user on ResetEra and subsequently confirmed by Google, the "Lite" plan means users who aren't interested in offline downloads or background playback can still enjoy YouTube videos on web and mobile app without being...
iPhone 13 Always On Feature

iPhone 13 to Bring Over a Major Feature From the Apple Watch

Wednesday July 28, 2021 2:21 am PDT by
Apple's upcoming iPhone 13 lineup will feature an always-on display akin to the Apple Watch Series 5 and Series 6, according to recent reports. In his weekly Power On newsletter, Bloomberg journalist Mark Gurman, who often reveals accurate insights into Apple's plans, said that the iPhone 13 may feature an Apple Watch-inspired always-on mode. The Apple Watch Series 5 and Apple Watch...
COVID19 Digital Wallet Apple Wallet

Australian Government Now Offering COVID-19 Digital Vaccination Certificates for Apple Wallet

Monday August 2, 2021 12:04 am PDT by
The Australian government has introduced support for adding COVID-19 vaccination digital certificates to Apple Wallet via the Express Plus Medicare app on iOS. Image credit: Tap Down Under As spotted by Tap Down Under, users who have received two doses of either the AstraZeneca or Pfizer vaccine now have access to the digital certificate through their Medicare online account or via the Medica...