Tim Cook's Leadership Style Profiled After Two Years as Apple CEO

With his two-year anniversary of being named Apple CEO coming on Saturday, Tim Cook is the subject of a new profile by Reuters highlighting his leadership style and some of the challenges he continues to face following in the footsteps of Steve Jobs. The report notes that Cook has been overseeing Apple's transition into a "mature corporate behemoth" and that he has successfully managed the company's high-profile iPhone and iPad lines, but that he has yet to prove he can deliver a new breakthrough product category.

Some worry that Cook's changes to the culture have doused the fire - and perhaps the fear - that drove employees to try to achieve the impossible.

The intensely private Cook has been profiled in the past, and his workaholic nature, thoughtful demeanor and "no-nonsense, methodical style" are well-known, but the new profile offers a few more tidbits about his personality and how Apple runs under his command.

People who know him well paint a portrait of a thoughtful, data-driven executive who knows how to listen and who can be charming and funny in small group settings. [...]

Still, he has a tough side. In meetings, Cook is so calm as to be nearly unreadable, sitting silently with hands clasped in front of himself. Any change in the constant rocking of his chair is one sign subordinates look for: when he simply listens, they're heartened if there is no change in the pace of his rocking.

"He could skewer you with a sentence," the person said. "He would say something along the lines of 'I don't think that's good enough' and that would be the end of it and you would just want to crawl into a hole and die."

tim_cook_sun_valley

Tim Cook at July 2013 Allen & Co. conference in Sun Valley, Idaho (Photo by Rick Wilking, Reuters)

The report notes that Cook is generally very decisive, as evidenced by the issues Apple experienced with its new Maps app in iOS 6. According to sources, Cook responded quickly to that controversy with an open letter to customers and by bypassing then-iOS chief Scott Forstall to put software and services head Eddy Cue in charge of fixing the problems.

There has, however, been some grumbling by employees about a shift in the Apple culture under Cook, with Reuters quoting a morale survey distributed to members of the hardware engineering group earlier this year by senior executive Dan Riccio.

Overall, the verdict on Cook's tenure so far is portrayed in the profile as still in flux, with his challenging role seeing him making some positive changes for the company but still dealing with issues related to employee happiness and retention. And amid slowing revenue growth as the iPhone and iPad mature, customers and investors are eagerly anticipating the introduction of Apple's next major product line, whether it be smart watches, televisions, or something else.

Top Rated Comments

Michaelgtrusa Avatar
103 months ago
Lets give the man some more time. He's not Steve and shoudn't try to be.
Score: 43 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Evangelion Avatar
103 months ago
It's funny/sad how people are expecting Cook to deliver revolutionary new products. How did Steve Jobs do after his return to Apple in 1997? Well, there was the iPod in 2001, iPhone is 2007 and iPad (although it was said to be "just a big iPhone) in 2010. That's three (or two if you exclude the iPad) revolutionary products in 13 years.

iMac? It was basically a refined continuation of the Macintosh. iBook, Powerbook? Laptops. Incredibly refined laptops, but still just laptops.

Apple has never been about brand-new revolutionary products, although they do release those on occasion. They are about constant refinement and iteration. How people keep on missing that all this time is beyond me.
Score: 36 Votes (Like | Disagree)
adildacoolset Avatar
103 months ago
Although people question his style of leadership, I generally have more respect for the person who stays quiet and may use the "one-liners" if he has to; as opposed to people who shout and display aggression.

It must suck being him, in the sense that all of the forum trolls/idiots/analysts are saying that he can't innovate and that he must rush out a new product after 2 years of being CEO.

Anyways, we'll see how things unwind over time. But I have confidence in this guy.
Score: 34 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Gemütlichkeit Avatar
103 months ago
I still do miss Steve's passion and charisma as a leader. It's just impossible to replace him at Apple.
Score: 19 Votes (Like | Disagree)
minhvn Avatar
103 months ago
That's the best photo of Tim I've ever seen :cool:
Score: 18 Votes (Like | Disagree)
lincolntran Avatar
103 months ago
Steve was an off the cuff, qualitative, visionary. Tim is a by the book, quantitative, numbers guy.


You're going to get 2 different companies.

I like to see how Apple responds to Google Glass, which launches in 2014. iWatch isn't going to cut it Tim. That's a lame product idea.

Make Apple TV what it should be (a TV, Movie and Gaming Platform), and we'll keep you around.

Google glass is a lame idea that was designed for the geeks and by the geeks. You will not see it become a consumer product like the smart phone.
Score: 17 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

AirPods Pro Beta Firmware

AirPods Pro Beta Firmware Now Available

Wednesday July 21, 2021 6:50 am PDT by
Upcoming AirPods Pro firmware updates are now available to Apple Developer Program members as beta versions. AirPods Pro firmware beta one features FaceTime Spatial Audio and Ambient Noise Reduction. Custom Transparency mode, including Conversation Boost, was initially expected to be included in the beta but appears to have been delayed for a later version. Apple made the announcement...
maxresdefault

Apple Music to Livestream Premiere of Kanye West's New Album 'Donda' on Thursday

Wednesday July 21, 2021 1:49 am PDT by
Apple Music on Thursday will host a global livestream for the premiere of Kanye West's tenth studio album, titled "Donda." The sold-out event will take place at the Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, Georgia, and Apple Music's livestream will start at 8:00 p.m. Eastern Time. The livestream was revealed in a Beats Studio Buds ad that aired during the NBA Finals. The ad features U.S. track...
General Apps Messages

All Three Major U.S. Carriers and Google Adopt Rich Communication Services, But No Sign of Apple Interest

Tuesday July 20, 2021 1:15 pm PDT by
For the last several years, Google has been pushing a new communications protocol called Rich Communication Services, or RCS. RCS is designed to replace SMS, the current text message standard, and it offers support for higher resolution photos and videos, audio messages, bigger file sizes, better encryption, improved group chat, and more. Verizon today announced that it is planning to adopt...
ios wifi settings

Apple Confirms iOS 14.7 Fixes WiFi Bug and Many Other Vulnerabilities

Wednesday July 21, 2021 11:38 am PDT by
Following the release of iPadOS 14.7 this morning, Apple has shared details on the security updates that are included in iOS 14.7, iPadOS 14.7, macOS Big Sur 11.5, watchOS 7.6, and tvOS 14.7, all of which came out this week. Notably, Apple's documentation confirms that the iOS 14.7 and iPadOS 14.7 updates address a WiFi-related vulnerability that could impact iOS devices when joining a...
macOS Malware Feature

Common Windows Malware Can Now Infect Macs

Wednesday July 21, 2021 8:13 am PDT by
A common form of malware on Windows systems has been modified into a new strain called "XLoader" that can also target macOS (via Bleeping Computer). Derived from the Formbook info-stealer for Windows, XLoader is a form of cross-platform malware advertised as a botnet with no dependencies. It is used to steal login credentials, capture screenshots, log keystrokes, and execute malicious files. ...
macOS Big Sur Feature Orange

Apple Releases macOS Big Sur 11.5 With Podcast App Updates and Bug Fixes

Wednesday July 21, 2021 10:15 am PDT by
Apple today released macOS Big Sur 11.5, the fifth major update to the macOS Big Sur operating system that launched in November 2020. macOS Big Sur 11.5 comes two months after the release of macOS Big Sur 11.4. The new ‌‌‌‌‌macOS Big Sur‌‌‌‌ 11.5 update can be downloaded for free on all eligible Macs using the Software Update section of System Preferences. macOS Big Sur...
idos 2 app ios

Apple to Pull 'iDOS 2' DOS Emulator From App Store

Thursday July 22, 2021 3:22 pm PDT by
iDOS 2, an app designed to allow users to play classic DOS games, will soon be pulled from the App Store, the app's creator said today. According to iDOS developer Chaoji Li, he tried to submit an iDOS update with bug fixes to the App Store, but was told that the update was rejected because it violated the 2.5.2 App Store guideline that says apps cannot install or launch executable code.Durin...
airpods 3 gizmochina Feature

AirPods 3 Rumored to Launch Alongside iPhone 13 at Expected September Event

Friday July 23, 2021 12:54 am PDT by
The third-generation AirPods will likely launch at the same event revealing Apple's upcoming iPhone 13 lineup, according to a report from DigiTimes, which makes the claim citing sources familiar with the matter. The report as a whole echoes previous reporting that production of the third-generation AirPods will kickstart in August, meaning a launch shortly after can be easily expected. DigiTi...
iPad mini pro feature

Next-Generation iPad Mini Will Reportedly Feature a Mini-LED Display

Thursday July 22, 2021 9:03 am PDT by
Apple is widely rumored to be planning a new iPad mini with a significant redesign, including a larger 8.5-inch to 9-inch display with slimmer bezels, a Touch ID power button instead of a home button, a USB-C port instead of a Lightning connector, and more. According to a paywalled preview of a DigiTimes report today, the sixth-generation iPad mini will also feature a mini-LED display:BLU...
airpods 3 gizmochina Feature teal

AirPods 3 Mass Production Said to Kick Off in August

Tuesday July 20, 2021 8:40 pm PDT by
Mass production of the third-generation AirPods will kick off in August, according to a new report from Nikkei Asia. They will reportedly join a number of other products such as the iPhone 13 lineup and redesigned MacBook Pro models as launches coming before the end of the year. Renderings of rumored third-generation AirPods design Rumored launch dates for the third-generation AirPods have...