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Tim Cook's Impact on Apple Detailed in New Profile Along With Plans for New Board Members

timcook.pngThe Wall Street Journal has released a new profile of Apple under Tim Cook, highlighting the changes the CEO has made to the company following the long and famous reign of Steve Jobs. While most of this information was previously known, it is a solid overview of the changes Cook has introduced to Apple and it does give a few new details on Cook's plans.

Described as a "kinder, gentler" workplace, Apple under Tim Cook has a new focus on deep collaboration between employees. Cook is said to be less involved in product development and more willing to delegate tasks to employees, expanding the roles of several executives and giving design chief Jonathan Ive more control over product development. He's also made major moves like acquiring Beats and hiring high-profile executives like Angela Ahrendts, and he's also said to be working on adding new board members.
According to people familiar with the company, Mr. Cook is actively seeking new directors to add to Apple's eight-person board, known for its loyalty to Mr. Jobs. Six of the seven outside directors are aged 63 or older. Four of them have served for more than a decade, including two who have been on the board since the late 1990s: former Intuit Corp. Chief Executive Bill Campbell and J. Crew Group Inc. Chief Executive Millard S. "Mickey" Drexler.
Cook is labeled as more of a manager and less of a visionary, causing current and former Apple employees to worry that without Steve Jobs, Apple is losing its "frenetic pace and focus" on new products. Employees also worry that the company may be working on too many projects at once.
Under Mr. Cook, current and former employees say Apple may be spreading itself too thin, pursuing too many ideas and compromising the "laser focus" that Mr. Jobs used to create the iMac, iPhone and iPad.

"It was Steve's job to say no," one of these people said. "Tim is not as comfortable doing that."
The Wall Street Journal's full report has a much more detailed comparison of Cook and Jobs and it offers insight on other changes Cook has brought to the company, including lessening its impact on the environment and pledging to match employee charity donations.

Top Rated Comments

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66 months ago
The WS sharks want Cook out. They want a more pliable CEO that is more "WS friendly" (think cash hoard sucked away via dividends). Usually they attack more directly. In this case, they just insinuate (using convenient unnamed sources) that he is not the right man for the job (while giving him his due on issues that are considered chump change). SJ handpicked Cook for the job. I would rather go with that than some WS brown-noser.

Apple will be fine under Cook.

WS is a joke anyway...glorified (and rigged) casino.

TJReilly (WS defender) response in 3,2.1....;)
Rating: 45 Votes
66 months ago
Poor Tim Cook. The guy has kept Apple rolling along and just as successful as before Steve Jobs' death, and yet everyone seems incredibly eager to invalidate his presence there. People seem to forget that he was one of the integral players in Apple's revival. It's not like he was just hired the day Steve Jobs left the company.

The man has his own style of leadership and it seems to have worked out just fine for the last few years (god forbid he's not a clone of Steve!) And that's not to mention his work at Apple for the decade plus prior to that. I'm not sure why people think he has to keep proving himself.
Rating: 40 Votes
66 months ago
And Steve said yes to these:

Rating: 38 Votes
66 months ago

He is not comfortable saying no? Tim, you are the CEO now. It is up to you to settle stalemates and give products that are ultimately a reflection of your company the final sniff test. You are the decider and you are no longer the COO.

Man up already.

One person said he doesn't feel comfortable saying no. Other than that, there is no proof.
Rating: 22 Votes
66 months ago
“People think focus means saying yes to the thing you’ve got to focus on. But that’s not what it means at all. It means saying no to the hundred other good ideas that there are. You have to pick carefully. I’m actually as proud of the things we haven’t done as the things I have done. Innovation is saying ‘no’ to 1,000 things.”

-Steve Jobs
Rating: 20 Votes
66 months ago
Wasn't there an article on Macrumors some time ago about Cook's style - how he often used to repeatedly ask the same question until he got the answer he wanted (or until everyone went silent and was staring at the table).

That doesn't seem to tally with this particular story.
Rating: 17 Votes
66 months ago
no innovation in apple? ppssshhh
just look at their new campus
Rating: 15 Votes
66 months ago

And Steve said yes to these:

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Selling a single, tiny sock for $29 seems like a good decision to me.
Rating: 14 Votes
66 months ago
Is this really the best the WSJ could do? And the Tim vs Steve comparisons...yawn. What amazes me is people saying Apple is spreading itself too thin. What they don't get is Apple isn't this small underdog anymore. It's the most valuable company in the world; #6 on the Fortune 500 based on revenues. When iPhone 4 launched Apple announced 1.7 million sales over launch weekend. Only 3 years Apple announced 9 million sales over launch weekend. The company is vastly bigger than it was when Steve was running the show.

Also, since Tim's expertise is different than Steve's it only makes sense that he would empower his executive team more. And in order to do that they have to be able to get along and work well together. I firmly believe some of the things we saw at WWDC this year are a direct result of the org changes Tim put in place back in 2012. I don't think it's a coincidence we're getting stuff like 3rd party keyboards, widgets and inter-app communications after Steve's passing and certain executives were let go.

IMO Tim is taking Apple in the right direction (though Beats is still a head scratcher for me) and is the right leader for the company now. The best proof of that is the fact that no executive team members have left (other than Forstall and Browett, both of whom were fired). I'm glad to see there may be some board changes. I'd love to see Bill Campbell and Al Gore go.
Rating: 11 Votes
66 months ago
You've got to admire Tim for the way he's done the job despite the media clamouring and constant comparisons to Steve, even today.

Tim's Apple is still, at heart, Steve's Apple. Steve hand picked Tim Cook, he told him on his deathbed to never ask "What would Steve do, just do what's right".

There are inspiration quotes from Steve around Infinite Loop, his ideals and his inspiration are never far from the thoughts of the guys at Apple but the fact remains that they must make their own choices and, for the most part, Apple have continued down the path Steve set them on.

Would we have had iOS 7 had Steve been alive? Yes, but possibly not in the current form and with the drastic redesign we see today? Would Scott Forstall still be running the iOS division? Who knows, Steve may have taken as much offence to Maps and the lack of taking responsibility as Tim did.

Tim's Apple has seen guys like Craig Federighi really step up and show what they're made of, taking ownership of keynotes and becoming real influential team players. In fact I'd say the one major bright spark of Tim taking over is the emergence of Craig from Forstall's shadow, he's a breath of fresh air at keynotes and comes off as a really positive influence in the company.

The WSJ are just stirring trouble, anything that quotes a "inside source" is usually taking things and twisting them into a version of the truth that suits their agenda.
Rating: 7 Votes

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