Tim Cook Profiled in New Biography as 'The Genius Who Took Apple to the Next Level'

Several years ago, Leander Kahney released a well-received biography of Jony Ive, outlining how the publicity-shy "genius behind Apple's greatest products" came to play such a prominent role at Apple. Kahney painstakingly researched Ive's background, interviewing numerous friends and acquaintances from various stages of his life to put together a portrait of Apple's design guru.

Kahney has now returned with another biography of an Apple executive, and this time he has his sights focused on CEO Tim Cook. Like Ive, Cook is an intensely private person, but Kahney spoke with a number of friends and family members, as well as former coworkers and even a few current Apple executives to learn more about the leader who has had the gargantuan task of following Steve Jobs.

While Apple has had some considerable successes under Cook, some have been critical of the direction the company has taken under his leadership, whether it be product missteps, a perceived lack of innovation, or changes in the company's focus. Kahney finds little to dislike about Cook's tenure, however, as is made immediately clear by his book's title: Tim Cook: The Genius Who Took Apple to the Next Level.

Kahney centers his book around six values he argues "provide the foundation" for Cook's leadership at Apple: accessibility, education, environment, inclusion and diversity, privacy and security, and supplier responsibility.

After a quick look at Cook's 2011 elevation to the CEO position and the death of Steve Jobs, the book delves into Cook's history, starting with his upbringing in Alabama and his time at IBM and Compaq.

The book then looks at his decision to join Apple upon the return of Jobs when the company was still on the brink of bankruptcy, and his operations prowess that saw Apple streamline and outsource its manufacturing, radically improving efficiency and allowing for the scale of growth Apple was to experience.

The bulk of the biography covers Cook's time as Apple CEO, highlighting his transition into the role and some of the early major product announcements like iPhones, Apple Pay, the Apple Watch, and more. The book's focus then turns to broader themes like Cook's emphasis on the environment and sustainability, privacy and the fight with the FBI over creating a backdoor into iOS, and efforts at increasing diversity.

The book wraps up with a look at Apple Park and the company's work on self-driving car technology, and ultimately asks whether Cook is the best CEO Apple has ever had. Analyst Horace Dediu believes that he is, arguing that Jobs was "always the head of product" and "never really a CEO." That emphasis was needed when Apple was fighting for survival, but as Apple got back on its feet, Jobs largely turned over the day-to-day operation of the company to Cook, and Cook's generalist perspective has been what the company needs now that it has matured.

While the book does highlight a few missteps along the way, The Genius Who Took Apple to the Next Level is overall a glowing portrait of Cook and the job he has done leading Apple. You can agree or disagree with that conclusion, but either way, it's an interesting look at one of the most important figures in Apple's history and a story that hasn't really been told at length until now.

With material drawn from those who knew Cook in his early days, as well as current and former Apple executives like Lisa Jackson, Greg Joswiak, Deirdre O'Brien, and Bruce Sewell, Kahney does a good job of weaving new bits of information into parts of the narrative that are already well known.

If you're interested in hearing more from Kahney about his book and the process of writing it, we held an "Ask Me Anything" session with him in our forums earlier today. Stop by our forums to see what questions our readers had for him and what he had to say.

Penguin Books has also graciously agreed to offer ten copies of ‌Tim Cook‌: The Genius Who Took Apple to the Next Level as part of a giveaway. To enter to win, use the widget below and enter an email address. Email addresses will be used solely for contact purposes to reach the winners and send the prizes. You can earn additional entries by subscribing to our weekly newsletter, subscribing to our YouTube channel, following us on Twitter, following us on Instagram, or visiting the MacRumors Facebook page. By request of the publisher, only U.S. residents who are 18 years or older are eligible to enter.

Tim Cook: The Genius Who Took Apple to the Next Level

The contest will run from today (April 9) at 7:00 a.m. Pacific Time through 7:00 a.m. Pacific Time on April 16. The winners will be chosen randomly on April 16 and will be contacted by email. The winners will have 48 hours to respond and provide a shipping address before new winners are chosen.

For those interested in purchasing the book, it launches next Tuesday, April 16, but you can pre-order now through Amazon, Apple's Book Store, and other outlets.

Top Rated Comments

(View all)
Avatar
18 months ago
Is this the correct title? Shouldn't it be 'Tim Apple, the guy who ran out of ideas after Steve's plans and made minor incremental updates and canned any sense of technological innovation whilst introducing major price hikes whilst other brands get ahead'.


EDIT:
This book is going to cost just $299.99 because it has a memoji front cover. We think you're gonna love it and pay this ridiculous price instead of adding a USB C port.
Score: 227 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
18 months ago
HARD pass...
Score: 112 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
18 months ago
Wasn't April Fool's Day last week? This is a little late.
Score: 81 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
18 months ago
Tim Cook, the Genius who took Apple into politics.
Score: 75 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
18 months ago
I don't think so Tim
Score: 67 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
18 months ago
Where would I find this book, in the fiction/fantasy/propaganda category?
Score: 67 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

Apple Takes Legal Action Against Small Company With Pear Logo

Saturday August 8, 2020 11:09 am PDT by
Apple is taking legal action against the developers of the app "Prepear" due to its logo, according to iPhone in Canada. Prepear is an app that helps users discover recipes, plan meals, make lists, and arrange grocery deliveries. The app is a spinoff of "Super Healthy Kids," and the founders claim that they are facing litigation from Apple. Apple reportedly takes issue with Prepear's logo, ...

Kuo: Global iPhone Shipments Could Decline Up to 30% If Apple Forced to Remove WeChat From App Store [Updated x2]

Sunday August 9, 2020 10:17 pm PDT by
In a worst-case scenario, Apple's annual global iPhone shipments could decline by 25–30% if it is forced to remove WeChat from its App Stores around the world, according to a new research note from analyst Ming-Chi Kuo viewed by MacRumors. The removal could occur due to a recent executive order aiming to ban U.S. transactions with WeChat and its parent company Tencent. Kuo lays out...

Google Maps Debuts New Apple Watch App and CarPlay Features

Monday August 10, 2020 9:16 am PDT by
Google today announced the launch of several features for Google Maps on Apple products, including new CarPlay functionality and a new Google Maps app that works on Apple Watch. The new Google Maps app for Apple Watch works similarly to the iOS app, allowing Apple Watch owners to get directions for a car, bike, public transit, or on foot. The app supports estimated arrival times and...

Foxconn Reportedly Begins Seasonal Hiring Spree for iPhone 12 Production

Monday August 10, 2020 7:03 am PDT by
Apple's largest manufacturing partner Foxconn has begun its seasonal hiring spree to assist with iPhone 12 production, offering employees who recruit qualified applicants up to a 9,000 yuan bonus, according to Chinese media reports. As usual, Foxconn needs as many hands on deck as possible at its factory in Zhengzhou, China to assist with mass production of the upcoming iPhones. Apple is...

Apple May Release 4G-Only iPhone 12 in Early 2021

Tuesday August 11, 2020 5:28 am PDT by
In a research note shared by Business Insider, Wedbush Securities analysts said that Apple may release a cheaper iPhone 12 in early 2021 with no 5G connectivity. Wedbush initially believed Apple would launch a mix of 4G and 5G iPhone 12 models this fall. Following re-examination of Asian supply chains, analysts Daniel Ives, Strecker Backe, and Ahmad Khalil revised the predictions,...

2020 iMac Teardown Reveals Internal Changes and Similarities

Saturday August 8, 2020 12:44 pm PDT by
A teardown video, shared by OWC, reveals the internal changes in the new 2020 27-inch iMac. The 2020 27-inch iMac was announced earlier this week with 10th-generation Intel Core processors, AMD Radeon Pro 5000 series graphics, up to 128GB of RAM, up to 8TB of storage, a 1080p front-facing FaceTime camera, a True Tone display with a nano-texture glass option, higher fidelity speakers, and...

Apple Believes This German Cycling Path Logo Infringes on Its Own Logo

Wednesday May 1, 2019 9:51 am PDT by
Apple recently objected to the logo of a new German cycling path in an appeal filed with the German Patent and Trademark Office, according to German outlets General-Anzeiger Bonn and Westdeutscher Rundfunk. Apple reportedly takes issue with the logo's green leaf and supposed "bitten" right side, attributes the company believes are too similar to its own logo. The logo, registered with the ...

Apple Seeds First Public Beta of watchOS 7 to Public Beta Testers

Monday August 10, 2020 10:33 am PDT by
Apple today seeded the first public beta of an upcoming watchOS 7 update to public beta testers, one week after seeding the fourth beta to developers and a month and a half after the Worldwide Developers Conference. The update can be downloaded after installing the proper profile from Apple's Public Beta website. watchOS 7 should not be installed on a primary device as it is still an early...

Apple Watch Likely to Adopt MicroLED Display Technology in 3-4 Years

Monday August 10, 2020 2:55 am PDT by
This year's Apple Watch Series 6 is expected to feature an OLED screen like previous models, but a future model is likely to be the first Apple product to adopt MicroLED display technology, albeit not for another three to four years. That's the main takeaway reading between the lines of comments made by the chairman of Epistar, Taiwan's top LED producer, which is reportedly working on a...

Apple Seeds iOS 14 and iPadOS 14 Public Beta 4 to Testers

Thursday August 6, 2020 10:05 am PDT by
Apple today seeded new public betas of upcoming iOS 14 and iPadOS 14 updates to its public beta testing group. Today's software releases, which Apple labels as fourth betas to keep them in line with developer betas, are actually the third betas that Apple has provided and they come two weeks after the prior beta releases. Public beta testers who have signed up for Apple's beta testing...