Apple CEO Succession Plans 'Very Detailed', Says Tim Cook

Tim Cook has revealed that Apple has "very detailed" succession plans in place for when the time comes to replace him as chief executive of the company, but he also said he has no intention of going anywhere just yet.

In a 45-minute interview for the BBC Sounds podcast Dua Lipa: At Your Service hosted by singer Dua Lipa, Cook admitted that he does not know how long he will remain at Apple.

"I love it," he said, reflecting back on 25 years at the company. "I can't envision my life without being there, so I'll be there for a while." However, when asked if there was any succession plan at Apple, Cook continued:

"We're a company that believes in working on succession plans, so we have very detailed succession plans. Because something unpredictable can always happen. I could step off the wrong curb tomorrow. Hopefully that doesn't happen, I pray that it doesn't."

Dua Lipa: "Are you able to say who is in line for succession?"

"I can't say that, but I would say that my job is to prepare several people for the ability to succeed, and I really want the person to come from within Apple, the next CEO. So that's my role: That there's several for the board to pick from."

In the broad-ranging interview, the Apple CEO described a day in the life of ‌Tim Cook‌, and shared his experience growing up in a blue-collar family in Alabama, and the arc of his career that ultimately brought him to Apple.

The 63-year-old also discussed Apple's environmental sustainability efforts, as well as his thoughts on the excessive use of smartphones, the value of collaboration and equal representation, philanthropy, and the promise and perils of AI, generative AI, and the "life-changing" potential of large language models. You can watch the full interview on YouTube.

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Top Rated Comments

ashdelacroix Avatar
26 weeks ago

Of all the people to sit down with why her? He’d be better off with…well…a journalist…ideally from a tech background like Zoe Thomas.
She did a great job. He's been more open with her than with anyone else.
Score: 22 Votes (Like | Disagree)
a m u n Avatar
26 weeks ago
Great interview!

Tim Cook is undoubtedly one of the best CEOs Apple could have. I don’t even want to think about the pressure the future CEO will be under to maintain such high standards.
Score: 21 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Sorinut Avatar
26 weeks ago

Pretty much all of Apple's success during Tim Cook's tenure can be directly attributed to Steve Jobs. The only good things to come from Apple which arguably weren't part of Steve's plans were a few Apple TV+ shows and the transition of the Mac over to ARM. But even those arguably started under Steve.
Steve had been dead for a decade. He personally picked Cook as his replacement, and asked told him to run the company as he saw fit, not as Steve would. This quasi-hero worship of Jobs is obnoxious.

Time to move on.
Score: 20 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Infodataset Avatar
26 weeks ago
Cant wait for the new changes after cook
Score: 19 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Chuckeee Avatar
26 weeks ago

Of all the people to sit down with why her? He’d be better off with…well…a journalist…ideally from a tech background like Zoe Thomas or Mark Gurman.
Heck, If I was to spend a hour with someone I would pick Dua Lipa over Zoe Thomas or Mark Gurman too.

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Score: 14 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Wizard_of_Woz Avatar
26 weeks ago

Tim Cook has been an amazing CEO. He is not Steve Jobs and that’s honestly a good thing. A lot of the things we have now we likely wouldn’t have gotten when we did it at all had jobs still been around due to his stubbornness.

I do hope the next CEO will continue his ethos without being too radical
Yeah, it is a shame we only ever saw the original Macs, Mac OS X, the iMac, iPod, iPhone, and iPad, among other things because of Steve Jobs (and company). But hey, Tim Cook is a good bean counter so there's that.
Score: 13 Votes (Like | Disagree)