Image: reuters.com

Image: reuters.com

Reuters is today running a profile on Apple CEO Tim Cook. There’s of course the inevitable angle in there: stock down, no major new products launched, questions asked about whether Cook has what it takes.  But what emerges is a picture of a man who knows he isn’t Steve Jobs and isn’t trying to be.

In the day to day at Apple, Cook has established a methodical, no-nonsense style, one that’s as different as could be from that of his predecessor. Jobs’ bi-monthly iPhone software meeting, in which he would go through every planned features of the company’s flagship product, is gone. “That’s not Tim’s style at all,” said one person familiar with those meetings. “He delegates.”

Yet who also doesn’t shy away from making big decisions in tough circumstances.

[The Apple Maps fiasco] prompted him to fast-track his thinking on the future direction of the critical phone and tablet software known as iOS, a person close to Apple recounted.

Cook soon issued a public apology to customers, fired Forstall, and handed responsibility for software design to Jony Ive, a Jobs soul-mate who had previously been in charge only of hardware design.

“The vision that Tim had to involve Jony and to essentially connect two very, very important Apple initiatives or areas of focus – that was a big decision on Tim’s part and he made it independently and very, very resolutely,” said Bob Iger, CEO of Walt Disney Co. and an Apple director … 

Insiders also said that Cook’s quiet demeanour shouldn’t be mistaken for lack of steel.

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.”

Recruitment consultants who work with Apple gave mixed reports, one – a former Apple employee herself – saying that the people she knew liked Tim and were staying put, while another said they were “being inundated by LinkedIn messages and emails both by people who I never imagined would leave Apple.”

Bob Iger appears in no doubt about Cook’s leadership of the company.

[Cook took on] a very, very difficult role given the person that he’s succeeded and the company he’s running.

I think he’s done so with a deft hand, a strong sense of himself. With that comes a real self-honesty that he is who he is, and not what the world expects him to be, or what Steve was. And I like that.

It’s seemingly a view shared by Carl Icahn. As to whether other investors and analysts share his confidence, the fortunes of the iPhone 5S and 5C are clearly going to play a critical role, and we’ll get a view on that very soon.

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6 Responses to “Reuters Tim Cook Profile: How the Maps fiasco led Apple to rethink the future of iOS, and being tough and decisive when it counts”

  1. jb2017 says:

    So a report on information we already knew…groundbreaking…

  2. Laughing_Boy48 says:

    Tim Cook, the CEO Wall Street loves to hate. He’s the one guy they can rely on when it comes to cash payouts to give Apple a fair valuation. On the city streets it’s known as the “shakedown”.

  3. drtyrell969 says:

    Sorry folks, no PR spin about Tim is going to save his image. He’s a behind the scenes guy at best. Apple Maps was released with the full knowledge that it didn’t work. The CIA / NSA gave Google their tech, which is why money can’t buy a replacement no matter how hard you try. Google will swallow Apple’s market, and either Apple will become Google in gray marching suits, OR Apple will wither away.

  4. I’m not sure to this day what the fiasco on the Maps app was all about. Was it a fiasco about messed up imagery? The turn by turn navigation works perfectly. Just remember, neither Apple nor Google creates the imagery used for these apps. Neither company owns imagery satellites.