Leander Kahney, who has previously published books about Steve Jobs and Jony Ive, takes on the ascent of Apple’s current CEO in a new book titled Tim Cook: The Genius Who Took Apple to the Next Level. When Steve Jobs passed away in 2011, many people doubted that Tim Cook, an operations expert, was up to the job of CEO. As Kahney summarizes in his book’s introduction titled ‘Killing It,’ the numbers have proven the doubters wrong. By exploring Cook’s early influences and how they have affected his leadership of Apple, Kahney sheds light on the values and other qualities that have led to Cook’s success. The result is an interesting look at Cook’s background growing up in Alabama and his career before joining Apple, about which little has been previously written, but the book's recounting of Cook’s Apple years may be less informative to close observers of the company.
Posts tagged with "tim cook"
Peter Wells has an interesting story in The Sydney Morning Herald about the much-rumored merger of Macs and iOS devices. Wells interviewed Apple CEO Tim Cook at the education event that was held late last month in Chicago. During the conversation, Wells asked Cook about Microsoft’s convertible Windows 10 strategy and how it compared to Apple’s approach to OSes. Cook responded:
“We don't believe in sort of watering down one for the other. Both [The Mac and iPad] are incredible. One of the reasons that both of them are incredible is because we pushed them to do what they do well. And if you begin to merge the two ... you begin to make trade offs and compromises.
”So maybe the company would be more efficient at the end of the day. But that's not what it's about. You know it's about giving people things that they can then use to help them change the world or express their passion or express their creativity. So this merger thing that some folks are fixated on, I don't think that's what users want."
Especially since Mark Gurman of Bloomberg reported on rumors of an Apple initiative codenamed Project Marzipan designed to bring aspects of iOS to the Mac, there has been speculation about whether it might be the first step in an eventual merger of the two operating systems. Although Cook’s comments are interesting in the context of the rumors that have circulated, he was asked about Microsoft’s Windows 10 strategy, not Apple’s plans for its platforms. I think it’s safe to say that Cook believes iOS devices and Macs are good for different tasks, which suggests that the Mac’s form factor isn’t at imminent risk, but I don’t think you can draw any conclusions from his comments about the chipsets or operating system that may drive Macs in the future.
Earlier this week, Fast Company released its annual ranking of the most innovative companies of the year. Apple scored the top spot, moving up from its fourth-place grade a year prior. In a follow-up piece, Robert Safian of Fast Company today published an exclusive interview with Tim Cook focusing on the company's success.
The whole interview's worth reading, but one segment of it stuck with me most. In response to a query regarding whether Cook views some years at Apple as better than others, the CEO replied that every year is a good year, because even if public launches aren't as exciting, there's always something big in the works behind the scenes.
Even when we were idling from a revenue point of view...those were some incredibly good years because you could begin to feel the pipeline getting better, and you could see it internally. Externally, people couldn’t see that. With the iPod, before it came out, we didn’t really know that it would become as big. But it was clear it was changing things in an incredibly good way. Of course with the iPhone it was clear that that was a huge change, a category definer, but who would’ve thought [it would have impact] to the degree that it [did].
Though the example isn't as extreme as the years leading up to launching the iPod or iPhone, one recent proof of what Cook's talking about is the contrast between Apple's 2016 and 2017. The former was viewed as a somewhat unexciting year by many of the company's closest followers. Major product launches included the iPhone SE, 9.7-inch iPad Pro, Apple Watch Series 2, iPhone 7, MacBook Pro with Touch Bar, and just barely squeaking into the calendar year, AirPods. It was a solid lineup to be sure, but many of the product updates felt more iterative than evolutionary, particularly when compared with the impressive year that followed.
In 2017 Apple introduced a low-budget iPad, new 10.5-inch and 12.9-inch iPad Pros, revisions across the entire MacBook lineup, the Apple Watch Series 3 with cellular, the Apple TV 4K, iPhone X and iPhone 8, the iMac Pro, and they took the veil off HomePod. It was the sort of strong year, hardware-wise, that you simply can't have every year.
From inside the company, however, it's easier to view every year as a good one – because regardless of what the world at large sees, you're working to build the future.
Apple hosted its annual shareholder meeting today, and Zac Hall of 9to5Mac has the scoop on Tim Cook's remarks.
Besides mentioning that this would be the last shareholder meeting at Town Hall because Apple Park will open soon, Cook showed shareholders an unreleased AirPods promo video and called the new product "quite the cultural phenomenon."
Perhaps the most interesting tidbit from the meeting had to do with Apple's efforts in the pro market:
Cook also hinted at Apple’s product pipeline by promising Apple will “do more in the pro area.” Cook called out the creative field as especially important to Apple while pushing back against the notion that Apple is too consumer focused now. “Don’t think that something we’ve done or something we’re doing that isn’t visible yet is a signal that our priorities are elsewhere.”
While this isn't confirmation of a new Mac Pro in the works, or substantial investment in pro software, it is good to hear Cook reaffirm that creatives are an important customer base. He seems convinced that Apple's product pipeline will prove that the company's priorities haven't shifted when it comes to creative professionals.
"AR [augmented reality] I think is going to become really big," said Cook. "VR [virtual reality], I think, is not gonna be that big, compared to AR … How long will it take? AR gonna take a little while, because there’s some really hard technology challenges there. But it will happen. It will happen in a big way. And we will wonder, when it does [happen], how we lived without it. Kind of how we wonder how we lived without our [smartphones] today."
This is not the first time that Tim Cook has commented on the potential for AR. Soon after the release (and phenomenal success) of Pokemon Go, Tim Cook said that Apple was "high on AR in the long run" when answering a question during an Apple earnings call:
It also does show that AR can be really great. We have been and continue to invest a lot in this. We are high on AR for the long run, we think there’s great things for customers and a great commercial opportunity. The number one thing is to make sure our products work well with other developers’ kind of products like Pokemon, that’s why you see so many iPhones in the wild chasing Pokemons.
You can watch the full Tim Cook interview from the Utah Tech Tour on YouTube.
The Washington Post has an extensive interview with Apple CEO Tim Cook about his first five years leading the company. Jena McGregor, who writes a daily column about leadership for the Post, spoke to Cook twice, including shortly after the one billionth iPhone was sold. The interview is a great read and spans a wide array of topics that together paint a picture of how Cook approaches his role.
Regarding his desire to not be a traditional CEO, Cook explained:
I think of a traditional CEO as being divorced from customers. A lot of consumer company CEOs — they’re not really interacting with consumers.
I also think that the traditional CEO believes his or her job is the profit and loss, is the revenue statement, the income and expense, the balance sheet. Those are important, but I don’t think they’re all that’s important. There’s an incredible responsibility to the employees of the company, to the communities and the countries that the company operates in, to people who assemble its products, to developers, to the whole ecosystem of the company.
Asked about Apple's long-term growth prospects, Cook highlighted services and the iPad Pro, which is increasingly being used in enterprise environments:
In today’s products we have services [iCloud, App Store, Apple Pay and the like], which over the last 12 months grew about $4 billion to over $23 billion [in sales]. Next year we’ve said it’s going to be a Fortune 100 company in size.
What else? IPad. The iPad Pro. What we saw in this past quarter is that about half of the people who are buying one are using it at work. We have an enormous opportunity in enterprise. Last year we did $25 billion or so in it around the world. We’re collaborating much better with key partners because it’s important, if you’re making a decision to use our products or anybody’s products in the enterprise, that they work well together.
On social issues, Cook discussed how Apple's stance on civil rights and climate change fit with its approach to customers and the products Apple creates:
I think everybody has to make their own decision about it. Maybe there are compelling reasons why some people want to be silent. I think for us, though — for a company that’s all about empowering people through our products, and being a collection of people whose goal in life is to change the world for the better — it doesn’t sit right with me that you have that kind of focus, but you’re not making sure your carbon footprint isn’t poisoning the place. Or that you’re not evangelizing moving human rights forward. I think every generation has the responsibility to enlarge the meaning of human rights.
When asked about mistakes made during his tenure as CEO, Cook echoed comments made to Fast Company regarding Maps, but also discussed the hiring of John Browett to lead Apple's retail team:
I hired the wrong person for retail [former Dixons CEO John Browett] initially. That was clearly a screw-up. I’m not saying anything bad about him. He didn’t fit here culturally is a good way to describe it. We all talked to him, and I made the final decision, and it was wrong. We fairly quickly recognized it and made a change. And I’m proud we did that.
McGregor's experience writing about leadership is evident from her interview with Cook. The questions go well beyond the kind of things Cook is typically asked about Apple, capturing more about him as an individual and his leadership style than most interviews that I've read.
It may not have made the front page headlines, but Apple just concluded a significant week-long tour of India and China. Tim Cook has made numerous trips to China in recent years, but this was the first time that Cook visited India on an official trip as CEO of Apple. The trip also comes at a crucial time for the company as it begins to make big strategic moves to attract more Indian consumers, and at a time when Apple’s growth in China last quarter screeched to a halt after a period of huge growth.
TIME’s Nancy Gibbs and Lev Grossman have published the full transcript of a Tim Cook interview that will be the subject of the magazine's March 28 cover story.
It's a lengthy interview, with Cook discussing a variety of issues related to the FBI's requests in the San Bernardino case. Cook comments on his views on encryption in the modern technological landscape, how the US Congress should approach this debate, and why Apple views the FBI's demands as a threat to civil liberties. It's a great read with some fantastic passages.
The thing that is different to me about Messages versus your banking institution is, the part of you doing business with the bank, they need to record what you deposited, what your withdrawals are, what your checks that have cleared. So they need all of this information. That content they need to possess, because they report it back to you.
That’s the business they’re in. Take the message. My business is not reading your messages. I don’t have a business doing that. And it’s against my values to do that. I don’t want to read your private stuff. So I’m just the guy toting your mail over. That’s what I’m doing. So if I’m expected to keep your messages, and everybody else’s, then there should be a law that says, you need to keep all of these.
Now I think that would be really bad. I think it would be really bad because in order for me to keep them, I have to have a way to see them. If I have to have a way to see them and a place to copy them, you can imagine—if you knew where the treasure was buried at, and everybody else did, then it puts a bull’s eye on that target. And in the world of cyber security, the last thing you want is to have a target painted on you.
60 Minutes (the US edition on CBS) today had an in-depth feature on Apple. 60 Minutes' correspondent, Charlie Rose, spoke to a number of Apple Executives including Tim Cook, Jony Ive, Angela Ahrendts and Phil Schiller.
Apple is one of the most interesting business stories in generations and it finds itself at the heart of some of the biggest issues facing American companies today: the way terrorists may be using encrypted technology to plot attacks, the battle over the corporate tax rate, and the challenges of working in China. We talked about all of that with Apple CEO Tim Cook as part of a journey through the world's biggest and richest company.
There wasn't a huge deal of new information in tonight's program, but Rose's interview with Tim Cook, particularly regarding encryption and corporate tax rates makes it well worth a watch. Although perhaps more interesting is the brief look at a new design for Apple Retail Stores with Angela Ahrendts, as well as a look inside Apple design's studio with Ive (complete with cloth-covered tables).