Photo: Associated Press
Cook already kind-of runs Apple. He isn’t technically the CEO, and he’s not the visionary-type; that’s Steve Jobs. But Cook already pretty much oversees day-to-day operations. That’s not going to change.
Cook is a “workaholic,” according to a 2008 profile by Fortune. He is an intense operator-type. He is probably REALLY angry that Apple hasn’t been able to get the manufacturing right for the white iPhone 4.
Cook knows what “Apple” means better than pretty much anyone but Steve Jobs. He’s been around since 1998 and he really understands what the Apple mission is all about. This was most apparent during a long speech on Apple’s earnings call 2 years ago this month, right after had Jobs announced his previous medical leave, and Cook said:
“We believe that we’re on the face of the earth to make great products and that’s not changing. We’re constantly focusing on innovating. We believe in the simple, not the complex. … We believe in saying no to thousands of projects so that we can really focus on the few that are truly important and meaningful to us.” (Read Cook’s entire speech here.)
Cook’s profile has grown lately as he has made more public appearances on Apple’s behalf. Last week, he represented Apple as Verizon announced the iPhone. He has been making more appearances during Apple product events, including Apple’s Mac event last October. And he has long led the company’s earnings calls. He has even been talked about for several CEO openings lately, such as HP’s last summer.
Cook is well compensated for his work. Unlike Steve Jobs’ symbolic $1 salary, Tim Cook got $59 million in total compensation last year. (Apple pays out equity every other year, so that’s why it was especially high.)
Cook is a HUGE Auburn football fan. We got a chance to talk to him last Tuesday at the Verizon event, after Auburn won the national championship the night before. He sounded like it had been one of the best moments of his life. (Now we see, perhaps, why he had to watch it in a New York hotel room and not at the game itself.)
So, Cook will do just fine in this role, as he did last time Jobs was on medical leave. The bigger question is what happens when Steve eventually decides to retire.