Former Apple engineer Bob Burrough says that CEO Tim Cook has converted “Apple from a dynamic change-maker into a boring operations company.”
CNBC interviewed Burrough about his claim, and he explained how he thinks Apple’s internal culture differs from when Steve Jobs lead the company.
The former Apple employee worked at the company for over seven years as a software engineer under both Steve Jobs and Tim Cook, according to his LinkedIn profile.
Burrough tweeted multiple times about his former employer as part of a thread conversation, which you can view in full here.
When Apple analyst Horace Dediu disagreed with Burrough’s tweet, Burrough tweeted back to say that the changes to Apple’s internal culture aren’t easy to see from outside the company.
Here’s a screenshot of part of the thread where he discussed Cook’s impact on Apple’s culture:
And here’s his comment to CNBC:
“At Apple in 2007, organizationally it was the wild west. I was hired under a particular manager, but for the first two years worked on projects that had virtually nothing to do with that manager’s core responsibility. That’s because the organisation wasn’t the priority, the projects were the priority. It was the exact opposite of ‘not my job.’ It was ‘I’m here to solve whatever problems I can, irrespective of my role, my title, or to whom I report.’ It was wild. But it was also very rewarding, because everything you did had maximal impact on the product.” But today, the “dynamic has clearly and distinctly changed.”
It is worth pointing out that since Tim Cook became CEO in 2011, Apple has become the most valuable company in the world.
Dediu recently spoke about potential changes to Apple’s internal culture at the UBS tech conference, where he said that Apple’s management has been trying to de-emphasise the hit-driven business — its ability to repeatedly deliver new hit products — because it’s demoralising for employees.
The analyst said: “One of the big audiences that Tim [CEO Tim Cook] has is actually internal employee morale.” There hasn’t been a major new hit for Apple since Tim Cook took the reins in 2011.
If Dediu’s comments accurately represent the internal dynamics at Apple, it would be a dramatic shift in the company’s cultural identity.