The 10 Biggest Mistakes Of Tim Cook's Tenure As Apple CEO

Tim Cook

Tim Cook’s short run as Apple CEO has been pretty great.

While the stock has fallen from its heights, it’s still up overall since he took over the company.

However, he’s not perfect. No one is.

Yesterday, we looked at the smartest things he’s done since taking over, we’re going to look at the flip side here. We have gathered what we consider to be his biggest mistakes as CEO.

Apple Maps was a mess

We applaud Cook for quickly apologizing for the Apple maps debacle. But, we ding him for letting it happen in the first place. Apple maps should not have gone out until it was ready.

Hiring John Browett

Tim Cook has made one major hire since becoming CEO -- John Browett was supposed to lead Apple retail. He was a bad fit and was quickly fired.

Losing control of the narrative on Apple

When Apple's stock went into a tailspin, the narrative on the company very quickly shifted. Cook seemingly did nothing to stop the press from pounding out story after story about Apple's doom. When Apple finally spoke, it was just before Samsung's S4 launch, and it looked weak.

Apple's ads have gone stale

Apple had the best ads of any tech company. It explained its products in a simple, clear, and time funny way. In the last year or so, the ads have turned a bit stale. They're too focused on products and not enough on people. When Apple tried doing people ads with a new Genius bar theme, they flopped. Cook needs to get Apple's marketing mojo back.

The thin iMac

Apple updated the iMac last year making it significantly thinner. Thinness is a big theme at Apple. Usually, it's a good thing. In this case, it was probably a mistake. To make the iMac thin, Apple produced a machine that can't perform as well as other desktop computers. There's no advantage to a thin iMac. It just sits on your desk. It looks pretty much exactly the same from the front as the old iMac.

iCloud doesn't work as well as it should

Cook has been running Apple as it transitioned to iCloud. iCloud is wonderful for backing up your iPhone. Otherwise, it's got a lot of problems and developers are ignoring it. Cook needs to fix iCloud because Internet software and services are one of the biggest weaknesses at Apple.

Siri is still a joke

Siri was pretty weak before Tim Cook took over. And it hasn't improved under his watch.

He should have been clearer with Apple's earnings guidance

For a long time Apple demolished its earnings guidance. As a result, Wall Street started bumping its estimates higher. Then something changed. Apple missed the Street's estimates repeatedly. And the stock, and to a certain extent Cook, took a hit. Last quarter Apple issued a range of guidance and tried to tell analysts that it was serious about its guidance. Apple probably should have been doing this sooner to avoid whiffing on analyst estimates. Missing analyst targets fed into a false narrative about the company being hosed.

Packing all those product launches into the back half of 2012

Apple release the iPad Mini, new iMacs, new iPods, and a new iPhone all at the end of 2012. There may be a method to this madness that we're missing, but right now it feels like it was a mistake. It feels like Apple should have held the iMac for this Spring. Because now it has nothing to announce until June, it seems, which gives Apple's rivals an opportunity to dominate the headlines.

Not making the iPhone 5 have a bigger screen

We're not convinced this is a huge mistake, but we do think Apple probably should have made the screen bigger overall on the iPhone, not just taller. There's a reason every other phone maker has a bigger screen than the iPhone. Consumers like them.

And now for what he's doing right

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