A former Apple employee named David Sobotta caused a bit of a stir when he called Tim Cook a technology “lightweight.” Speaking with ReadWrite, he said, “Technology-wise, I think Tim Cook is a lightweight. I never felt passion for technology from Tim like I did from Steve and some of the great engineers.”
We reached out to Sobotta for some clarity about his remarks. We wondered how the CEO of the world’s biggest technology company could be a lightweight in the world of tech. How could be not be passionate about technology and run Apple?
“There’s a difference between loving technology,” Sobotta told us, “and being enamoured with technology.”
Sobotta says he saw the difference between loving technology and being enamoured with it in Steve Jobs.
“If we saw Steve Jobs come into a briefing, he couldn’t talk about anything else, other than the thing he was working on,” says Sobotta. “He came into an enterprise sales briefing, and at the time he was working on iMovie. So, we’d be talking about home movies in the enterprise briefing.”
This is one of the key differences between Jobs and Cook. Cook, in Sobotta’s opinion, isn’t going to be carrying around the latest Apple gadget and obsessing over it like Jobs.
Assuming he’s right, we’re not sure it’s a big problem. Apple has a lot of people at the company that can fill the role of a product obsessive. Jony Ive, for instance, can be the guy that can’t sleep at night because he’s so excited about the next big Apple product.
Cook’s job is to make sure that person is there, especially if he’s not going to be the guy to handle that mission.
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