In terribly sad news, Apple has announced that Steve Jobs will be resigning as CEO.
Apple’s former COO, Tim Cook, who has led the company during Steve’s two medical leaves, will take over as CEO.
Earlier this year, Dan Frommer wrote a quick primer on Tim.
Here’s what you need to know:
Cook has already kind-of run Apple for a long time. He’s not the visionary- that’s Steve Jobs. But Cook has overseen 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. .
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. 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 as he has made more public appearances on Apple’s behalf. This winter, 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.
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, at least on the operational side. As to vision, time will tell.