Everyone knew he had big shoes to fill. Steve Jobs is an icon and the driving force behind the biggest tech company in the world Apple. Not only were they big shoes but those shoes kept very fast pace in the way that Steve ran the company, developed new products, and portrayed himself in the public eye. But like all things in motion they tend to stay in motion at least for a little while. No one knows inertia better than Tim Cook.
To many, Tim Cook has filled those might big shoes but the problem comes back to inertia. Apple is no longer running. They are walking. After three years at the helm of Apple Tim Cook must have known he had some time because Apple was riding a massive wave of success. In 2014 Tim Cook is now promising big things for his company and is energizing the media. Tim, unlike his predecessor will not be the icon Steve was. The public loved Steve Jobs. Couldn’t get enough of him. Those that didn’t love Steve loved to hate him at least. Tim is much different. Tim Cook is notoriously reclusive and almost nothing is known of his personal life. He even chooses to work out at an off campus fitness center away from staff and colleagues. Tim does not fraternize with Apple employees. Hailing from the South, Tim graduated from the University of Auborn. He is unmarried and has publicly allowed his Company to advocate for Gay rights. Tim is also a strong supporter of the environment and just recently showed his strength and personal resolve with a challenge to criticism for the expense Apple is undertaking to move towards using more renewable energy.
Tim Cook hired Lisa Jackson last year who was the former head of the EPA to help Apple in efforts to use more renewable energy. Solar, wind, geothermal and hydro power now make up three quarters of Apple’s energy requirements world wide. This up from the 25% that Jobs had achieved at the helm before he passed away. Passionate is one way to describe Tim’s desire for renewable energy as this was the only time we have seen Tim publicly angry when challenged at a stock holders meeting by the National Center For Public Policy Research which is a Conservative Washington DC think tank and Apple Stock Holder. They were objecting to Tim’s investment into renewable energy and were issuing a proposal to the board that Apple refrained from any further environmental or renewable energy initiatives unless it positively impacted the profitability of Apple.
“We object to increased government control over company products and operations, and likewise mandatory environmental standards,” wrote NCPPR general counsel Justin Danhof in a statement before the meeting. “This is something [Apple] should be actively fighting, not preparing surrender.”
This did not sit well with Tim Cook and as mentioned above lost his cool:
Apple does “a lot of things for reasons besides profit motive. We want to leave the world better than we found it.”
“When we work on making our devices accessible by the blind,” Cook said, “I don’t consider the bloody [return on investment].”
The motion by the NCPPR was shot down in flames only receiving 2.95% of the vote. [source]
Tim Cook also appears quite shrewd as a businessman too. Apple has alway been criticized by the enormous amount of cash it has on hand. Constant stock holder criticism for Apple to buy back stock. So it was recently that Apple stock had a down turn because of soft sales and the uncertainty of new product development in which Tim took the opportunity to buy back 14 billion dollars worth of stock. In fact Apple bought back over 40 billion in stock in 2013 which is more than all three of the next largest corporate buy backs from Exxon, AT&T and Pfizer combined. [source]
Tim Cook is precision and leads quietly where Steve Jobs would have lost his mind in staff meetings and ruled with tyrannical superiority Tim is more of a look and a single word. It is said he is no less affective in conveying his displeasure but the delivery is much different.
Even though new product development is lagging and is the main source of question and criticism for the leader of Apple, Tim has held things together and is driving company sales and profit. He is a aster at logistics and has secured what could be a massive deal for Apple in China. That effort took years to complete and now Apple stands ready to reap the profits for the massive demographic in China directly instead if devices being brought in thorough outside channels.
2014 is a make or break year for Tim Cook. Apple will go on there is no question. It’s consumer base is faithful and will support Apple to the bitter end. But that is an end nowhere near in site. Apple simply makes outstanding quality devices and is refined to precise excellence. Nothing they release is untested or a risk. Tim has promised new products that will amaze us. Rumors are already starting and the media frenzy will be has high or higher this year for Apple to deliver new and innovative products. Tim Cook is wearing the shoes and they fit nicely, it’s time to run. Nothing short of running is acceptable when you lead the biggest tech company in the world.