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At Last, a Viable Stand-in for Jobs: Tim Cook RSS Feed Topic: At Last, a Viable Stand-in for Jobs: Tim Cook

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Mike in Helsinki



Joined: 02 Dec 2007
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 28, 2008 4:25 am — At Last, a Viable Stand-in for Jobs: Tim Cook

I don't know about the rest of this board, but I am always haunted to some extent as to the utter command presence of Steve Jobs and the vulnerability of Apple's shareholders like myself if something should happen him or he began a highly visible downshifting in his role at Apple.

Responsible investors have to give the matter serious thought. We need to feel good that there is some sort of succession plan in place, and that an heir apparent is robustly competent to move into Jobs' role if something should happen.

In my opinion, Apple is uniquely tied to the aura of Jobs. The episode of him dodging the liver cancer bullet a few years ago proved it.

For the first time, listening yesterday to Tim Cook at the Goldman Technology Investment Symposium webcast made me feel confident that in him was a person who could ably step in if Jobs fell off the earth, or could progressively assume more of the duties of CEO if Jobs chose to downshift his involvement in Apple.

That was my single biggest take-away from the conference yesterday - not so much the particulars of what Cook discussed per se.

Cook sounded naturally in command, measuredly humble, displayed an uncanny acumen of the strategic issues involved in Apple's markets and products and their inter-relatedness, etc. One LIKED listening to him.

I was just impressed as I could be. It was reassuring, and I hope as COO he is the next in line in Cupertino.

This is a topic worthy of comment by those of you on this board.

MiH


Mike in Helsinki



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PostPosted: Thu Feb 28, 2008 4:33 am — Re: At Last, a Viable Stand-in for Jobs: Tim Cook

Quote
Mike in Helsinki wrote:
I don't know about the rest of this board, but I am always haunted to some extent as to the utter command presence of Steve Jobs and the vulnerability of Apple's shareholders like myself if something should happen him or he began a highly visible downshifting in his role at Apple.

Responsible investors have to give the matter serious thought. We need to feel good that there is some sort of succession plan in place, and that an heir apparent is robustly competent to move into Jobs' role if something should happen.

In my opinion, Apple is uniquely tied to the aura of Jobs. The episode of him dodging the liver cancer bullet a few years ago proved it.

For the first time, listening yesterday to Tim Cook at the Goldman Technology Investment Symposium webcast made me feel confident that in him was a person who could ably step in if Jobs fell off the earth, or could progressively assume more of the duties of CEO if Jobs chose to downshift his involvement in Apple.

That was my single biggest take-away from the conference yesterday - not so much the particulars of what Cook discussed per se.

Cook sounded naturally in command, measuredly humble, displayed an uncanny acumen of the strategic issues involved in Apple's markets and products and their inter-relatedness, etc. One LIKED listening to him.

I was just impressed as I could be. It was reassuring, and I hope as COO he is the next in line in Cupertino.

This is a topic worthy of comment by those of you on this board.

MiH


Sorry ... I believe it was the pancreatic cancer bullet he dodged. Thank God.


sleepygeek



Joined: 17 Jan 2006
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 28, 2008 5:45 am —

I agree. Every single point we have fretted over was comfortably and confidently covered. Even the stock price noticed.

I have thought (and posted here from time to time) that I don't believe SJ is a necessity for Apple's success any more. I think there is enough talent and insight at Apple to go forward without him. But the terrible threat was that a committee-appointed CEO might quickly dissipate and destroy that potential.

So I agree - Tim Cook could hold it all together without SJ. The only part that remains in question is the long range (10+ years) vision. I am sure that is in the company, but I'm not sure how it would find its way deep into the mind of Tim Cook, as it would eventually need to if he were CEO.

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Tommo_UK

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 28, 2008 7:37 am —

I completely agree. Cook's performance was stellar, inspirational, satisfying to listen to, and ANSWERED QUESTIONS in a thoughtful manner rather than causing analysts TO RAISE NEW ONES in alarm.

Ban Oppenheimer from future CCs. Let Tim Cook take the call.

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awcabot



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PostPosted: Thu Feb 28, 2008 7:50 am —

Excellent point. I sometimes was wondering myself who would take over Apple should SJ disappear in the jungles of The Congo. It does seem as if Mr. Cook has the competence to lead Apple.

As SleepyGeek said, I also believe the now Apple does not need SJ as it did in the past. He has been back at the company for ten years, about average for a CEO. There is now a big enough generation of developers, designers, and executives who have known him and could easily answer the question "What would Steve do?"

Right now, if SJ leaves, the stock may take a beating like none we have seen so far, but the company will remain healthy and at the forefront of technology until a really dumb leader comes across to destroy it.

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jpashin



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PostPosted: Thu Feb 28, 2008 11:35 am —

The more I think about it, the more I doubt SJ will just up and leave. I expect his departure to be a long, drawn-out process in which his duties slowly change and responsibilities are transferred to an emerging leader.

I believe he is too personally invested in his legacy at Apple to just cruise and leave things to the dogs - especially those on WS.

Maybe yesterday was a glimpse into the future.


HammockGuy



Joined: 13 Dec 2007
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 28, 2008 1:10 pm —

Quote
jpashin wrote:
The more I think about it, the more I doubt SJ will just up and leave. I expect his departure to be a long, drawn-out process in which his duties slowly change and responsibilities are transferred to an emerging leader.

I believe he is too personally invested in his legacy at Apple to just cruise and leave things to the dogs - especially those on WS.

Maybe yesterday was a glimpse into the future.


I feel the same. Almost like how NFL teams have gameplans to groom quarterbacks of the future...

That said, if this process is pronlonged and the "young" talent is not patient enough, Cook in this case, jumping ship is not uncommon... just look at Cisco. Chambers, like SJ, is not ready to move-on yet, and while ramping-up over time is prudent, sometimes a hot commodity is hard to retain.

I could see SJ on the BOD, still having a very positive influence with his vision though...


Mike in Helsinki



Joined: 02 Dec 2007
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 28, 2008 2:21 pm —

Quote
jpashin wrote:
The more I think about it, the more I doubt SJ will just up and leave. I expect his departure to be a long, drawn-out process in which his duties slowly change and responsibilities are transferred to an emerging leader.

I believe he is too personally invested in his legacy at Apple to just cruise and leave things to the dogs - especially those on WS.

Maybe yesterday was a glimpse into the future.


I hope so, too.

They should follow the model of Nokia. Jorma Ollila, who led the company to greatness and is one of the best ever executives in Europe, remained as Chairman of the Board (while also taking on the job of Chairman of the Board for Shell), and turned over the CEO job to his right hand man, Olli-Pekka Kallasvuo, who has since done a supreme job.

Its s natural way to do a transition .... keep the founder involved, but turn the day to day over to the next best guy and have the two be in consultations with one another over a period of some years. Then, like MacArthur, Jobs can just 'fade away'.

But he still has a good 7 or 10 years left in Apple.


JimDE



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PostPosted: Thu Feb 28, 2008 3:52 pm —

Quote
jpashin wrote:
...I believe he is too personally invested in his legacy at Apple to just cruise and leave things to the dogs ....


I agree - invested both in terms of the pioneering personality/his life work, etc AND the money. His own shares would step off the same cliff as everyone else's if a transition wasn't managed properly and transparently.

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superbaka



Joined: 23 Jan 2006
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 28, 2008 4:34 pm —

Quote
JimDE wrote:
Quote
jpashin wrote:
...I believe he is too personally invested in his legacy at Apple to just cruise and leave things to the dogs ....


I agree - invested both in terms of the pioneering personality/his life work, etc AND the money. His own shares would step off the same cliff as everyone else's if a transition wasn't managed properly and transparently.


Tim Cook sounds too much like Al Gore. (Not to be confused with GORE(tm)). Tim needs some kind of personality coach and spend some time in hollywood before he becomes SJ.


JimDE



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PostPosted: Thu Feb 28, 2008 4:51 pm —

Quote
superbaka wrote:
Quote
JimDE wrote:
Quote
jpashin wrote:
...I believe he is too personally invested in his legacy at Apple to just cruise and leave things to the dogs ....


I agree - invested both in terms of the pioneering personality/his life work, etc AND the money. His own shares would step off the same cliff as everyone else's if a transition wasn't managed properly and transparently.


Tim Cook sounds too much like Al Gore. (Not to be confused with GORE(tm)). Tim needs some kind of personality coach and spend some time in hollywood before he becomes SJ.


I agree he's not the talented showman that SJ is. But flat presentation skills can be coached & Apple has enough cash laying around for Macworld keynote coaching. But what really came through was the sense of a steady hand at the helm and clear eyes on the same course.



edited a typo

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