Forbes Jumps Shark, Calls for Apple to Oust Tim Cook

The mind boggles. My mind does, at least. Peter Cohan has penned several pieces about Apple with which I disagreed over the years, but a new column for Forbes encourages Apple to fire Tim Cook as CEO and promote design guru Jony Ive in his place. His reason? Apple's falling profits.

This is the actual title of his piece: "With Apple Profit Falling, Board Should Replace Tim Cook with Jony Ive"

You know, the profits that Apple hasn't actually announced yet.

Talk about jumping the damned about stupid. I just wrote a piece about how much stupid has been written about Apple in recent weeks, but this piece is singularly idiotic. Mr. Cohan, you should have taken me up on my offer to do a stupid check on your piece before you pushed it out. And Forbes? Come on, folks.

Peter Cohan Says Some Stupid Stuff

Peter Cohan Says Some Stupid Stuff

Mr. Cohan's argument is that Apple is "poised to report its first profit drop in a long time." This is based on a Bloomberg article that said Apple will report profits of US$12.8 billion or $13.48 per share. If it does so, it will represent a 2 percent year-over-year decline.

Of course, that's comparing a 13-week quarter to a 14-week quarter—if you do the math to normalize the (unannounced) results, profits rise, but never mind, FIRE TIM COOK!

"And if that’s not bad enough,," he wrote, "Apple is poised to report an 18% sales increase to $54.8 billion, 'the slowest growth rate since 2009,' according to Bloomberg."


God(s) forbid that Mr. Cohan wait the 1 day(s) until Apple actually releases its results and offers guidance for the current quarter. That' forever, or something. No, the clear move is talk a bunch of stupid smack and make judgements without facts about matters you don't understand.

Mr. Cohan lays it out plainly for all the world to see: Apple has grown by disrupting markets, and it's been a whole 17 months since Tim Cook took over Apple. Where the frack are the disruptions? Right? That should be more than enough time to invent a few new product categories or redefine some existing one.

"But this strategy of creating big new revenue streams only worked under Steve Jobs," Mr. Cohan wrote. "Then Jobs replaced himself with supply chain expert, Tim Cook. Although Cook has certainly suffered from supply chain problems — delays in meeting demand for new models and bad publicity due to worker death and injury at Apple suppliers — he has largely done a decent job of managing Apple’s supply chain."

Yeah, he's done a "decent job" of managing Apple's supply chain.

  • Kind of like how J.R.R. Tolkien did a decent job of creating a back story for that little book he wrote.
  • Kind of like how the ancient Egyptians did a decent job of piling rocks one atop the other to make those funny triangle thingees they were so fond of.
  • Kind of like how Da Vinci did a decent job of painting that woman's mouth.
  • Kind of like how Keith Moon did a decent job of reducing drums to kindling for the sake of spectacle.
  • Kind of like how the Chinese did a decent job of building that wall of theirs.
  • Kind of like how the writers, actors, and animators of Archer do a decent job of making me pee my pants from laughter.

I've got a million examples of other folks who have done "decent jobs," but you probably got my point. Tim Cook is the supply chain master of the world. Apple's supply chain is the envy of every single product company on the planet, and what little credibility Mr. Cohan had went up in the puff of ganja he had to be smoking to think his assessment in any way resembles reality.

I know I don't make any friends by calling theoretical peers "stupid," but this nonsense is just off the charts. I'm sure Mr. Cohan is a nice person. I bet he hosts an awesome home poker game (Note: I'd love to come if you do, Peter), but this piece at Forbes was just plain stupid.

I'll be the first to admit that I was somewhat surprised at the idea that Steve Jobs wanted Tim Cook to replace him. After all, it was Mr. Jobs who talked about the need to have a product person in charge of a product company. As Mr. Cohan noted, Tim Cook is an operations guy, not a product guy.

The reality, however, is that Steve Jobs had a reason for everything he did, and he told Walter Isaacson that the thing he was most proud of was creating Apple and making it a company that would outlast him. I've said for some time that if you think Steve Jobs was the bee's knees (I do), then you have to believe in his choice of a successor as well as the infrastructure he created, at least until proven otherwise.

17 months is not enough time to prove otherwise, especially when profits and revenue are rising. As I wrote on Friday, you can judge Tim Cook's ability to deliver an innovative and disruptive product in two or three years. Doing so before then is irrational.