WSJ Lines Up Tim Cook to Kick Off Inaugural WSJDLive Conference

Apple CEO Tim CookApple CEO Tim Cook

The Wall Street Journal announced Friday that Apple CEO Cook would headline its inaugural WSJDLive conference, the apparent successor to D, the conference that was headed by tech journalist luminaries Walt Mossberg and Kara Swisher. Mr. Cook will be interviewed at the event, which takes place from October 27-29 at the Montage in Laguna Beach, CA.

The Journal, which is owned by Rupert Murdock's News Corp., said the event will be hosted by The Wall Street Journal's editor-in-chief Gerard Baker, deputy editor-in-chief Rebecca Blumenstein, business editor Dennis Berman, and global technology editor Jonathan Krim.

In addition to Apple CEO Tim Cook, other participants include Marc Andreessen, Co-Founder and General Partner, Andreessen Horowitz; Noam Bardin, CEO, Waze; Hugo Barra, VP of Apple copycat Xiaomi; Lucian Grainge, Chairman and CEO, Universal Music Group; Jeffrey Katzenberg, CEO, Co-Founder and Director, DreamWorks Animation SKG; Dan Kaufman, Director, Information Innovation Office, DARPA; and several more executives, venture capitalists, and government folk.

D was the preeminent technology conference for many years. The late Steve Jobs was a participant, as was Microsoft chairman Bill Gates. The two even appeared together in 2007. When Walt Mossberg and Kara Swisher parted ways with The Journal, what was D became Code in a seamless transition. Despite having the weight of The Wall Street Journal behind it, the usual assortment of heavy weight executives participated, including Tim Cook.

It would appear, however, that The Journal is not willing to cede this space to its erstwhile stars—note that the hosts include not just the newspaper's technology editors, but the editor-in-chief and deputy editor-in-chief. That suggests the event is being taken very seriously within the company.

As for Tim Cook, this fall is a key time for Steve Jobs's successor. On September 9th, Mr. Cook introduced the Apple Watch and Apple Pay, as well as Apple's first foray into the large-screen smartphone space. Plus, we still have HealthKit and HomeKit kicking around. I suspect we'll get new iPads and new Macs before WSJDLive, as well, giving Mr. Cook a number of important topics to discuss and promote.