Apple's Evolution Under the Leadership of Tim Cook

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Back in November, The Wall Street Journal took a look at how Tim Cook was putting his stamp on Apple just two months after officially being elevated to the position on Chief Executive Officer. But with Cook now having been on the job for nine months, Fortune examines in a lengthy profile how the company and its culture have continued to evolve under his leadership.
A 14-year veteran of the company, Cook is maintaining, by words and actions, most of Apple's unique corporate culture. But shifts of behavior and tone are absolutely apparent; some of them affect the core of Apple's critical product-development process. In general, Apple has become slightly more open and considerably more corporate. In some cases Cook is taking action that Apple sorely needed and employees badly wanted. It's almost as if he is working his way through a to-do list of long-overdue repairs the previous occupant (Jobs) refused to address for no reason other than obstinacy.
Calling Tim Cook "the master of operational efficiency", the report notes that Cook continues to spur Apple to both streamline and innovate with its manufacturing processes, bankrolling purchases of equipment and other infrastructure with its own money to allow its supply chain and assembly partners to improve efficiency and output.

But that operational efficiency has led to the belief that Apple is becoming more traditional and conservative, becoming an "execution engine" driven by business-oriented managers with MBAs and less dependent on its design and technical expertise to lead the way.
It looks like it has become a more conservative execution engine rather than a pushing-the-envelope engineering engine," says Max Paley, a former engineering vice president who worked at Apple for 14 years until late 2011. "I've been told that any meeting of significance is now always populated by project management and global-supply management," he says. "When I was there, engineering decided what we wanted, and it was the job of product management and supply management to go get it. It shows a shift in priority."
The entire profile is an interesting look at how Apple is changing under Tim Cook, also highlighting his own evolution in becoming the face of Apple and how he differs from Steve Jobs, from his quiet nature to his willingness to listen to investors to sitting down to eat with random employees in the Apple cafeteria.

Article Link: Apple's Evolution Under the Leadership of Tim Cook
 

Northgrove

macrumors 65816
Aug 3, 2010
1,115
382
On one hand it sounds all good, but on the other hand, the added hierarchy of decisions at the meetings reminds me of what I've heard by exworkers from a certain competitor with a stagnant stock that aren't doing nearly as well as Apple these days. :\ Hopefully it's not quite as bad as over there though. People have left the company for it.
 

dethmaShine

macrumors 68000
Apr 13, 2010
1,697
0
Into the lungs of Hell
In all honesty, I'm sure people have more faith in Tim Cook than Late Steve Jobs. A company needs to be more open, more answerable for its actions to its users. Staying silent (always) is not the best way and hurts credibility over time. I'm not saying that people would stop buying Apple products; but they definitely feel that someone is being ignorant of their issues and problems. Its simply normal human behaviour and psychology.

Also, the idea of being more generous to the people @Apple and external is favourable for the greater good. We just don't live to create customers, great products and help fight epidemic or other issues – we also live to sustain ourselves, our families and most importantly our kids which are the catalyst for future generations. In my opinion, Steve Jobs didn't particularly understand to what level a person needs to be generous to sustain his own personal and mental life.

I'm sure Tim Cook will go along way and introduce humanitarian principles @Apple and the external world.
 

Duckypoos

macrumors member
May 7, 2012
59
0
and what has been released in the days post-Jobs ?? a re-hashed iPad2 ...

WWDC = Make or break for shareholders ( i.e something HUGE simply has to happen )

just my 2 cents ....
 

antonis

macrumors 68020
Jun 10, 2011
2,085
1,007
It's just too soon.

Apple is still going under SJ guidelines. Tim Cook's decisions will start counting in the near future, but not just yet.
 

zhivkom

macrumors member
Jul 29, 2010
42
4
Cook's leadership is yet to be seen. Everything we saw and we're going to see in near future (1-2 years) is done by Steve.
 

Small White Car

macrumors G4
Aug 29, 2006
10,901
1,164
Washington DC
Comparisons to the past are hard because it's almost impossible to visualize just how much Apple has grown.

Are new things different because Cook is in charge? Or are they different because Apple is so incredibly larger than it used to be? With that kind of growth certain things would have to change no matter who was in charge. It's hard to separate the peanut butter from the jelly sometimes.
 

Wildog27

macrumors member
Jun 10, 2008
85
0
and what has been released in the days post-Jobs ?? a re-hashed iPad2 ...

WWDC = Make or break for shareholders ( i.e something HUGE simply has to happen )

just my 2 cents ....
So if Apple doesn't release something that impresses YOU at WWDC, you are declaring that Apple's run at the top of the consumer electronics world is over.

OK then.
 

rei101

macrumors 6502a
Dec 24, 2011
976
1
You can tell it is more about sales than inspiration. Apple was jobs company, and Cook is an employee.
 

Negritude

macrumors 6502
Jul 14, 2011
297
199
I'm happy for the changes. Steve Jobs was a brilliant visionary, but he was also a mean ******* who didn't listen to anybody, including customers.

Frankly, to say that Apple meetings were previously led by engineers is something of a lie. They were led by *design* engineers, but the way Apple has often cheated end-users on tech, it means that other types of engineers couldn't have been in charge.

In my youth, I wanted to own a Sun or Silicon Graphics workstation. I was poor, so that was out of the question. Then along came OS X. Finally, regular people could afford a powerful UNIX workstation (I cut my teeth on SunOS and Solaris, e.g., BSD UNIX, so GNU/Linux would just not do). Over time, Apple moved away from providing powerful scientific/engineering computing devices, and shifted it's focus to portable consumer products.

I pray that someday, maybe not now, but within the next five years, Apple gets back to providing tools that professionals in the scientific, engineering, and other specialized technical fields can be proud of. It certainly would not have happened under Steve Jobs' watch, as he had thrown us under the bus and then driven over our bodies multiple times. Maybe Tim Cook will throw us a lifeline.
 

RafaelT

macrumors 65816
Jun 9, 2010
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Lakeland, FL
"I've been told that any meeting of significance is now always populated by project management and global-supply management," he says. "When I was there, engineering decided what we wanted, and it was the job of product management and supply management to go get it. It shows a shift in priority."
I don't think that has much to do with Cook. Apple has gotten so big and ships so many devices you have to included those people. Logistics is of major importance to Apple.
 

maviso5

macrumors regular
Mar 25, 2009
156
2
Kent
Give the guy a chance. I agree with the points made of a comparison to an overdue "to do list".

Being head of any company can not be easy let alone a very successful one taking over from someone like SJ.
Jobs wasn't perfect (though a brilliant innovator), and Cook isn't either, we're all human and all have different ideas.

(Sir) Jonny is still there and he has some great ideas, hopefully we will see whatever it is he says is so important in the near future.
 
and what has been released in the days post-Jobs ?? a re-hashed iPad2 ...

WWDC = Make or break for shareholders ( i.e something HUGE simply has to happen )

just my 2 cents ....
yup. The "re-hashed iPad 2" was built in the 4 months leading up to it's announcment. It was completely Tim Cook's baby. Steve Jobs had nothing to do with it. :rolleyes:

I hate to break it to you, but the things we see at WWDC will be mostly Steve Jobs' output. We won't be seeing Tim Cook primary creations for at least another year.
 

basesloaded190

macrumors 68030
Oct 16, 2007
2,693
5
Wisconsin
I don't understand the negativity towards Tim. He's not Steve. Never was, and never will be. I'm glad he has started changing things up a little bit. He has done nothing to negatively impact the company so to complain about changes seem unwarranted.
 
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applesith

macrumors 68030
Jun 11, 2007
2,660
1,111
Manhattan
Apple seems to be moving towards a more conservative and traditional organization. I hope they keep the shiny factor with their product introductions. It will take some time, but hopefully they do not let stuff leak early and lose everyone's attention.
 

deftdrummer

macrumors regular
Feb 1, 2008
142
1
San Diego
This is an interesting topic and I hope it doesn't go into a flame war and taking sides because it's not productive and not very spirited intelligent discussion either.

That aside, I think it's cool people are starting to key in on even the minute details of slight changes in leadership.

The quote from Mat Paley was especially interesting, because this guy if anyone would have his finger on the culture and changes at Apple. After all he worked there as recently as last year in a very important role. Can't say the same for Woz every time he chimes in on something Apple.

You gotta figure everyone has at least some dislikes about the people in their lives. Parents, girlfriends, co-workers all have tics that make them who they are and how they work.

I am more than certain Tim Cook had his own management style road map inside his head, based on how people responded to some of Jobs' more obtuse approaches.
 

MrNomNoms

macrumors 65816
Jan 25, 2011
1,130
249
Wellington, New Zealand
One could draw parallels with Sun Microsystems with Steve Jobs and Scott McNealy - both of them were larger than life characters who were not shrinking violets when it came to lambasting competition but with one difference. The difference between Sun Microsystems and Apple is that Apple had a viable replacement for the CEO where as Sun Microsystems appointed a geek with little in the way of real world business experience, contact with the enterprise world, focus on what needed to be done to take the organisation from being a 'rebel' to an established player aka IBM.

Sun Microsystems spent its whole life proving itself to be the 'anti-IBM' and look what has happened as a result. Compare that series of events to Apple where there was a smooth transition from Steve Jobs to Tim Cook who have taken a 'rebellious teenager company' into a 'mature IT business' that stands side by side next to Microsoft, IBM and Adobe. Some here might call him 'boring' but investors, large customers and everyday consumers see Apple now being run by a stable pair of hands. It is one thing to innovate but you gain nothing out of it if it is just innovation for the sake of innovation - when nothing in the end is gained by the consumer having said feature.

I swear some people here suffer from distractive personalities who can't handle the idea that maybe movement forward doesn't have to involve burning down every single bridge in the process.

Edit: Typical scumbags on this forum, less than a few minutes some scumbag deducts a point but is too cowardly to actually provide a reasonable critique of where they disagree. Once again this forum is showing its true colours - filled with illiterate morons more interested in 'teh flashy' than whether or not the damn product actually works as it was sold.
 
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