Is Tim Cook still the right choice as CEO?

Discussion in 'Apple, Inc and Tech Industry' started by CalWizrd, Jan 29, 2014.

  1. CalWizrd Suspended


    Jun 21, 2011
    NYC/Raleigh, NC
    I am a long time Apple fan, supporter and stockholder... started writing code for my 512K Mac in the beginning of 1985. I have owned a long list of Apple products, and at the current time my Apple "inventory" includes an iMac (2011), an iPhone 5, an iPhone 5S, an iPad Air and an iPad Retina Mini. I love Mac products, both developing software for them and using them.

    When Tim Cook first took over the helm for Steve, I was enthusiastic and very much in favor of this move, based upon what I had heard and read about Tim's performance and skills in his previous role.

    As time has passed and Apple has undergone some significant changes, I honestly believe that Tim Cook is not the right person to be in the CEO role. I must assume, without knowing for certain, that he is still just as qualified and skilled in his operations abilities, but I can't get away from the sense that Apple is significantly lacking in the top management sphere. I am trying not to compare his public performances with those remembered from the Jobs days, but Tim is far from inspiring or exciting from my public perception.

    It also seems to me that there has been a painfully obvious decline in the kind of "perfection" that Steve/Apple was known for. I admit that Steve's reign included some disasters, but in spite of those, the aura of perfection still seemed to always be there. I, personally, don't get that feeling at all any more.

    I could go on and on, but it would seem like just nit picking things... however, they all seem to add up to what I feel is a big vacuum at the top. I guess the Board has to take heat for this as well, but I have just lost the enthusiasm I had previously held for Tim Cook as Apple CEO.

    I'd love to hear what others think.
  2. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    He seems to be a great manager, that is managing resources, managing people. I see a lack of fire, and a lack of direction with him.

    Steve Jobs passed away in October 2011, what has Apple done as a company since his passing?

    iPad 3/4/air - thinner iPad with a retina screen
    iPad mini - a smaller iPad (now with retina)
    iPhone 4s/5/5s/5c - a longer iPhone and now with a plastic case.
    RMBP - a MBP with a better screen
    nMP - years over due but a complete redesign

    Correct me if I'm wrong but there's been no new products from apple since the iPad. Google, Samsung and others are working on different products to bring to the market. Some of them don't work out, but you know what, they're bringing them out.

    Google chromecast, google glass, Samsung galaxy watch.

    It seems Apple lacks direction and fire. The rumored TV and iWatch appear to be having issues, why has it taken years (both were rumored since 2011) with nothing to show.
  3. CalWizrd thread starter Suspended


    Jun 21, 2011
    NYC/Raleigh, NC
    I have to agree with your characterization... a lack of fire.

    It just doesn't give off the same "creativity" vibes as a Google, an Amazon, ...
  4. nuckinfutz macrumors 603


    Jul 3, 2002
    Middle Earth
    You will not find better than Tim Cook.

    Apple's hit their numbers consistently. They are reaching out and making deals (China Mobile, NTT DoCoMo) that will sustain the platform/ecosystem.

    Their hardware division is delivering (A7 processor is a very nice design)

    Software is lagging a bit but more attention should be placed on it shortly.

    Acquisitions have been small companies that can deliver larger impact than their size suggests.

    Ground breaking products don't come on an annual basis. In fact disrupting products tend to come when there becomes a lull where innovation seemingly dries up.

    If you read the press they expect every single year for there to be a huge "OMG" product but in reality you only get those every few years or more.

    Cook says, to paraphrase, "we've got a lot of ideas for innovation but the tricky part is knowing what areas to invest in" I believe him. Making the wrong investment is expensive.

    Quality control does need to improve but Apple is judged on a higher standard than most of its competitors. What is poor quality to us is average to above average for non Apple users.
  5. CalWizrd thread starter Suspended


    Jun 21, 2011
    NYC/Raleigh, NC
    I'm not trying to take anything away from Tim Cook's talents and capabilities. I just can't get away from this nagging feeling that he is not the right guy to be inspiring Apple to move in the "right" direction.
  6. ElectronGuru macrumors 65816

    Sep 5, 2013
    Oregon, USA
    When your instincts are good, thoughts are slower and clumsier than emotion. Steve's main gift was an accurate instinct, an ability to know if something was killer and how it should be implemented. It felt right or it did not. In contrast, most people need to think things through.

    The problem isn't knowing that Tim isn't as good. The problem is knowing who is better and taking the risk to try them out. And no one can be as good as Steve, so any replacement would be huge risk + uncertain benefit. Just look at the way Silicon Valley companies steal each other's execs. That's in the hope of getting dudes who are proven. Millions per attempt and it still fails half the time.

    The question isn't is Tim right. It's who is righter?
  7. CalWizrd thread starter Suspended


    Jun 21, 2011
    NYC/Raleigh, NC
    Sure wish I was smart enough to give you a correct answer.
  8. vvswarup macrumors 6502a

    Jul 21, 2010
    You say it's a great that Google, Samsung, and others are bringing out products even though they don't work out. What good does it do anyone if a company bring outs products that don't work out?

    Take the Galaxy Gear as an example. The first version was a dud. IMO, the problems with the Gear are very fixable and Samsung will probably fix them with the next version. But it did Samsung no good release Galaxy Gear in a form that wasn't ready to be in the hands of a customer. As an example, the first iPad was feature-poor compared to the later versions. But it was no dud. The first iPad was a very successful product. Apple built on that success and released the iPad 2. IMO, Samsung has put itself in the position of having to build on a poorly received product.

    How do you know that the delays with the iWatch and Apple TV are due to "lacking direction and fire?"
  9. simon48 macrumors 65816


    Sep 1, 2010
    That's not how Apple works, they don't launch new products all the time. Under SJ they very rarely launched new products (iPad and iPhone that's the last decade). I think Cook is doing a fine job, caving to outside pressure a bit too much (iPad Mini for example). It's not the same as SJ, but SJ was one of a kind.
  10. MacDawg macrumors Core


    Mar 20, 2004
    "Between the Hedges"
    Like any "legend", be it a coach, a rock star, a president or leader... the myth always overshadows the reality to the point we exaggerate the achievements and remove the warts.

    Steve was an extraordinary leader and visionary, but he was hardly infallible or even the genius that many "remember" him to be. It is far too easy to say "if Steve were alive, then... XYZ or fill in the blank". Steve had his bumps and bruises, his epic fails and bonehead decisions. Yes, he hit his share of grand slams, maybe more than most, but he also struck out at times.

    Nobody would argue that Tim Cook is Steve, but who is? As many have questioned, who would be better? I always marvel at folks in sports who want to fire the coach without a clue of who they will hire. You better have a plan for something better... and who would that be for Apple? I don't think any of us have any idea, and in all honesty, the Apple Board of Directors would probably be in a much better place to have insight into that.

    Most of us are just average guys and girls who like Apple and would like to see shinier gadgets going forward. When they don't come fast and furious enough we want to complain.

    In the end, life is more than shiny gadgets and we all need to grow up eventually.
  11. bobr1952 macrumors 68020


    Jan 21, 2008
    Melbourne, FL
    Simple for me--Tim Cook is not Steve Jobs--but he is the right choice to lead Apple today.
  12. rdowns macrumors Penryn


    Jul 11, 2003
    As a long time customer and stockholder, I think Cook is right for the job.
  13. TSE macrumors 68030

    Jun 25, 2007
    St. Paul, Minnesota
    As a longtime Apple fan and shareholder, yes.

    Steve Jobs was one of a kind and in a league of his own. While Cook isn't in that league, he has proven to be very good.

    People who say Apple isn't innovative don't know what they are talking about.
  14. macs4nw macrumors 601


    Agreed times 4. Steve was a one of a kind (aren't we all), whose vision and laser-focused ambitions catapulted Apple to where it is today. He certainly wasn't perfect --where would Apple be today if he hadn't been badgered into opening up the iPod to Windows platforms, and changing the iPod's interface from FW to USB-- but somehow instinctively knew which direction to take.

    Until that 'other' one in a billion visionary with all the right attributes comes along, Tim is the next best thing, and imho he's doing an admirable job.
  15. Rogifan macrumors P6


    Nov 14, 2011
    It's not Tim, then who?

    If Steve were still around what would Apple have released that they didn't under Tim?
  16. phrehdd macrumors 68040


    Oct 25, 2008
    Forget Tim Cook and get Tim Gunn. He'll insist that Apple be "thoughtful" and "Make it work..."
  17. LethalWolfe macrumors G3


    Jan 11, 2002
    Los Angeles
    I'd argue Steve's main gift was his ability to do things like call a piece of consumer electronics "magical" with sincerity and have millions of people agree with him 100%. His charisma and salesmanship were amazing and are what put him head and shoulders above his competition. Never underestimate the RDF because perception is reality.;)
  18. korthaj macrumors newbie

    Aug 27, 2013
    Tim Cook is great, Steve Jobs was insanely great. Apple is doing good atm but what im missing is the vision of where we are heading.

    Steve would often be years ahead of his time, great products come from great visions.
  19. Technarchy macrumors 604


    May 21, 2012
    Given the sheer size of Apple's global supply chain, it's clear Tim Cook is a talented man. He shouldn't try to be Steve Jobs, because that is not why he was chosen.
  20. tdale macrumors 65816

    Aug 11, 2013
    Christchurch, N.Z.
    I agree. SJ claim to fame was the iPhone, followed by the iPad. When he died, if there were changes to be made they would not be made that close to his passing. However, it is now 2014, and the devices have all had incremental changes, there has been no innovation. Share price is down, the sales are up but the market share is down. iOS7 was a move forward, finally getting some very old Android features, this year we will get a larger screen iPhone. Apple doesnt have to lead in the overall feature/form factor, but they need to catch up. I think that with time since his passing, the rev up by the board, Apple will feel more free to explore and innovate. TC's comments recently seem to be a hint that stuff is happening, maybe its the start of a new post SJ era.


    Watches like the Galaxy Gear or iWatch wont work, small market. Bad product, who wants to wear a geek ugly watch, when to use it you need your phone with you anyway?

    The first iPad was feature poor????? The second iPad was an incremental hardware upgrade of the first, same for 3, 4, and Air.

    On another thread in MR, I agree with a post to make the iPad Pro rumour/leak an iPad but also a screen for a screenless MBA, thats innovation. Make the Apple TV a fully functioning PVR, then it does everything. A proper screen for the iPhone, like everyone else. I get the feeling these will all start coming.
  21. ElectronGuru macrumors 65816

    Sep 5, 2013
    Oregon, USA
    No disagreement, both are part of the same sequence:

    Start with a vision and find/form product
    Or start with a new tech and form a vision around it / them
    Make a decision about how to put them into form / action
    Get people formed and driven to perform
    Create the deliverables / products
    Present the results

    All are neccessary. One of my favorite examples is wifi. It was created by some engineers. Steve saw the potential, formed it into the first ibook, and presented it at Macworld to an adoring public.

    The problem we're having now is that iOS spawned a series of industry shaking products. And those transformations stopped when Steve did, so it feels like the two events are connected. I'm not inside apple, but I doubt Steve would have had more iOS goodies lined up than Tim has.

    The key issue is longer term. Will the next wifi and the next iOS receive the same passion and drive now that they would have under Steve? Will losing Steve mean losing the potential for new and magnificent we came to expect from apple?
  22. dvasa macrumors newbie

    Mar 24, 2009
    Tim Cook is perfect for the Job

    Apple used to be a very arrogant company under Steve Jobs. I thought Steve Jobs was great but he was an ass*ole. Under Tim I feel like Apple is finally listening to the public. Hence a bigger iPhone is coming, a smaller iPad came, we now get dividends from our shares. Tim has made the company more for the people but not so much that it's losing direction and responding to their every whim. See how quickly he apologised for the maps fiasco, got the environmentally sound certification back after removing it, commented that a Mac Pro was coming, fixed Final Cut X after a disastrous launch, releases bug fixes for the iOS in a much shorter time frame than under Steve. Under Steve these issues sat un-dealt with for ages, putting arrogance first. I finally feel like Apple does care what I think, both as a user and an investor.

    The innovation is coming, it should never be rushed but should happen in the right time. Yes, there will be mistakes along the way and they will be quickly resolved.
    People have short memories; Steve Jobs screwed up a lot and didn't care enough about users reactions.
    I believe Tim has what it takes to take the company and it's loyal user base forward into the next generation.

    The iPad is an incredible device, sure the software could do with some improvements especially in the area of multi tasking, seeing more than one app at a time or tabs side by side BUT, regardless of these shortcomings, the device is still the best in class; both for the user & the developer from a monetisation POV and providing a good solid platform. See how many API's Apple have released and opened up the device for more customisation. This will only expand over time like it did for the desktop. One thing for sure, they build and release for the future and it's there for a reason, not just to appease the crowds...

    Much more is still to come and Apple will do it better; remember, they DID it first everyone else copied them. There is a price to pay for being first to market with a device or idea; it's that others get rip it and add their own features. Some features are awesome and appear initially to enhance the device but after a period of use ends up being redundant or a workflow killer.
    Apple then has to give in on some level to play catchup and on this point, Steve was loathed to give in, Tim is that holy about it...if it makes sense, then it will be there! This is my observation / perspective of this company after monitoring closely since 2001.

  23. Michael Goff macrumors G5

    Michael Goff

    Jul 5, 2012

    People keep throwing this idea around that Steve Jobs was constantly innovating, thus the fact that Tim Cook hasn't done so in roughly 3 or so years means he's a bad choice.

    But Steve Jobs didn't live and breathe innovation. Seriously, there were periods of time when nothing big or innovative came from Apple during his tenure.
  24. dvasa macrumors newbie

    Mar 24, 2009
    Just because the Galaxy was crap, how can you say iWatch will be as useless? You don't and that's the thing. Apple's builds things that are genuinely useful. And just by seeing what happened with the Galaxy watch is what demonstrates the big difference between Apple & Samsung. Samsung will have to copy to be successful where Apple innovates to be successful. Apple would never release a device like the Galaxy...crappy 1 days battery life alone, how useless! Such a muted response from that release. When Apple releases their's, within a year, Samsung will begin to be successful with their watch; you'll see!
    I'm an investor in Apple because I believe in Tim Cook, Craig Federighi, Johnathan Ive and Apple as a whole!
  25. tdale macrumors 65816

    Aug 11, 2013
    Christchurch, N.Z.
    Well Put, +1


    Re read my first sentence, I stated my opinion on whether smart watches are a good idea or not, and why. Your an Apple lover, so am I, maybe a fanboy as well, and if so that's fine. In my opinion, a smart watch where you have to carry your smart phone so that the smart watch will work is a waste of time. The purpose of a smart watch is some apps, but it wont be a cellular smart watch, it will get data from the phone that you have to carry, making the smart watch no more than a fashion trend. Ugly one at that, especially when its an unneeded duplicate. The Gear had issues, correct. But it sold 50,000 before issues were seen, which is VERY poor. A smartwatch is a very sound idea and innovation, but in this case, it doesn't work as there is no need for one

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