Tim Cook's View of the Apple Philosophy

MacRumors

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Original poster
Apr 12, 2001
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In the Q&A section of yesterday's earnings conference call, the first question unsurprisingly addressed Steve Jobs' leave of absence and how that would affect the way Apple is being run. Chief Financial Officer Peter Oppenheimer noted that Jobs remains CEO and that he will continue to be involved in strategic decisions. Chief Operating Officer Tim Cook, who is overseeing Apple's day-to-day operations during Jobs' absence, then took the opportunity to share his perspective on Apple's company philosophy.

There is an extraordinary breadth and depth and tenure among the Apple executive team, and these executives lead over 35,000 employees that I would call "all wicked smart". And that's in all areas of the company, from engineering to marketing to operations and sales and all the rest. And the values of our company are extremely well entrenched.

We believe that we're on the face of the Earth to make great products, and that's not changing. We're constantly focusing on innovating. We believe in the simple, not the complex. We believe that we need to own and control the primary technologies behind the products we make, and participate only in markets where we can make a significant contribution.

We believe in saying no to thousands of projects so that we can really focus on the few that are truly important and meaningful to us. We believe in deep collaboration and cross-pollination of our groups, which allow us to innovate in a way that others cannot.

And frankly, we don't settle for anything less than excellence in every group in the company, and we have the self-honesty to admit when we're wrong and the courage to change. And I think, regardless of who is in what job, those values are so embedded in this company that Apple will do extremely well.
Fortune's Adam Lashinsky examines what he is calling the "Cook Doctrine" as a unique look into the mind of Tim Cook, who was previously profiled by Lashinsky as "intensely private" and "demanding and unemotional."

This is fascinating at a number of levels. Some of it is stuff you'd expect from anyone in Apple's senior management. Some ideas have been articulated at Apple for years. But this shows an executive who has given tons of thought to what it means to lead Apple. He couldn't have been clearer that he's in charge, at least for now. It also was a show of strength, as when Cook later threatened Palm (PALM) with patent litigation.

It raised so many questions too. Other than the company's proprietary operating systems, what technologies was Cook referring to? What are some projects Apple has considered and rejected? When has the company been wrong -- and been "self-honest" about it? What's an example of the culture being so embedded that things work, even when Jobs isn't involved?
Lashinsky notes that much of Apple's talent has been overshadowed by Steve Jobs over the years, and it is only now in Jobs' absence that some of these executives will be able to receive significant media exposure, attention that is revealing Cook to be "eloquent, forceful and passionate about Apple."

Article Link: Tim Cook's View of the Apple Philosophy
 

macintel4me

macrumors 6502
Jan 11, 2006
469
0
I am cautiously optimistic that Apple can do as well as it possibly can given the SJ void.

Prayers and thoughts with SJ and his family.
 

CharlesX

macrumors member
Aug 15, 2008
63
1
Tim Cook said:
And frankly, we don't settle for anything less than excellence in every group in the company, and we have the self-honesty to admit when we're wrong and the courage to change.
Look at the Mini and say that, Tim.
 

BornAgainMac

macrumors 603
Feb 4, 2004
6,349
3,211
Florida Resident
I am glad Steve Jobs doesn't have a Ballmer type replacement. In some ways, Microsoft really didn't have a strong management team at all. It was just Bill Gates.
 

ziggyonice

macrumors 68020
Mar 12, 2006
2,385
1
Rural America
As little as most anyone knows about Tim Cook, his dedication and passion for Apple is just as great as anyone's, if not Jobs himself. I hope these next few months will allow him the opportunity to really prove himself to the Apple community and to indicate that Jobs is just part of this team of great individuals.
 

Syrus28

macrumors 6502a
Feb 1, 2008
553
0
Peoria, AZ
As little as most anyone knows about Tim Cook, his dedication and passion for Apple is just as great as anyone's, if not Jobs himself. I hope these next few months will allow him the opportunity to really prove himself to the Apple community and to indicate that Jobs is just part of this team of great individuals.
It's going to take more than a "few months" to prove himself. What I'm expecting to be missing is Job's visionary model for future products, not day-to-day management.
 

PlaceofDis

macrumors Core
Jan 6, 2004
19,232
4
this, imo, goes to show the type of workplace that Apple is, that it can instill such passion in its executives and employees.

this also shows that Jobs, while a brilliant man in his own right, is not the sole creator and end all of apple that many would like to believe. he is a brilliant spokesperson and marketer, which will not be easily replaced, but the forces that drive apple are found elsewhere as well.
 

swingerofbirch

macrumors 68040
Regarding the point about self-honesty, I can think of a few times Apple admitted it was wrong(ish). 1) I remember Jobs admitting Apple was late to the CD burning craze with the CRT iMacs and that ripping and burning CDs with iTunes on iMacs would change that. 2) He also admitted that Apple had been negligent in not being more forthcoming about its environmental policies and plans. 3) Apple has been unusually transparent in publicly regarding Apple TV as a hobby, and saying with Take 2 they think they got it right. 4) They had some contrition regarding the MobileMe roll-out. 5) And with the in-ear headphones, I remember Jobs saying the latest iteration "finally got it right."

Regarding articulating their values, I frankly think any of us could have had enough insight to have provided the same information. It's fairly easy to see what Apple's Modus operandi is. They want to do it right and have it just work. They sacrifice abundance for purity. Got it!

I would be more curious to hear the actual audio of his statements about "going after" and "using every weapon available" against companies that steal their IP. Those are very anxious, angry words that seemed to come out of nowhere. My personal opinion is that it can be seen as a sign of weakness to come out fighting like that. Better if possible to do what you need to do but do it quietly. (Not that I myself am able to.)

I think people assume Apple is a paranoid organization, but it starts to become unflattering when that paranoia bubbles to the surface and results in contradictory statements from Jobs and somewhat caustic threats from the new acting head. It's almost as if Apple is more worried that in Steve's absence, Apple won't be strong enough to keep away vultures after its secrets rather than Apple not being led well and coming up with good products in his absence, which is to say that Apple might from the inside think its secrecy is more valuable to shareholders than products and think shareholders value their secrecy equally and need the new leader to be a bulldog to prove their secrecy and cult-like status is intact, essentially that regardless of what products come out of the fortress, the fortress is still impenetrable, and we'll lob out some missiles to keep anyone at bay who thinks otherwise. I realize that might seem far-fetched, but has Apple ever preemptively made attacking statements regarding IP before?
 

Eric S.

macrumors 68040
Feb 1, 2008
3,598
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Santa Cruz Mountains, California
Steve Jobs' leadership, as visionary as it has been overall, has led to some limited product offerings in the last few years. My hope would be that new leadership would give us increased development on some of these product lines that have been stunted lately.
 

Srai-W

macrumors regular
Oct 10, 2008
135
8
Singapore
Anyone else see Tim Cook as the head of Apple when steve is gone now?
Cook is fully capable to run Apple.
Exactly what I was thinking... It remains to be seen though as there is a lot of coverage about SJ being out for six months and the SEC looking into it. They have to have some sort of plan though.

Look at the Mini and say that, Tim.
+1 Hmmm, I wonder if he realises that the Mini hasn't been updated for how long now???? :rolleyes:
 

bobbleheadbob

macrumors 6502a
Feb 6, 2007
653
0
Massachusetts
In the short term, Apple will continue to do just fine without Steve Jobs. In the long term, though, I hope Steve comes back healthy and ready to guide the company for a long time. :apple:
 

PeterQC

macrumors 6502a
Jun 30, 2008
726
0
Anyone else see Tim Cook as the head of Apple when steve is gone now?
I Like Tim Cook. He might not look as visionary as Steve Jobs, but I think he got lot of things going for him. He's a serious and responsible guy. I would put all my trust on him. He look a lot better the Steve Ballmer and Phil.
 

Bosunsfate

macrumors 6502
Jan 20, 2006
344
0
Silicon Valley, CA
A great vote of confidence from this user

Tim Cook, won me over with this. This isn't the first solid statement I'm read from and about Tim Cook. What I think it represents is his role as the new CEO.

I look forward to Steve Jobs coming back in June, but I think Tim Cook is showing us, and the investors, that Apple is more than capable hands.

And I also think that this one quote sums it up the best.

We believe that we need to own and control the primary technologies behind the products we make, and participate only in markets where we can make a significant contribution.

We believe in saying no to thousands of projects so that we can really focus on the few that are truly important and meaningful to us.
 

iOrlando

macrumors 68000
Jul 20, 2008
1,813
1
Hail to Apple.


Steve Jobs
Tim Cook
Jonathan Ivy
Phil Schiller



I cant even think of one person from IBM, Sony, Motorola, and HP combined.
 

sgntscrawn

macrumors member
Feb 26, 2008
67
0
Adelaide, Australia
Lashinsky notes that much of Apple's talent has been overshadowed by Steve Jobs over the years, and it is only now in Jobs' absence that some of these executives will be able to receive significant media exposure, attention that is revealing Cook to be "eloquent, forceful and passionate about Apple."
Absolutely, Apple is not Steve Jobs and Steve Jobs is not Apple. Apple is an innovating company because of all the people that work there, not just one man. Sure, I know, it takes good management to steer the company in the right direction, and I know how much Steve has done to do this with Apple, but he's just one man. Doesn't anyone remember Steve's keynotes when he waxes lyrical about this engineering section or that design section.

As another has hinted, Apple have great management team in Tim Cook, Jonathon Ive, Phil Schiller and Steve Jobs.

I think its great we get to see that the other members of the management team are just as inspired and fanatical about great products as Steve is.
 

Digital Skunk

macrumors 604
Dec 23, 2006
7,750
354
In my imagination
I agree with the Mac Mini comment, and want to throw in the lack current processors in all of the Mac machines.

I agree that Apple is big on outward appearances of their computers and toys, but the innards needs some of that innovation love to.

That being said, having two HDDs and quad core processing in the 17" MBP isn't complex, especially not for the market it's made for.
 

happydude

macrumors 65816
Sep 2, 2006
1,055
413
a gasping dying planet
with tim cook at the helm short term and perhaps long term, full steam ahead apple. here's to a speedy and complete recovery for steve, but apple is in good hands in the future.
 

oyebto

macrumors regular
May 26, 2008
115
0
Singapore
Hail to Apple.


Steve Jobs
Tim Cook
Jonathan Ivy
Phil Schiller



I cant even think of one person from IBM, Sony, Motorola, and HP combined.
publicity and marketing, dude. Those companies u quoted are known for their products. Apple's known for the lifestyle.