The new chief executive of Apple, Mr. Tim Cook set out to streamline his image Tuesday when he spoke at the “D: All Things Digital” Conference in Rancho Palos Verdes, CA. Cook spent 6 months as Vice President for Corporate Materials at Compaq before Steve Jobs asked him to join Apple in 1998 as the Senior Vice President for the Worldwide Operations. Cooks background also includes 12 years in the North American Fulfillment Center as the director at IBM, and the chief operating officer of the computer reseller division of Intelligent Electronics.
Passing the Torch
Cook became CEO of Apple last August after co-founder Jobs resigned to fight his battle with pancreatic cancer and unfortunately passed away less than two months later. Cook has always stated he is not trying to imitate Steve Jobs and reiterated it during the conference when he said “I’ve never really viewed or felt the weight of trying to be Steve, it’s not who I am, and it’s not my goal in life. I am who I am, and I’m focused on that, and being a great CEO”. There were moments during the conference when you could see Mr. Cook being overwhelmed with emotion, especially as he recalled Jobs death saying it was “absolutely the saddest days of my life.”
Cook remained secretive when it came to new products and made sure it was known he was not scared to fight, in court if necessary, to protect them. He only made a passing reference of two of Apple’s peers, Google and Facebook, and when he was asked how he felt about Google’s recent innovations he simply responded with “I love Apple’s”. But when asked about Facebook he replied with “I think we can do more with them, they have their way of doing things, but people can say that about us as well.”
Cook offered very little insight to the future of Apple, only noting that the company has prompted micro-managing the China-based factories and the working conditions. With over 700,000 employees one of the goals will be to reduce overtime.
Doing What’s Right
Based on advice from Jobs himself, Cook said he will be making his own decisions and will not rely on his legacy. “He told me to never do that, to never ask what he would do,” Cook said. “Just do what was right.” Cook does appear to be following suit to an extent, he seems to believe in Apple just as much as Jobs did.