Steve Jobs, the iconic entrepreneur and innovative mind behind arguably one of the most successful technology companies in history, recently announced his retirement. Many of Apple’s biggest fans, as well as technology pundits, have asserted that Jobs is the one force that makes Apple as great as it is. Will Jobs’ successor, Tim Cook, be able to fill the former CEO’s shoes?
Cook certainly has the experience to head the cultural juggernaut that has become Apple. He first spent several years working for other big tech companies early in his career, like Compaq, IBM, and Intelligent Electronics under various positions. Jobs initially hired Cook to work for Apple as Senior Vice President of Worldwide Operations in 1998. Since then, Cook has helped the company in many different roles, including serving most notably as the company’s COO. Throughout the latter part of his career, Cook served as a stand-in for Jobs, when the former CEO was forced to take several leaves of absence after suffering from a rare form of pancreatic cancer. Cook’s most noteworthy accomplishment was getting Apple out of manufacturing and reducing its inventory levels, reaping unprecedented margins in the process.
In terms of personality, Cook has been said to be Jobs’ opposite. He is known as being an exceptionally private man, largely keeping to himself as compared to Jobs’ relative ostentation. A recent Atlantic article noted that despite the fact that there are widespread rumors that Cook is gay, he has not yet come out, ostensibly because of worries over potential damage to Apple’s image. Nonetheless, the LGBT magazine Out has named Cook the most influential gay person in the world. The other few facts that the public knows about Cook’s private life is that he enjoys cycling and watching American college football. He is said to run a tight ship—he begins checking his email at 4:30am, and others who have worked with him have noted his grueling meetings, impossibly high standards, and dry sense of humor.
Although Cook has established himself well within the company, many have severe doubts as to how, precisely, the successor will do in Jobs shoes. A 2008 CNN article, which discussed the possibility of Cook replacing Jobs in the wake of the CEO’s illness, quoted an influential Apple analyst, who noted that “the stakes are just higher at Apple, because Steve is larger than life, and Tim isn’t a known quantity.”
Whether or not the CEO switch proves to be a successful one, Apple has shown no signs of stopping. A recent Wired article has spelled out Apple’s foreseeable future, which will roll out various buzz-worthy products, potentially including an Apple TV; an iPhone and an iPad with a hybrid LCD, e-ink display; and mobile devices with integrated projectors.
This guest post is contributed by Lauren Bailey, who regularly writes for online colleges.