Time Magzine

Tech’s Most Powerful: Tim Cook

They are not political leaders but they run the biggest tech companies in the world, they dominate the digital landscape, and newspapers and magazines always talk about them, what made these people stronger? Is it because of the number of people who fall under their authority, the financial resources they control, or their extended influence, which they use to change the world?

Here is a series of the world’s most powerful tech men, and today we’re talking about Tim Cook, the current CEO of Apple.

The beginning

Prior to his appointment as Apple’s CEO in August of 2011, Tim was the US company’s chief operating officer and was responsible for all sales and operations of the company around the world including the overall management of Apple’s supply chain and sales, service and support activities in all markets and play a great role among distributors and suppliers.

Perhaps this is the reason why he was employed by Steve Jobs, as the latter wanted someone to work on solving the problems faced by Apple, and this is what Tim Cook succeeded in, as he closed the company’s factories and embraced the proverb that “buying a slave is better than raising him” and actually relied on other companies to manufacture what Apple needs Inventory and Apple’s losses have been reduced all the time.

Thus, Apple, with Tim Cook, turned to a company that does not manufacture its own products, but relies on others to manufacture what it needs, and is devoted only to developing and designing its own devices through an integrated department that includes creative designers working on Apple’s software and products.

Steve Jobs’ death

After the death of Apple founder Steve Jobs, many began to predict the collapse of Apple’s business and experts believed that the company that Jobs built would end forever because the transitions from the leader to his successor rarely succeed, but Tim Cook has proven that he is capable of leading a company the size of Apple despite his Logistics guy, not as creative as Steve Jobs.

Tim Cook took over as Apple’s CEO, but during Cook’s tenure that role changed more than ever, and Cook managed to recruit some key people to help him run an Apple-sized company like Angela Ahrendts, who ran the company’s retail stores for 5 years. Tim was wise in his decisions, but he was known to be quick to dispense with people if needed, such as Scott Forstell, who took over Apple Maps and was forced to write an official apology after the product failed, but Forstell refused and ended up outside the company.

Different management

Politically, Tim Cook has been more outspoken than his predecessors, and although Steve Jobs developed a public perception as the face of Apple, Cook did not fear for the company’s status when he revealed he was gay to offer support and assistance to the cause.

He was also outspoken on many other things compared to his predecessors, such as Apple’s privacy battle with the FBI over providing a back door to unlock the device of a suspect in a crime to aid justice.

And if Apple’s leadership has taught the business world one thing, it’s that CEOs can be as synonymous with a brand as the products they produce. As Apple’s CEO, the late Steve Jobs became the face of the company as well as its innovations, growing a deeply loyal client base in the process. His successor, Tim Cook, follows in Jobs’s footsteps in many ways, but is different enough to forge his leadership style.

For example, Jobs and Cook share a reputation for having high expectations. However, while Jobs was also known for innovation, leadership, and vision, Cook’s leadership at Apple was defined by transparency, teamwork, and calm behavior.

Both approaches helped inspire Apple to produce many innovative and game-changing products. During the Jobs era, the company produced iPods, iPhones and iPads, and also launched the iTunes music store and app store. Meanwhile, Cook’s tenure led to the iPad Mini, Apple Watch, and Apple TV Plus subscription service. Both have experienced highly publicized failures and controversies, and Apple has built a reputation for not paying dividends to investors. However, its reputation for creating iconic devices has mitigated those fallout.

Moreover, various forms of Apple’s leadership styles have helped the company grow into a dominant brand. Apple still holds the largest share in the smartphone and tablet markets despite the increasing competition. The company’s brand size and leadership are well reflected by the strong stock performance as Apple’s market value was nearly $400 billion and after Cook took the helm, it was five times the previous value to boast its $2 trillion valuation that no other tech company has yet reached.


But Cook’s tenure was not always easy. Among the challenges it has faced are sluggish iPhone sales as Android smartphones mature and competition intensifies, a standoff with the FBI over user privacy, a US trade war with China that has threatened iPhone tariffs and taxes, and now a pandemic that has shuttered many retail stores. company and plunged the economy into a deep recession.

Cook, who is 59, has also entered a new field. Apple now pays a quarterly dividend, a move Jobs resisted in part because he tied shareholder payments to huge companies that are past their heyday. Cook has also used his powerful stature to become an outspoken advocate for civil rights and renewable energy, and on a personal level he emerged as the first openly gay CEO in 2014.

Asked what the company might look like under his management, Cook said Apple needed to “own and control the core technologies behind the products it makes”. He doubled down on that commitment, becoming a major producer of chips and making them available in both iPhones and Macs. He added that Apple would resist getting into too many projects “until we can really focus on a few projects that are really important and meaningful to us.”

This focus has served Apple well. At the same time, under Cook’s supervision, Apple largely failed to offer a successor to the iPhone. Other products may have emerged that were able to spread and dominate the market such as the Apple smartwatch and wireless earbuds AirPods, but Cook could not rise the iPhone or make any leaps on it to right Now.


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