November 21, 2023 – In a recent interview, Apple CEO Tim Cook expressed his
belief that the success of the company should be shared collaboratively among himself, former CEO Steve Jobs, and the entire Apple team. Cook further stated that if Jobs were alive today, he would still be the CEO of Apple.
Succeeding someone of Jobs’ stature was no easy feat, but Cook emphasizes that he does not see Jobs as a competitor.
Cook recently appeared on a podcast hosted by Dua Lipa of the BBC. Lipa noted the significant increase in Apple’s market value since Cook took over from Jobs and asked if he felt adequately recognized for his contributions.
“I don’t see it that way at all,” replied Cook. “Steve was a visionary, and I believe only Steve could create Apple. We owe him gratitude, and without a doubt, if he were alive today, the company would be doing well, and he would continue as the CEO.”
Cook joined Apple in 1998 during a financially challenging period for the company. Leveraging his expertise in the supply chain, he played a crucial role in turning Apple’s financial situation around, achieving remarkable profit margins. In 2011, Cook ascended to the top position a few months before Jobs’ passing, but he is eager to share credit for the achievements during his tenure.
“I don’t see it as a one-person show. Plus, I get to work with a group of incredibly talented individuals whom I love. So, the credit goes to everyone.”
Under Cook’s leadership, Apple reached a $1 trillion market value in 2018, becoming the first U.S. company to enter the trillion-dollar club. By 2020, Apple’s market value had reached $2 trillion, soaring to $3 trillion by September 2023.
While Cook was handpicked by Jobs, his tenure has not been without criticism. One major point of contention is his background in the financial department rather than Apple’s design team. Even Jobs himself remarked that Cook is “not a product person.” Jobs was known for his close collaboration with the design team, particularly former Chief Design Officer Jony Ive.
Reports suggested conflicts between Cook and Ive, but Cook refuted these claims, stating that they were inconsistent with reality and lacked an understanding of how Apple and its design team operate. Ive departed Apple in 2019 but continued to provide consulting services.
Although Apple’s current market value is more than triple that under Jobs’ leadership, Cook’s era has seen fewer independently released products. However, this trend is changing.
Apple is set to launch its first major new product since the Apple Watch – the Apple Headset Vision Pro. This device was developed entirely without Jobs’ supervision.
Cook has been a driving force behind Apple’s services business. Amid intensifying competition in the smartphone industry, services have been a standout for Apple. Cook himself has been praised for his willingness to embrace new ventures and take on responsibilities.
Rumors of the Apple Car are still in the works. The success of the Apple Watch business, the upcoming Vision Pro release, and the substantial growth in Apple’s services business illustrate Cook’s efforts in building a legacy uniquely his own.