Tim Cook joined Apple in 2011, after which Apple has beaten all its previous records raising the market valuation to $1.9 trillion from $348 billion, and continues to dominate the smartphone market as the world’s largest company
What comes to our mind when we think of Apple Inc? It must be iPhones. Apple Inc, has a separate fan base all over the world and, is considered as one of the most expensive electronic device manufacturers in the world. It is a symbol of elegance and quality.
After the death of its founder and CEO Steve Jobs, Silicon Valley anticipated that Apple would fall apart. Loyalists were worried about what lies in the future for their favourite product innovator, as Apple had set out a trend of manufacturing upgraded models every year.
Steve Jobs was the co-founder of Apple along with Steve Wozniak and Ronald Wayne. But it was Steve Jobs who led to the creation of Apple's iconic products including the Macintosh, iPod, iPhone and iPad.
Being a co-founder, Jobs had to resign from Apple in 1985 as the board of directors thought he had played no major role for the development of the company. But after Jobs left, the company took a turn for the worst, and in the following 12 years, Apple had three different CEOs, none of whom had the leadership quality required to bring profitability for Apple.
In 1997, Steve Jobs returned to the company as CEO, and it was then that Jobs had gifted the company with a line of his innovative products, one of which was the iMac. It was Jobs's innovation and decision to refocus on making a few greater products rather than making a lot of ordinary products, ultimately saving Apple from bankruptcy, before passing his position on to Tim Cook.
Tim Cook joined Apple in 2011, after which Apple has beaten all its previous records with a market valuation of almost $1.9 trillion from $348 billion, and continues to dominate the smartphone market as the world's largest company. According to theWall Street, it shows how an industrial engineer has turned Steve Jobs's creation into Tim Cook's Apple, which is one of the most successful business successions in history. Jobs was known for great leaps of innovation, generally deﬁned by new products capable of upending industries, whereasCook has led Apple in a more cautious, collaborative and tactical way.
Transitions from dominant leader to successor are seldom successful. Apple, under Cook, has joined but not deﬁned the reinvention of the smart home, television and automobile industries. And yet, the company has thrived.
Tim Cook had 12 years of experience at IBM and other technological institutions before he joined Apple. He thought of Jobs to be a creative genius and felt that he could make a huge impact on Apple that could turn the company from a sinking ship to a tech giant.
Cook made some crucial contributions that brought Apple to its current position. Joining as the Senior Vice-President of Worldwide Operations, one of the first actions Cook took was shutting down Macintosh factories and signing off new contracts with the manufacturers to take some of the pressure off the internal supply chain.
He reduced inventory significantly, by successfully implementing "Just in Time Manufacturing", an inventory strategy borrowed from Toyota, that reduced flow times within production systems and response times within suppliers. He negotiated new deals with suppliers, and within a year of his joining, Apple began to see profits for the first time in years.
Cook served as Apple's Senior Vice-President until 2007, and in that time, he took a lot of important decisions that seriously impacted the future of the company. He predicted that Flash Memory would be central to new technology in 2005, and his decision to invest in it early paid off with big products like iPods, iPads and iPhones. He helped create the current image of the company which allowed higher market prices for products, while keeping production costs low.
He was promoted to Lead Operations in 2007, and then as Chief Executive in 2009. As Steve Jobs battled with pancreatic cancer, Cook took over more of the daily operations of Apple, and was eventually appointed as Chief Executive Officer on 24th August 2011, just a few weeks before Steve Jobs's death.
MacNews states in an article that at this point, Cook had a lot of pressure and responsibilities on his shoulders since Steve Jobs was obviously a tough act to follow. But Cook delivered a successful first year as CEO, and earned the title of Time Magazine's "100 Most Influential People".
In the third fiscal quarter of 2012, Apple's revenue did not look as good as expected. The executives at this point were reaching a boiling point. In response, Cook rearranged the leadership team of Apple pretty significantly, which proved to be one of his best decisions.
Cook was much concerned about his business ethics, which had an impact on Apple as well. In 2014, Tim Cook announced that Apple was increasing its investment in renewable energy sources and making sure their raw materials were obtained ethically, to which one of their shareholders suggested they pursue investments that were immediately profitable to Apple. Tim Cook replied to him by saying, "When we work on making our devices accessible by the blind, I don't consider the bloody return on investment. If you want me to do things only for ROI reasons, you should get out of this stock." as mentioned in Forbes.
Another example of Cook's ethical concern was seen in 2016, when the FBI asked Cook to cooperate in an investigation by unlocking a suspect's iPhone and allowing investigators to search its contents. When Cook denied the request, a federal judge ordered Apple to comply with creating special firmware to get around the iPhone security. Cook appealed against the decision not only in the court of law, but also in the court of public opinion, condemning the government's actions. He addressed that if Apple was forced to comply, there was no telling what the future of the privacy laws might hold. Later, the FBI found a third-party to unlock the iPhone, dropping the case against Apple.
Cook might not be a creative genius like Steve Jobs, but he has been an excellent leader to the company with a history of major upgrades in the company's product line.
Cook has been responsible for launching several other features like Apple Pays, Apple TV+, Apple Watch, AirPods, iCloud, Apple Music, Apple Arcade, Apple News and so on. Apple as it was known for its premium expensive iPhones have also released the iPhone SE versions, which being budget phones increase unit sales, automatically making ways of increasing profits through subscriptions. As it is becoming tougher to convince clients into buying new phones each year, Apple has taken this strategy to make a larger profit through subscription only.
While Tim Cook is known for making many tough public decisions, he is often criticized for the lack of innovation. Nevertheless, Cook has occupied a position in business, where arguably no one else can.
Apple has performed better under Tim Cook than it has done under Steve Jobs. His legacy is not just supply chain or product development, but also potentially setting a benchmark of how companies should behave in the world and bring changes.