The Wall Street Journal has published excrepts from Yukari Kane new book – “Haunted Empire, Apple After Steve Jobs”. Yukari Kane talks about Apple under Tim Cook, Apple’s relationship with its suppliers, and what has become of the company ofther the lost of Tim Cook.
Here are some key highlights from the article:
- Cook began his career at IBM after graduating from Auburn University with a degree in industrial engineering… He was plucked by Compaq and moved to Houston. One day a headhunter called: Apple was looking for a senior vice president of world-wide operations. “Why don’t you come and meet Steve Jobs?” the recruiter asked.
- From the start of his Apple tenure (1998), Cook set colossally high expectations. He wanted the best price, the best delivery, the best yield, the best everything. “I want you to act like we are a $20 billion company,” he told the procurement team—even though Apple then had only about $6 billion in annual revenues and was barely eking out a profit.
- Meetings with Cook could be terrifying. He exuded a Zenlike calm and didn’t waste words. “Talk about your numbers. Put your spreadsheet up,” he’d say as he nursed a Mountain Dew. (Some staffers wondered why he wasn’t bouncing off the walls from the caffeine.) When Cook turned the spotlight on someone, he hammered them with questions until he was satisfied. “Why is that?” “What do you mean?” “I don’t understand. Why are you not making it clear?” He was known to ask the same exact question 10 times in a row.
- Cook demonstrated the same level of austerity and discipline in his life as he did in his work. He woke up at 4:30 or 5 a.m. and hit the gym several times a week. He ate protein bars throughout the day and had simple meals like chicken and rice for lunch.
- As tough as Cook was reputed to be, he was also generous. He gave away the frequent-flier miles that he racked up as Christmas gifts, and he volunteered at a soup kitchen during the Thanksgiving holidays.
- Cook proved a methodical and efficient CEO. Unlike Jobs, who seemed to operate on gut, Cook demanded hard numbers on projected cost and profits. Whereas Jobs had reveled in divisiveness, Cook valued collegiality and teamwork. Cook was also more visible and transparent with investors.
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