August 24, 2021. The ten-year anniversary of Steve Jobs’ resignation as Apple CEO, shortly before he sadly passed away. One thing Jobs was certain about before his departure was that he wanted Tim Cook to succeed him as CEO, and after a decade in the roll Cook has now carved out his own legacy.
Under Cook, Apple has grown into one of the most successful companies in history, becoming the first firm to hit a $1 trillion market cap and launching popular new product lines including Apple Watch and AirPods.
Cook is primarily a logistics guy, and completely changed the way Apple’s operations and manufacturing pipelines worked since he joined the company in 1998. His big push for “Just in Time” and “Build to Order” production control allowed Apple to scale up well beyond its original aims for iPhone to take 1% of smartphone market share.
However, Cook has plenty of detractors, with many saying the DNA of the company has changed since the Steve Jobs days. Most of the big product innovations and iconic designs were before his time at the helm, after all. Some take umbrage with his “woke” nature, too, though it has allowed him to Apple towards more charitable, environmental, and inclusive goals over the past ten years.
The spirit of product innovation may not be as strong as it was in the Steve Jobs + Jony Ive era, but Apple is a different beast than it was ten years ago. With so many users around the globe, so many services to maintain, and many of the big leaps in smartphone development now behind us, we’ve seen Cook tread a more cautious, iterative path that has led Apple to become the behemoth it is today.
Shareholders will surely be pleased with Cook’s tenure so far, and his influence on Apple is certainly far from over. If you want to read more about Tim Cook’s rise from IBM fulfilment director to CEO of Apple, check out this mini-biography from Appleinsider.