It’s crazy to think it, let alone write and verbalize it, but we are approaching the 5-year anniversary of Steve Jobs’ death. Jobs, one of America’s most innovative, successful, and polarizing entrepreneurs, named Apple COO Tim Cook permanent Chief Executive Officer less than 2 months prior to his death on August 24th, 2011. Which means Tim Cook will hit his 5-year anniversary as Apple’s CEO this week.
In the light of this milestone, Tim Cook sat down with the Washington Post for a massive/enlightening Q&A. The interview is a reflection on Tim Cook’s first 5 years as Apple’s CEO, and what he looks forward to in the future.
We highly recommend you peep the entire Q&A right hurrr, but considering it’s long as fuck, and time is money, we wanted to provide y’all with some of the money quotes and interesting factoids presented in the WaPo’s piece.
First, let’s hit some of Cook’s money quotes:
On Aug. 24, 2011, just six weeks before his death, Apple’s iconic founder, Steve Jobs, permanently handed his chief operating officer the reins. “It’s been a blur in a lot of ways,” says Cook, who had filled in for Jobs during medical leaves. “It feels like it was yesterday in some respects.”
Can’t imagine what it was like for Tim Cook to go through the process of becoming CEO and coping with the death of not only a mentor, but the figurehead of his company.
Q: You’ve got the billionth iPhone on the table here. One thing that has changed is that in 2011 about 44 percent of the company’s sales came from iPhone. Now it’s close to two-thirds. How can Apple move forward when so much of its business is tied up in the iPhone and an industry that’s cooling off?
A: This is actually a privilege, not a problem. Think about this: What other products do you know where the ratio of people to the product, for a consumer electronics product, will be one-to-one over the long haul? I don’t think there is another one.
While it’s obviously in Tim Cook’s best interest to promote Apple’s future success, the concept of “privilege” vs “problem” is an dope POV and a straight fire response to all the haterz.
Here’s more on Cook’s outlook for the development/transformation of smart phones going forward:
“Look at the core technologies that make up the smartphone today and look at the ones that will be dominant in smartphones of the future — like AI. AI will make this product even more essential to you. It will become even a better assistant than it is today. So where you probably aren’t leaving home without it today — you’re really going to be connected to it in the future.
That level of performance is going to skyrocket. And there is nothing that’s going to replace it in the short term or in the intermediate term either.
I realize that the people who are focused on this 90-day clock say, “Oh, my God, the smartphone industry only grew by 1 percent or decreased by 6 percent.” You know, the global economy’s not that great right now. But if you’re in it for the long haul, this is the best market on earth.”
On the wild six weeks that included his promotion to CEO of Apple and the death of Steve Jobs:
Q: You succeeded one of the icons of American business. What does it feel like to step into those shoes?
A: To me, Steve’s not replaceable. By anyone. [Voice softens] He was an original of a species. I never viewed that was my role. I think it would have been a treacherous thing if I would have tried to do it. When I first took the job as CEO, I actually thought that Steve would be here for a long time. Because he was going to be chairman, work a bit less after he came back up the health curve. So I went into it with one thought, and then weeks later — six weeks later, whatever —
A: It was very quickly. [The day he died] was sort of the worst day ever. I just — I had really convinced myself. I know this sounds probably bizarre at this point, but I had convinced myself that he would bounce, because he always did.
On the scrutiny and limelight that surrounds the CEO of the most valuable company in the world:
Q: It seems like every word you say is scrutinized. How do you get used to that?
A: That was just downright shocking to me, honestly. I thought the visibility went with Steve, not the company. And so I thought with a different CEO, with me, that would instantly change. It didn’t.
Q: Who were you thinking about when you decided to write the op-ed where you publicly came out as gay?
A: I was thinking about kids. I was getting notes from kids who knew I was gay, or assumed I was, because of something they had read on the Web. And they were kids who were distraught. Some had been pushed out by their families. They thought they couldn’t achieve anything. They couldn’t do anything. They were seeing the national discourse around it and feeling isolated and depressed. And I just thought — I’ve got to do something.
On Apple’s nearly unprecedented and polarizing decision to not breach security/privacy agreements and refuse to unlock the San Bernadino terrorists’ iPhone for the FBI:
Q: Did the FBI fight change how you view the mandate of your job?
A: Customers should have an expectation that they shouldn’t need a PhD in computer science to protect themselves. So I think they depend on us to do some things on their behalf. So with that responsibility comes an obligation to stand up. And, in this case, it was unbelievably uncomfortable and not something that we wished for, wanted — we didn’t even think it was right. Honestly? I was shocked that they would even ask for this. That was the thing that was so disappointing that I think everybody lost in the whole thing. There are 200-plus other countries in the world. Zero of them had ever asked this.
On Apple’s tax inversion activities and future tax policy:
Q: How long are you willing to keep unrepatriated income overseas?
A: Honestly, I believe the legislature and the administration will agree that it’s in the best interest of the country and the economy to have tax reform. So I don’t think I have to make that decision. I’m optimistic that it will take place next year.
…. Does this dude think DonDon is going to win the election….?
As for some infographics… peep the financial success that Apple has experienced under Cook’s leadership. While some critics have argued that Apple has peaked financially/creatively, there’s no denying that Apple has thrived over the past 5 years. A significant portion of Apple’s success is likely due to the residual effects of Jobs’ leadership, but that doesn’t mean Cook has not performed up to snuff.
Not too shabby, huh?
And you know it boy.