Tim Cook has a bucket full of problems. Running any half-trillion dollar company in a competitive market is a massive challenge but it isn’t as if he doesn’t have experience. When he took over as the chief operating officer way back in the day, Apple was probably less than 1/10th its current size.
Think about it.
When Cook came to Apple he already had experience in operations at IBM and Compaq. Cook has a reputation as a supply and operations genius. Co-founder Steve Jobs hired Cook in 1998, so he’s been running Apple’s operations or Apple for more than 20 years.
What kind of problems does Cook have as Apple’s head honcho?
Well, there’s the stock market, but the downward trend likely remains a temporary issue. Cook also has comparisons with Steve Jobs’ vision thing which guided Apple from the early days to his tenure in 1997 to his death in 2011. That brought about profitability, revenue growth, the iMac, Apple Stores, iPod and iTunes, iTunes Music Store, Intel Inside the Mac, iPhone and iPad, plus the highly profitable App Stores.
Tim Cook managed to take Apple and APPL to new heights that even Steve Jobs did not envision. This is APPL stock performance in just the past five years.
Clearly, Cook has improved Apple in nearly every aspect of the business. Need more proof?
This is APPL stock performance since early 1981 with the stock price marked at Steve Jobs death, shortly after Tim Cook took over as CEO.
Looks as if Cook has done a good job, right? Hundreds of Apple stores and highly profitable products. No company makes more profits than Apple and few technology companies have as many highly satisfied customers.
What is Cook missing?
First, he doesn’t have the so called vision thing that guided Steve Jobs and Apple from 1997 to his death in 2011, barely a year after launching the iconic iPad. Since then, Cook’s Apple has improved every product, bought Beats headphones, launched Apple Watch, then Apple Pay, Apple Music, AirPods, and… well, those mostly are accessories to iPhone.
That’s one problem.
Second, Cook has forgotten how to differentiate Apple. The company’s products are more private and more secure than competitors so you would think Cook would direct marketing and advertising efforts to more clearly differentiate Apple’s wares from Android and Windows riffraff– not to mention Google and Facebook– but so far whatever Apple has done has been so anemic that most people don’t know about or understand the privacy and security issues.
Also, compare Steve Jobs earnings warning to the stock market in mid-2002– less than 200 words– to Cook’s earnings warning to the stock market– about 1,400 words. Clearly, the essence of Jobs is missing at Apple.
Cook has many problems to fix, but managing the stock market isn’t one of them. That vision thing? He doesn’t have it. I don’t know who at Apple does have it. As to marketing and advertising Apple’s clear advantages over competitors, it looks as if nobody at Apple has that, either.
This is not Steve Jobs’ Apple.