Tim Cook ponders whether he deserves more credit
- Dua Lipa recently interviewed Apple CEO Tim Cook for a podcast.
- Apple’s market value rose to more than $3 trillion during Cook’s tenure.
- Cook says he and former CEO Steve Jobs, along with Apple employees, “share the credit” for the success.
Living up to Steve Jobs’ legacy is no easy feat, but Apple’s current CEO, Tim Cook, says he doesn’t see his predecessor as a competitor.
Cook recently appeared on an episode of the BBC radio show “Dua Lipa: At Your Service.” Host Lipa asked Cook questions about his journey with Apple.
Pointing to Apple’s soaring market value since Cook took over from Jobs, I asked the Apple CEO whether he thought he got enough credit for the work he did to make the company as successful as it is.
“I don’t look at it that way at all,” Cook said. “Steve was an original and I believe only Steve could have created Apple. We owe him a debt of gratitude and there is no doubt in my mind that if he were still alive today, the company would do amazingly well and he would still be CEO.”
Cook started working at Apple in 1998. Apple was not doing well financially and was on the verge of bankruptcy. Cook, known as a supply chain expert who helped ensure Apple achieved its famously high profit margins, worked his way into Apple’s senior leadership and took over for Jobs in 2011, just months before the co-founder died of pancreatic cancer. But Cook is more than happy to share credit with Jobs for Apple’s growth during his tenure.
“I don’t think of it as a credit deal,” Cook said. “Plus, I work with people I love who are incredible at doing what they do. So we share the credit with the company.”
Apple has been more successful than ever under Cook. In 2018, Apple’s market capitalization reached $1 trillion, the first American company to achieve this milestone. In 2020, Apple’s market cap was $2 trillion, and in September 2023, it rose to $3 trillion.
While Cook was chosen by Jobs to lead the company, his tenure was not without some criticism. One of the main criticisms leveled against Cook is that it came from the financial side of the company — Jobs himself described Cook as “not a product guy” — and not Apple’s legendary design team, with which Jobs was known to have been closely involved thanks to kinship. With former design chief Jony Ive.
Tim Cook has clashed with Ive at times, according to the Wall Street Journal. (Cook has since disputed that, saying the report “doesn’t match reality” and shows a “lack of understanding” of how Apple and its product design team work.) He ended up leaving Apple in 2019 despite consulting with the product design team . company since then.
While Apple is worth more than three times what it was under Jobs, there have been fewer new standalone products released under Cook than under Jobs — but that’s changing.
Cook is about to launch Apple’s first major new product line since the Apple Watch: the upcoming Vision Pro headset, which was developed without Jobs’ supervision.
Cook has been a driving force behind Apple’s services business, which is a continuing bright spot for the company amid growing competition in the smartphone space, further diversifying Apple’s business beyond hardware. Cook himself has also been praised for his ability to try new things and take responsibility when they don’t work.
With the Apple Car in the pipeline, the success of the Apple Watch, the upcoming launch of the Vision Pro, and Cook’s massive growth in Apple’s services business – it looks like Cook is establishing a legacy of his own.