August 25, 2012

Cook Celebrates First Anniversary As Apple CEO

redOrbit Staff & Wire Reports — Your Universe Online

Preparing to enter the second year of his reign as the chief executive of Apple , Tim Cook found himself in charge of the most valuable company in history -- despite a fourth-quarter that fell short of analyst's expectations, according to various media reports published Friday.

According to Patrick May of, after Cook's first year on the job as the successor of the late Steve Jobs, the Cupertino, California-based Mac, iPhone, and iPad developer has a market valuation of more than $620 billion, making it the most valuable company on Earth, ever. May believes that while many may credit the foundation set in place by the company's co-founder for the company's success, Cook's role cannot be underestimated, either.

"Cook“¦ inherited much of that Jobs-induced magic, from Apple's wildly successful iPhone and iPad to its burgeoning network of stores stuffed to the gills with the gadget-hungry masses," he explained. "Yet many analysts say it is Cook's trademark mastery of supply-chain efficiency, first tapped when Jobs hired him 14 years ago to run the manufacturing side of the business, that leaves the 51-year-old workaholic and fitness buff poised to take Apple to ever greater heights."

"Tim knows he's not Steve Jobs and doesn't try to be,'' added Jeffrey Sonnenfeld, a senior associate dean at the Yale School of Management. "He's comfortable in his own skin, and he's done a remarkable job of under-promising and over-delivering. When Jobs walked out the door last year, a lot of people figured much of Apple's magic would disappear. It hasn't.''

Jobs, one of the founding members of the company, stepped down as Apple's CEO in August 2011 for health reasons and died two months later -- one day after his successor introduced the world to the iPhone 4S and its Siri voice recognition / personal assistant software, according to May and Washington Post reporter Hayley Tsukayama.

Jobs' departure from the company and eventual demise led to doubts that the company would continue to be as successful without him -- doubts that Cook has laid to rest after his first 12 months on the job, according to Tsukayama.

"By the numbers, it´s hard to call him anything but a success," she wrote on Friday. "Sure, Apple missed expectations for a couple of quarters, but under his tenure, Apple has also posted record sales of the iPhone and iPad and record revenue growth. In the last quarter, which disappointed analysts, Apple sold 26 million iPhones and 17 million iPads for a quarterly revenue of $35 billion."

The company has also been successful expanding into China and developing nations across the globe, Tsukayama explained, and on Monday it set a new record share price, surpassing the $618.6 billion mark set in 1999 by Microsoft.

Numbers weren't the only indicator of Cook's success during his first year as Apple's head-honcho, Tsukayama wrote. She pointed out that he has garnered praise for his leadership abilities, and despite a reputation for being a "quiet but demanding" boss, that his employees have given him "high marks" during performance evaluations, including a 95% approval rating on workplace rating website

Can Cook continue this success into year number two?

"The real question for Apple, of course, is whether it can continue innovating and find the next best thing in consumer tech," the Washington Post reporter said. "By that measure, a year is far too short a time to judge. Cook has kept the gears moving and the company growing, but Apple´s steady improvements to its products have hardly been revolutionary on the same scale as the first iPod, iPhone or iPad."

"While it may not be fair to expect Apple to make not only great products but great new products, that´s the reputation the company has," she added. "In the coming months, Apple has plenty of opportunities to show off its stuff. The launches of the next iPhone and/or a smaller iPad will give it a chance to show that it can still create a great riff on an existing product -- or maybe the company will surprise again with something completely new.”