In his first major public interview since replacing Steve Jobs as CEO, Tim Cook took the stage with Walt Mossberg and Kara Swisher at the tenth annual All Things D conference to talk about the state of a post-Jobs Apple. “Apple has gone through a tremendous change,” Walt Mossberg segued into perhaps the most important question of the interview, “How is Apple different with you as the CEO?”
“I learned a lot from Steve,” Cook responded. “It was the saddest day of my life when he passed away. As much as you should see or predict that I really didn’t. It’s time to get on.”
Cook said that he most admired Jobs’ “intense determination” and described him as “laser-focused.” Cook also explained that the most important leadership lesson he learned from Jobs is that ”‘Focus is key’ .. Not just in running your company but in your personal life. You can only do certain things well.”
“Steve was good at not accepting things ‘good’ or ‘very good’ but only ‘the very best’,” Cook went on, describing Apple’s competitive advantage in cultivating culture of excellence . “It’s so unique that I’m not going to witness or permit the change of it,” Cook said.
When Mossberg pressed him on this point, implying that it belied an unwillingness to change, Cook said no, “I love museums but I’m not going to live in one,” saying that another thing he learned from Jobs (who spoke two years ago on the very same stage) was to not focus on the past.
Referring to how Disney executives would always ask “What would Walt do?” when making decisions, Jobs told Cook to never ask “What would Steve Jobs do?” “Just do what you like,” Jobs apparently advised, surprisingly enough.
Moving on to (even softer) matters, Cook also brought up another philosophical Jobs maxim, “The joy is in the journey.” “Life is fragile,” Cook said, “We’re not guaranteed a tomorrow so give it everything you’ve got.”
Started by Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, and Ronald Wayne, Apple has expanded from computers to consumer electronics over the last 30 years, officially changing their name from Apple Computer, Inc. to Apple, Inc. in January 2007. Among the key offerings from Apple’s product line are: Pro line laptops (MacBook Pro) and desktops (Mac Pro), consumer line laptops (MacBook Air) and desktops (iMac), servers (Xserve), Apple TV, the Mac OS X and Mac OS X Server operating systems, the iPod, the...
Timothy D. Cook is Apple’s CEO, who took over from Steve Jobs on 25 August 2011. In his previous position as COO, Cook was responsible for all of the company’s worldwide sales and operations, including end-to-end management of Apple’s supply chain, sales activities, and service and support in all markets and countries. He also headed Apple’s Macintosh division and played a key role in the continued development of strategic reseller and supplier relationships, ensuring flexibility in response to an...