Tim Cook hits ‘send’

Tim Cook doesn’t seem to be particularly happy with The Wall Street Journal.

A day after an in-depth report describing Jony Ive’s cooling departure from Apple and the degrading nature of the design team at Apple, Cook made the rare move of responding directly to the report in an email sent to a reporter at NBC.

“The story is absurd,” Cook writes. “A lot of the reporting, and certainly the conclusions just don’t match with reality.”

It is — of course — worth noting that Cook is responding negatively to a report that said negative things about his company and him specifically. His email also alluded to errors in reporting but didn’t call anything out specifically despite plenty of specific claims.

The report had detailed that Ive had grown “frustrated inside a more operations-focused company led by Chief Executive Tim Cook,” also reporting that “people in the design studio rarely saw Mr. Cook, who they say showed little interest in the product development process—a fact that dispirited Mr. Ive.’

For Cook, sending this email is definitely a bit more of a Steve Job-type play, directly attacking the publication and defending the company’s reputation. This is a pretty unusual move for Cook, who has generally seemed to let the Apple PR machine handle unpleasant stories through a web of off-the-record and background comments for journalists on the beat.

The more direct refutation is something that Cook also did in responding to Bloomberg’s story on Supermicro, a move that was noteworthy at the time as well. While the Bloomberg story struck chords relating to the company’s information security and threatened consumer trust, the report from the WSJ threatens the lore of Apple and how the company has positioned itself to move forward as an operations-focused giant.

We’ve reached out to The Wall Street Journal for comment.