One year ago, the day that everyone was dreading became a reality, Steve Jobs, the enigmatic co-founder of Apple stepped down from his role as CEO due to his failing health. The writing was on the wall, after another leave of absence, not only were investors wondering what would happen if Jobs was no longer capable to run Apple, but Apple’s fans were left wondering too. Thankfully Jobs surrounded himself with some incredibly talented and devoted people, one of those being COO, Tim Cook, who filled in for Jobs as interim CEO twice before.
Cook who had been with Apple for more than 15 years had managed to keep Apple moving forward without a hitch during Jobs’ leave, so it only seemed fitting that when Steve announced he was stepping down from his role as CEO, that he’d recommend Cook to take over, which the board recognized and unanimously approved.
Sadly, one day after Cook’s first big product launch, the iPhone 4S, Jobs passed away in his Palo Alto home. While the world mourned the loss of Jobs, critics began to wonder if Cook, without Jobs at his side or even a phone call away, would be able to steer the ship and continue Apple’s dominance. Now that we can look back at one year’s worth of time, we can all agree that Cook has managed to do a great job, so far.
In one year, Cook has established himself as his own man, while he continues to drive the company with the same level of passion; he does it with empathy too. He doesn’t throw loud tantrums that can be felt in Redmond, WA. Instead Cook, who still demands the same level of perfection, is more quiet while still being assertive. He’s also done things that Jobs would never have done, like giving dividends to stock investors, matching charitable donations made by employees and traveling to China to iron out relationships with carriers, while also trying to help suppliers and manufacturers, like Foxconn, provide better working environments for their employees.
But what about products, during Cook’s reign, he’s released the iPhone 4S, which has gone on to be the best selling iPhone (for now), he introduced the brand new iPad, with its gorgeous Retina display, which has gone on to sell a record breaking 17 million units in one quarter. We’ve also seen the introduction of the Retina MacBook Pro all which have help Apple recently celebrate its success by becoming the most valuable company in history, with a company valuation of $623 billion, besting previous record holder and rival Microsoft, who back in 1999 was valued at $618 billion. Apple’s stock price has also hit several record highs, hitting $670 a share, since Cook took over. Cook’s done all of this within a year and before Apple introduces the next iPhone, which is already anticipated as another game changer, some analysts expect this iPhone to disrupt the tech and mobile phone industry much like the original iPhone did back in 2007.
Suffice to say, Cook’s had a great year. That being said how much of that was Cook and not Jobs? Remember this, we’ve heard that prior to his passing, Jobs was very much apart of the development of the next iPhone, which lets us assume he knew of, or at least participated in the development of the Retina iPad and MacBook Pro. With the next iPhone supposedly the last device Jobs officially contributed too, just how will Cook perform in his second year, without the touch of Jobs on future products? I guess we’ll find out this time next year, my guess? Cook will once again prove he’s his own man, together with Jony Ive, Scott Forstall, Phil Schiller, Eddy Cue and the rest of the talented team Cook surrounds himself with, we’ll surely see more amazing products and innovations for years to come.