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Tim Cook now as important as Jobs at Apple?

updated 10:00 am EDT, Wed June 24, 2009

Cook as important as Jobs?

Apple's chief operating officer, Tim Cook, may now be as important to the company as CEO Steve Jobs, Gene Munster tells the Wall Street Journal. The Piper Jaffray analyst explains that Cook did so well taking over the reins during Jobs' medical leave, it may mean the company would suffer more if he left than if Jobs did. "At this point, losing Tim Cook would be a bigger deal to investors than if Steve Jobs stepped aside. Just that thought makes my stomach tighten up," says Munster.

While having slid in recent days, Apple stock is noted to have risen 60 percent during the period of Cook's control; by comparison, the NASDAQ composite index rose only 18 percent. The executive has also been in high demand as a rule, with Motorola attempting to hire him in 2008, and Dell making an offer in 2007. "Now it's clear that Tim Cook can run any technology-based company," says Stephen Mader, co-head of the CEO practice at recruiting firm Korn/Ferry International. "He's a more attractive CEO candidate both inside Apple and outside."

Cook is noted to have been instrumental in pulling the company away from bankruptcy in 1998, despite the credit typically going to Jobs. The COO has also had experience running Apple solo in the past, as Jobs was absent for a time in 2004, following surgery for pancreatic cancer. Some have suggested that Jobs' recent liver transplant may be connected to a recurrence of the cancer.

by MacNN Staff





  1. Outdo

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Why That Last Line?

    That last line is totally gratuitous. It has nothing to do with the point of the article, Tim Cook and his performance at Apple, both now and in the past. It seems to be there solely to titillate.

  1. bleee

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Jumping the gun

    "Tim Cook, may now be as important to the company as CEO"

    He's a good guy but lets not jump the gun Jobs is still the idea man. You might have all the talent in the world, and be an amazing manager but what's it worth without an idea?

  1. climacs

    Joined: Dec 1969


    reins not reigns

    'reins' are what you use to control a horse. 'reigns' refers to the period of rule of several monarchs.

  1. Chris Hutcheson

    Joined: Dec 1969



    Perhaps the best approach, then, from a succession perspective and to maintain Jobs' health, if that's an issue, would be for them to share the leadership role.

  1. njfuzzy

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Eggs and Baskets

    This is huge news for Apple, especially the stock. This means investors now understand that Apple doesn't have all of its eggs in one basket. If the company can thrive with either Jobs or Cook, then there's less fear of a sudden decline.

  1. ZinkDifferent

    Joined: Dec 1969



    Oh, right. Munster. As usual.

  1. Tanker10a

    Joined: Dec 1969



    Who cares? Really?

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