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GM eyeing Apple exec Tim Cook to fill CEO position?

updated 02:20 am EST, Sat January 2, 2010

COO allegedly tops list from executive search firm

Apple COO Tim Cook allegedly tops the list of potential candidates for General Motors' CEO position, an anonymous source has told The Business Insider. The source claims the executive search firm Spencer Stuart has placed cook as the "top candidate" to fill the lead position at the struggling car company.

"[Interim GM CEO Edward E. Whitacre] wants the candidate to come from a company known for operational excellence, innovation and customer satisfaction and in addition he is looking for someone that has turnaround experience," the source said, allegedly citing an insider at Spencer Stuart.

Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster last year claimed Tim Cook may now be as crucial as Steve Jobs to the future of Apple. The COO has been considered a driving force in the company's transformation during the late '90s. Cook was also trusted with filling in for Steve Jobs during his absences for cancer surgery in 2004 and a liver transplant in 2009.

Despite rumors that Spencer Stuart is eyeing Cook for the top spot at GM, he is not expected to depart from his current role at Apple. The executive has proven attractive to other companies in the tech sector, with several job offers in the past two years from Motorola and Dell.

by MacNN Staff



  1. jarod

    Joined: Dec 1969


    As if...

    I think it's highly unlikely that Tim Cook would ever leave the realms of the No.1 company known to mankind to go work at the biggest producer of the world's shittiest cars. Something definitely wrong with that picture.

  1. charlituna

    Joined: Dec 1969


    reminds me

    of all the casting rumors in the film industry. Half the time they are bunk cause the person is already booked up for the next 3 years and this new thing starts filming "this spring". or they are just the wants of some film blogger and it got twisted into half a dozen other ones get a note from 'a source that heard' blah blah

    that said, if they offered Cook a ton of cash and total control he might think about it. but it doesn't mean he'd take the offer.

  1. Constable Odo

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Agreed that he'd be a fool to leave Apple...

    It's just that some people don't like to walk in the shadows of others and Steve Jobs, as long as he stays active, will always be the biggest sunblocker at Apple. I think bloggers just like to make up unfounded rumors and this is one rumor that will hold little weight in my mind.

  1. lkrupp

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Ed Whitacre...

    The current "interim" CEO of GM is one Ed Whitacre, Jr. Ed was formerly CEO of the mobile carrier everyone loves to hate, at&t. Ed is one tough cookie and loves the feel of power and control. Tim Cook appears to be an acolyte of Steve Jobs and immersed in the Apple culture, which is unique in the business world. I really don't think Mr. Cook would be a match for the traditional culture of a company like GM. Could he really exert enough control to change a 100 year old company now on government life support/welfare?

  1. Bobfozz

    Joined: Dec 1969


    GM Cars

    For some reason people like to"act" as if the present is the same as the past. I recently bought a GM car, a year old, and I love it (an HHR). Even my friends like it. My grandson loves it. The past "must" be respected, but if it is straight-line followed, eventually something no-good happens. I think GM is trying their best to think out of the box. Mr. Cook is no dummy and if he left Apple, he would be missed, greatly. Cook's experience with the Apple culture could translate into a new attitude at GM--and it might work--Apple is very respected nowadays. Cook could very well walk in there and say, "Guys, I see some serious waste here, some improvement over here... after all these could be BIG Apple-like toys!"

    Give people a break sometime. Give people some support and see what they can do. Apple is now big enough that I am sure they are always looking for talent. None of us are getting younger. We all have to upgrade, eventually.

  1. Foe Hammer

    Joined: Dec 1969


    The Sun Sets ... And The Sun Also Rises

    While Steve may be Apple for a while longer yet, after his recent health problems he's GOT to be looking for someone to be Apple when he is out of there (and I'm sure he thought about that long before it all happened.)

    Mr. Cook was most likely long-ago anointed by Mr. Jobs to be his successor for the job with the $1.00 annual salary. Somehow I don't think it's going to be about how much money someone throws at Mr. Cook (although we all know it's a given that the buck-a-year thing translates into far, far, far more than that.)

    When Jobs recruited John Sculley away from Pepsi, he asked him if he wanted to keep selling sugar water for the rest of his life, or if he wanted to change the world. Sculley did exactly that ... except it was Jobs' world that was changed more than any other. Steve isn't going to make that mistake again. Especially not now.

    Steve is Willy Wonka and in Tim Cook I think he's already found his Charlie to whom he will entrust the Apple Chocolate Factory. But if somehow Tim leaves and/or is lured away before Jobs steps down, I'm not sure who could be Apple. Phil Schiller? Steve may very well have to start putting Golden Apple Stickers in Macs, iPods, iPhones, and iPads (did I say that?) to find someone he deems worthy.

  1. climacs

    Joined: Dec 1969



    Why THE h*** would Cook go to GM, the very antithesis of Apple in nearly every single way?

    Wishful thinking or perhaps there is another agenda here that's not easily visible to us laymen.

  1. Fast iBook

    Joined: Dec 1969



    Some people need to stop saying stupid things. Especially when it comes to failure industries like the automobile industry.

    - A

  1. robttwo

    Joined: Dec 1969



    Once again, an American car company shows how clueless they are. Tim Cook, for all his experience, knows TECHNOLOGY and CULTURE, get it? He guides motivated people that for the most part love what they do and believe they are changing the world, not union shills who can't even take a piss without having it spelled out in their contracts. Cook works with designers that innovate and work in tandem with marketing visionaries, not half-a** engineers whose only way of coming up with a good design is copying a four year old Toyota.

    The only thing GM needs to do is pay us back the billions the stole from the taxpayers, fire all the lazy-a** union gooballs, and die a dignified death.


  1. facebook_Dann

    Via Facebook

    Joined: Jan 2010


    Hold On...

    Jobs did exactly what GM is trying to do now by trying to lure Cook to GM(think outside the box...fomer IBM..IE and Compaq guy). When Cook arrived at Apple back in 1998, he changed the thinking in Apple's Supply Chain...He transformed the department into a machine that has translated greatly into Apple's increased margins and operational excellence, which is now the envy of every technology company inclusive of Dell which for years was the one setting the bar...If there is a person that could turn around GM with the way he thinks and most of all acts, then Cook would be a great choice. He was a catalyst for change at Apple and would drive excellence in every aspect of the business, from sales to marketing to supply chain. How do I know this??? I worked under his organization for 4.5 years at Apple and saw him almost daily and learned first hand how things get done... The guy can remember a great amount of details and acts quickly and expect you do the same...Let see how this plays out

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