Tim Cook is reportedly making Apple more corporate

Tim Cook is reportedly making Apple more corporate

A recent feature in Fortune took a deep dive into how Tim Cook has been changing Apple's inner-workers, corporate culture, and relationships with the outside world. The general conclusion, gleaned from many anonymous Apple employees, is that things are drifting more towards traditional, stiff corporate lifestyle, which is welcomed by some, but not by others.

For example, any significant meetings have project management and global supply management in attendance, which marks a decided shift in emphasis away from engineers. Cook's repertoire with shareholders and  financial types has lead to heretofore unseen initiatives like quarterly dividends and stock buybacks. As an operations guy, Cook has also spent a lot of energy dealing with Foxconn and the whole mess of PR headaches that seem to perpetually haunt Apple's major manufacturing partner. Despite tightening up some of the corporate reins, Cook is reportedly very down to earth and lacking the gigantic ego of Steve Jobs; for example, Cook is perfectly happy to sit down with random employees in the cafeteria, which is something you would never expect Apple's late CEO to do.

It's interesting to hear about these kinds of subtle but important changes inside of Apple, and one can only wonder how they'll shape the next iPhone. Cook worked with Jobs for years, and obviously had the sane passion for great products, but rather than being fanatical and single-minded, Cook is starting to come off as cool and methodical. Such an attitude might leave something to be desired when it comes to stage presence, and produce slightly contrived ads peppered with celebrities, but at the very least, it should keep Apple rolling steadily onwards.

Do you guys worry at all that Apple will suffer in the long term without  a brilliant visionary at the helm, or can lead designer Jony Ive keep the magic flowing on his own?

Source: Fortune

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Simon Sage

Editor-at-very-large at Mobile Nations, gamer, giant.

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Reader comments

Tim Cook is reportedly making Apple more corporate

20 Comments

Well, Cook is on a 10 year deal. I think this is to give Ive, just 45, a little more time to marinate and season. I fully expect (along with many others at Apple, I bet). to see Ive at the helm after Cook's time is over.

Wouldn't be surprised if Steve laid out a 20 year plan for Apple. Hardware + OS + infrastructure now.
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OS + infrastructure + services 20 years from now. In 20 years, consumer-grade hardware will more or less be free.

I don't think you really understand what you just said. How could they have a 20 year hardware/software plan? 20 years ago we had no idea what kind of tech would be available now.. No one 20 years ago could have imagined the iPad and wireless internet.

Learn your history. Steve predicted and planned for many objects we use today back in the early 80s. That's 30 years ago.

So long as it doesn't get to be about the bean counters they will be fine. Let the Idea and Engineer types alone to create and have Tim make sure the ops are running well and we will all be happy. Just look at HP for what not to do in a corporate culture. (Darn I still miss WebOS)

"Let the Idea and Engineer types alone"
No thanks. I don't want another iPhone 4 with bad reception in low signal areas just because the engineers didn't have the foresight to test the phone without a case.
I get the whole "be different" and "visionary" thing but it should never come at the expense of the company or the customers they service.

And learn from history.... The Sculley years are still fresh in the memory of Apple followers....

Jobs was larger than life an a remarkable person when it came to vision and product philosophy. I hope He has left enough of a culture behind to continue the focus they had under him. Products and user experience first. Profit and shareholders second.

Last time I checked, Jobs used actors in his commercials too - when it suited him. The Get a Mac ads had actors. They had Richard Dreyfuss do the voice over on the Think Different ads.
Tim Cook is doing what he's good at. He knows there is no way he can be Steve Jobs and I'd rather him be himself than try to be Jobs. As long as Apple's products are the stars then all will be well.

This can be a goof thing if done right. You have to stay in the middle to make it work. To right, and no one knows who is in charge, or what is going on. "too many bosses". To much to the left, and "too many Indians" with no one making decisions. They have all the people with the qualitifications to make this work. I am in total agreement. Leave the idea people alone. To much rules, and regulations, and they loose the ability to create.

Cook -literally- delivers.
Just like MS didn't need constant innovation after the initial Windows/Office was delivered, neither do iOS and iOS devices. Move on, nothing to see here. Or to put it differently : "Steady as she goes Mr Cook, warp factor one. To boldly go where no company went before : trillion dollar space"

"sane passion", been turning this around in my mind and can't decide if it's a typo (for "same passion"), or deliberate (as counterpoise to "insane passion" of Steve Jobs.) LOL!

I go with keep the bean counters out of the meetings and the lawyers in court. These two groups alone have demonstrated that this system doesn't work. At apple this was NOT the culture and if it becomes that then this bubble is bust. It will start to beige again and Apple computers will soon become AP computers out of efficiency. That's when I for one jump off the USS yawn.
I think differently,
Sly

Anybody who thinks this is a good thing probably hasn't been at a company that has gone through a similar culture change. It's always sold by executives as being necessary and using logic that sounds reasonable. The end results are usually the same. When you become like everybody else, the best employees leave, those that remain lose interest and motivation, the company starts to have trouble drawing qualified employees, and the end result is similar to "Office Space".

I completely Agree with Pete. I have been at a company where culture was great before the PR, CEO and the Vultures aka "Lawyers" came and started making changes to "improve our inner workings". All it did was bring moral DOWN and make the people that were most enthusiastic about the company grow to hate what it has become, which eventually led to them leaving to find less "restrictive" workplaces. Change isn't always needed if the machine has been BLASTING out great work like Apple in the past 10 years !