Cook is a study in contrast to Jobs, says new book

Yuri Iwatani Kane has been one of the more reliable and insightful reporters covering the Apple beat over the years, so her forthcoming book on Apple promises to be an interesting read. Entitled "Haunted Empire: Apple After Steve Jobs," it comes out later this month. A bit about Tim Cook's assumption of power was recently posted in the Wall Street Journal:

Cook proved a methodical and efficient CEO. Unlike Jobs, who seemed to operate on gut, Cook demanded hard numbers on projected cost and profits. Whereas Jobs had reveled in divisiveness, Cook valued collegiality and teamwork. Cook was also more visible and transparent with investors.

Kane makes the case that Cook's management style is the polar opposite of Steve Jobs. Jobs had a reputation for mercurial behavior, emphasizing intuition and creativity in solving problems and identifying opportunities. Cook, who's been responsible for developing Apple's unmatched supply chain, is clearly a quant, driven more by methodology and data analysis.

And contrary to his cool public demeanor, it's clear that Cook - perhaps by virtue of his keen analytical abilities - comes off to many under his authority as a tough manager.

But the human side of Cook is also on display - his drive for more corporate transparency, his emphasis on charity, and his desire to connect with Apple employees in a way that Jobs was never willing (or perhaps able) to do.

What comes across the most is that Cook is every bit as complex and nuanced a character as his predecessor. He may lack the raw charisma of Steve Jobs, but so does just about everyone else on the planet.

Are you interested in Kane's new book? What do you think of Cook's management style and public persona? Sound off in the comments.

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Peter Cohen

Mac Managing Editor of iMore and weekend Apple Product Professional at a local independent Apple reseller. Follow him on Twitter @flargh

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Reader comments

Cook is a study in contrast to Jobs, says new book


In WSJ Kane offers a more nuanced, fudgy?, viewpoint than in the New Yorker last month. See Macalope. Perhaps she and her publisher had a chat.

Don't understand what the market is for this - is it a free e-book?

I just spent quite a lot on my 1:1 copy of Jobs' new statue in my garden, but not sure I would get any use out of this new product.

Should be an interesting read for those that are interested in knowing more about the CEO of Apple.

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Oh the endless and incessant comparisons of two different individuals. It really is fruitless, meaningless and even childish. Grow up, they're two different people. Tim is not, nor was ever meant to be, any kind of incarnation of Steve. He couldn't be even if he wanted to be, and I'm reasonably certain he just wants to be Tim Cook - The NEW CEO of Apple Computer.

its clear why jobs kept him around. to keep himself in check. but its one thing when you have two opposite styles leading the company as oppose to just one. maybe a steve jobs is what the world needed.