Tim Cook speaks about following Steve Jobs in new profile

Cook says that he has learned a lot from his time as CEO, a position that he's occupied full-time since August 2011. He had to develop a thicker skin, he says, against the scrutiny from outside of Apple, and doubts that he might not be up to the task of following Steve Jobs. Stepping into that spotlight showed him just how much Jobs had insulated the executive team from outside noise, according to Fortune:

"What I learned after Steve passed away, what I had known only at a theoretical level, an academic level maybe, was that he was an incredible heat shield for us, his executive team. None of us probably appreciated that enough because it's not something we were fixated on. We were fixated on our products and running the business. But he really took any kind of spears that were thrown. He took the praise as well. But to be honest, the intensity was more than I would ever have expected."

Even with the new level of criticism and scrutiny, Cook never tried to emulate Jobs.

"He never tried to be Steve," says Eddy Cue, senior vice president for Internet software and services, who joined Apple in 1989. "He tried to always be himself. He has been very good at letting us do our thing. He's aware and involved at the high end, and he gets involved as needed. Steve got involved at the pixel level."

Cook spoke about his decision to come out in October 2014, saying that he might not of done it if he didn't thing it would help.

"To be honest, if I would not have come to the conclusion that it would likely help other people, I would have never done it," he says. "There's no joy in me putting my life in view." Referencing the often-cited line that "to whom much is given, much is required," Cook says, "I've certainly been given a lot."

In addition to this new profile, Fortune has also given Cook the top spot on their list of greatest world leaders, saying:

Cook has led Apple so strongly, including in some surprising directions, that he has earned the No. 1 spot on Fortune's list of the World's Greatest Leaders. Apple's stock has hit all-time highs, in Apple Pay and the Apple Watch the company has shown its continued appetite for innovation, and it is gradually becoming more open and outspoken, including on a variety of non-corporate social issues.

You can read Fortune's full profile of Cook, as well as his entry on their list World's Greatest Leaders at the links below.

Source: Fortune (1), (2)