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Tim Cook's leadership laid bare in new WSJ profile

Tim Cook
Tim Cook (Image credit: Apple)

What you need to know

  • A new profile has laid bare the leadership of Tim Cook at Apple.
  • It discusses his relationship with shareholders, products and more.
  • Turns out Tim Cook does not like having his time wasted.

A new profile from The Wall Street Journal has revealed how Tim Cook has led Apple since the succession of Steve Jobs, offering unique insight into his tenure.

The report covers many facets of Cook's leadership, from his somewhat surprising selection as CEO after Steve Jobs, his singular commitment to Apple, his attention to detail and more.

The profile notes:

Mr. Cook is described by colleagues and acquaintances as a humble workaholic with a singular commitment to Apple. Longtime colleagues seldom socialized with him, and assistants said he kept his calendar clear of personal events.

It talks of Cook's irritation that Apple was losing its commitment to excellence after Apple once mistakenly shipped 25 computers to South Korea instead of Japan, and how his meetings are absolutely terrifying:

Mr. Cook's command of detail causes underlings to enter meetings with trepidation. He leads through interrogation, with a precision that has reshaped how Apple staff work and think.

These days, middle managers "screen staff before meetings" to "make sure they're knowledgeable", and first timers are advised not to speak. And you better not waste his time either:

If he senses someone is insufficiently prepared, he loses patience and says, "Next," as he flips a page of the meeting agenda, this person said, adding, "people have left crying."

Harsh. The report also discusses Tim Cook's decision to publicly disclose his sexuality back in 2014, struggles with the HomePod, and Apple's recent, new-found success in building subscription services for its customers.

The whole thing is a great read, and you should definitely check it out!

Stephen Warwick
News Editor

Stephen Warwick has written about Apple for five years at iMore and previously elsewhere. He covers all of iMore's latest breaking news regarding all of Apple's products and services, both hardware and software. Stephen has interviewed industry experts in a range of fields including finance, litigation, security, and more. He also specializes in curating and reviewing audio hardware and has experience beyond journalism in sound engineering, production, and design.

Before becoming a writer Stephen studied Ancient History at University and also worked at Apple for more than two years. Stephen is also a host on the iMore show, a weekly podcast recorded live that discusses the latest in breaking Apple news, as well as featuring fun trivia about all things Apple.