Apple CEO Tim Cook: Early clues to his leadership

What has Tim Cook done to Apple since taking over as CEO? A new report chronicles the changes over the past two months.

Apple's Tim Cook at a company event in 2010.
Apple's Tim Cook at a company event in 2010. Josh Lowensohn/CNET

Tim Cook has been Apple's chief executive officer for little more than two months, but he's already made some distinct changes from his predecessor, a new report says.

The Wall Street Journal has posted a profile of Cook's experience since taking on the CEO role (subscription required). The paper took a close look at a number of changes made during his tenure so far, which began in August when late company co-founder Steve Jobs stepped down as CEO.

Among the big things mentioned:

  • Cook restructured the company's education division to better fit it into Apple's organization of its business units. The WSJ says that the educational division now has its sales and marketing teams split up, then attached to the products they represented. That move reshuffled the company's corporate structure; Apple's VP of education now reports to SVP of marketing Phil Schiller instead of Cook, and boosted the role of John Brandon, an Apple vice president who joined the company in 2001, the Journal said.
  • The promotion of Eddy Cue to senior VP of Internet software and services, which put him in charge of Apple's iTunes Store, iCloud, iAd, and the company's iBookstore platform. The promotion took place a little more than a week after Cook took his spot as CEO, with Cue having worked at Apple for 22 years.
  • The charitable matching program the company began in early September, which matched donations made by employees up to $10,000 a year. The Journal notes that Jobs "was opposed to giving money away," citing an unnamed source who attended one of the company's off-site meeting in 2010.
  • Cook communicates more. That includes company-wide e-mails, the Journal says. Several of those e-mails have leaked out since Cook took office, including the one announcing the aforementioned charitable matching program, Cue's promotion, and details about when the company planned to hold a celebration of Jobs' life at its Cupertino, Calif. headquarters.
  • The piece also offers conjecture that Cook might treat Apple's $81.6 billion cash pile differently from Jobs, who used it sparingly for acquisitions during his tenure, including recent buys like Siri and Quattro Wireless.

Cook has been under a microscope since taking over as CEO of Apple. Despite the fact that he filled in for Jobs during medical absences, the company had hedged things by saying that Jobs would still be involved in strategic decision making.

Cook's first public showing in the new role was at the unveiling of the iPhone 4S, a performance critics panned as bland. But that was quickly overshadowed by the passing of Jobs the next day.

 

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