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Should company founders also be CEOs?At an Ad:Tech San Francisco event titled "The New Power Brokers: Amazon, Apple, Facebook & Google," panelists, including Virgin America's Luanne Calvert, Andreessen Horowitz's Margit Wennmachers, and Fortune's Adam Lashinsky, debate the effects of a company's...
I'd be interested to hear what you guys think as the CEO's role in maintaining that kinda power broker status and you know, Adam, you can take a cheap shot at someone on the list. If you like, you can go for it. Well, I shouldn't say that but tell us about Tim Cook and what you think about him as the Apple expert. Sure. He's obviously the only non-founder on the list. It's a profound deficiency or weakness at Apple that their founder isn't on this list right now. So I've said that I think Tim Cook will be a caretaker, CEO until Apple finds somebody who is more like Steve Jobs. Not another Steve Jobs but someone with more of his characteristics because Cook has very few of his characteristics. Having said that, I think Cook could be the caretaker for as long as a decade which is the length of his options package currently. Do you think... that a good one. Do you think one of his most important goals must be to keep the management team that he has, right? So I think among... he has many, many fine qualities. Among them is he's a culture keeper. Steve Jobs defined the culture of Apple. Tim Cook believes in the culture of Apple and people believe in him. They believe that he loves Apple. That he will do what's right for Apple. He's an unemotional person compared with Jobs. He's highly intelligent, highly competent, undoubtedly knows exactly what he's not good at which is a... it's a humble characteristic that a lot of people in general don't have I think and will he be able to keep the management team together? That's one of his top goals. That management team has been at Apple for every person in the team with the exception of the new retail chief who'll be joining shortly has been at Apple at least since 2000. So the really key question and they work as hard as they can to keep us from finding out the answer to this is who is the next level down and how good are they. You've know Mark for probably 5 years at Facebook. What do you admire about him? I think he is probably... So he is very admired for all kinds of things. I think he is underrated as a CEO. He is... I forgot how old he is now but he's extremely down... 27. 27, thank you. I did some statistics here. This is for analysis before. So he can rent a car, right? Their average age is 41. That's a very big deal. He can rent his own car but think about when... 'cause there was a time when you couldn't, you are saying, when he was at Facebook? And he was the CEO. Dear God. No, you don't. You have to be 24 or something to rent a car. You get the good rates. I don't. So he can rent a car, yeah. But no, what he's really done is if you look back in the last 8 years, he has assembled probably one of the most magical teams in Silicon Valley and you know, to do that when you are in your early 20s, never had a job, right? Like never understood, like never talked to CFO, never met anyone like Sheryl and he's upgraded, right, over the years and I think that the ability as a young gentleman who has no business experience to find these people, attract them, upgrade them if you need them to be upgraded and like do that in an orderly and organized and powerful fashion is something that people just under appreciate about him and he's of that age, I mean like having Sheryl and the CFO was outstanding all lined up is pretty impressive. So you knew Larry before he was CEO. Yeah, we hang out. I think it's interesting when you look at this market to your point about the importance of having a founder as the CEO because this chart is a little bit misleading in that. Of course, it was Art Smith that was you know, the CEO that brought the company and really helped the company grow over a 10 year-period and then Larry... Who came up with the adult supervision thing? I never liked that honestly. You don't like that? I kind of liked that 'cause I was in a few meetings. It was pretty... You decided that actively? But what tone... how does Larry help set a culture? Hew was obviously there at the beginning when Sheryl and Larry started the business. Eric wasn't around. What about the culture of Google, you know, is reflected Mary's personality? I think there's a couple of things. One is just of course the engineering driven culture is really important and then I also think that just being able to prioritize. There was one incident, every Friday we had TGIF so everyone in the company was invited and the founders were there and you would ask questions. You can ask anything you wanted. There was a big decision made and that was to eliminate the gummy bears from the cafeteria. So someone did ask about you know to the founders what happened to the gummy bears and I thought Larry's answer was great. He's like, you know, if that's our biggest problem then we're in good shape. So I think that's in the part of the culture. It's just like you know, having the right tone, being able to prioritize where the gummy beards belong in the overall strategy.