Who Is Tim Cook?

Apple's new CEO is a wiz, but is he a visionary?

The 50-year-old Alabama native served as an executive at IBM and Compaq before moving to Apple in 1998 and is a different kind of visionary. Though he served as interim CEO in 2004 and 2007, most of his contributions to Apple are built on classic business brilliance. "He knows the soul of Apple, and he makes the trains run on time," former Apple executive Fred Anderson told Bloomberg. "While Steve Jobs is famous for his product sense, Tim Cook is known as the genius behind Apple's ability to keep inventory low, ship products quickly, and milk extremely high profit margins," says Paul Miller at the tech blog This Is My Next.

Now about what Pogue calls "the puck of public taste." Steve Jobs famously told consumers what they wanted before they knew they wanted it; Tim Cook made sure it got manufactured and delivered to as many consumers as possible. According to industry analysts and Apple experts, this won't change for at least two to five years, as Jobs has reportedly mapped out the product pipeline at least that far in advance. "When Apple actually launches TVs Cook will be on the hook for the execution," writes Larry Dignan at ZDNet. "But it will be Jobs' product vision."

Cook hinted at being the yin to Jobs's yang in an oft-cited Fortune profile from 2008. "Come on, replace Steve? No. He's irreplaceable," said Cook. "That's something people have to get over. I see Steve there with gray hair in his 70s, long after I'm retired."

Read the full story at The Atlantic Wire.

Presented by

The Atlantic Wire is your authoritative guide to the news and ideas that matter most right now.

What Happened to the Milky Way?

Light pollution has taken away our ability to see the stars. Can we still save the night sky?

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register with Disqus.

Please note that The Atlantic's account system is separate from our commenting system. To log in or register with The Atlantic, use the Sign In button at the top of every page.

blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

What Happened to the Milky Way?

Light pollution has taken away our ability to see the stars. Can we still save the night sky?

Video

The Faces of #BlackLivesMatter

Scenes from a recent protest in New York City

Video

Desegregated, Yet Unequal

A short documentary about the legacy of Boston busing

Video

Ruth Bader Ginsburg on Life

The Supreme Court justice talks gender equality and marriage.

Video

Social Media: The Video Game

What if the validation of your peers could "level up" your life?

Video

The Pentagon's $1.5 Trillion Mistake

The F-35 fighter jet was supposed to do everything. Instead, it can barely do anything.

More in Business

Just In