Steve Jobs was a revolutionary, but not everything he did was all that peachy, and his successor Tim Cook is trying to steer Apple away from the darker side of things. It's been about two months since Cook took over as CEO. In that short time, Apple has experienced at least two huge defining moments with Cook as CEO: a successful launch of the iPhone 4S and weathering the passing of its idolized leader. Today The Wall Street Journal's Jessica Vascellaro takes a look at Cook's progress throughout these pivotal months. While it's not yet clear if Apple will continue its gadget dominance, at least for now Cook is trying to fix some of Jobs's wrongs.
A better philanthropist. While thinking up those best-selling iThings, Jobs made a lot of money for both himself and Apple. But unlike other generous big name tech titans, he wasn't too giving. At least not publicly. The company once had a philanthropy arm, but Jobs closed it after returning as CEO in 1997. And Jobs himself was never on record as giving away any of his $8.3 billion. Less than a month in, Cook announced a charity matching program. Apple matches employee donations to non-profits of up to $10,000 a year, explains Vascellaro, which is a huge contrast to Jobs's tude. "Mr. Jobs said at a company off-site meeting last year that he was opposed to giving money away, according to a person who attended," she writes.
A gentler communicator. Jobs didn't always handle his employees with the most grace. At least some employees recall him as "rude, dismissive, hostile, spiteful," writes Gawker's Ryan Tate, who details some the "bullying, manipulation and fear" that Jobs inspired in some Apple employees. Cook has taken a different, more buddy-buddy tactic, it seems. Cook has been "more communicative with employees than his predecessor," explains Vascellaro, "sending a variety of company-wide emails that address Apple employees as 'Team.'"
More CEO minded. Jobs was more of a product designer than a CEO, which apparently worked for Apple in its rise to the top. But now that Apple's got a boatload of cash -- $81.6 billion, to be exact -- Cook is looking at things from a traditional CEO perspective. "Cook seems open to more traditional options for Apple's cash hoard, such as dividends or a buyback, say people who have discussed the matter with Apple executives," points out Vascellaro. Jobs was opposed to stock buyback, former Apple executives told Vascellaro. Since Cook is a CEO guy, that also means he is "not a product guy." And of course, it was Jobs's "product guy" swag that pushed Apple to the top.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.
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