Five years ago on this day, August 24, the visionary CEO of Apple Steve Jobs resigned as head of the revolutionary tech company. Steve Jobs was named Chairman of the Board of Directors and Tim Cook was named his successor as CEO effective immediately at that moment.
This year marks the fifth anniversary since Tim Cook became the leader of the Cupertino-based company, adding more experience to his previous thirteen-year-long streak at Apple. As Chief Operating Officer, Cook had previously overseen the development and launch of several iconic products during the Jobs era.
Once the world learned of Steve Jobs’ passing on October 5, 2011, many people were shocked and saddened by the news, but also concerned about the seemingly uncertain future of Apple under Tim Cook’a guidance.
Since then, the company has shown tremendous growth and a significant shift in perspective in contrast to Steve Jobs’ tenure.
Tim Cook’s Apple has turned into a more service-oriented company
Perhaps one of the most striking differences between the two CEO periods is the approach to business models from each leadership. Whereas Steve Jobs’ vision for the company was one aimed at constant, bold, quality products; Tim Cook seems to trail down a more slow-paced road towards services and improvement over their existing product lineup.
From 1997 to 2011, Apple saw the development and release of world-changing products like the iMac, the iPod, the iPhone, and the iPad. In contrast, Tim Cook’s time steering the wheel at Apple has produced significant enhancements of these devices, adding only the Apple Watch to the product family.
Moreover, the 55-year-old CEO’s creative decisions to revamp products like the iPhone, for example, have sparked controversy among Apple purists who point out that making a bigger device is against Jobs’ original vision. Cook has bet on services like Apple Music, Apple Maps, and Apple Pay to push the company forward in the global market.
Tim Cook takes firm stands as head of Apple
The Alabama-born executive has so far honored the tradition of extreme secrecy surrounding the company’s upcoming releases, but he has also been more open about his and Apple’s positions on public matters.
Tim Cook has pushed an agenda of compromise, diversity, and fairness in the company’s inner policies. From environmental initiatives to the battle for user privacy against the FBI’s attempts to access data from iPhones, Cook has demonstrated he is able to reflect qualities of his strong character on Apple itself.
The openly gay CEO also hit a major milestone for the company recently; as Apple announced that it had achieved pay equality among employees of all races and genders. While Steve Jobs never saw himself entangled on any public controversies of such scale, the public can only wonder how he would have handled the situations Cook has had to face.
Apple’s future is bright and looking brighter, as the launch of the iPhone 7 nears next month and the inauguration of the company’s new headquarters is set to begin operations in 2017, a year that also marks the iPhone’s 10th anniversary.