Tim Cook reflects on life at Apple

It's been a wild year for the company's CEO. Apple debuted a number of new products and saw its stock price swing wildly. Cook looks back on his time in charge.

By Kim Peterson Dec 6, 2012 5:27PM
Credit: Noah Berger/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Caption: Tim Cook, chief executive officer of Apple IncThe Internet is abuzz after Apple (AAPL) top boss Tim Cook gave a wide-ranging interview to Bloomberg Businessweek, discussing everything from office politics to where Macs are made to advice from the late Steve Jobs.

Cook is winning praise from some readers. "People who think Apple will suffer with him in charge are so wrong," raved one Twitter user. A more critical look, from Heidi Moore at the Guardian, describes Apple as engaging in an image clean-up after a difficult year in which its image was tarnished and its stock price sagged.

"And now Apple has to scramble back into our affections, just a little," Moore wrote. "It's a big change for a company more used to standing back and being adored."

Cook does seem to be making the media rounds. He speaks with Brian Williams on Thursday night's episode of "Rock Center." The moves undoubtedly calculated to burnish Apple's less-than-shiny reputation and give the market something else to focus on besides the company's stock performance.
Here are some of the highlights from Cook's Bloomberg interview:
  • Some Macs will be made in the U.S. starting next year. Apple is investing more than $100 million on bringing some production back home. But the company is likely doing this through third-party manufacturers. "I've never thought a company’s measurement of job creation should be limited to the number of employees working directly for them. That’s a very old-time way of measuring."
  • About 80% of Apple's revenue comes from products that only went on sale in the last two months. In the last 60 days, Apple has debuted the iPhone 5, new iPods, the fourth-generation iPad, the iPad mini and a new MacBook. That reflects a boldness at Apple. "They're still ready to burn the bridge," Cook said. "And this is great. Because there is no other company like that anymore."
  • Don't play politics at Apple. "I despise politics. There is no room for it in a company. My life is going to be way too short to deal with that. No bureaucracy. We want this fast-moving, agile company where there are no politics, no agendas."
  • He gets hundreds, sometimes thousands, of customer e-mails every day. And he takes some of them home to read after work. "It's a privilege," he said. "It's like you're sitting at the kitchen table. You're a part of the family."
  • He's a little annoyed at being described as robotic. "It sounds like there is just no emotion," he said. "People that know me, I don't think they would say that. I certainly am not a fist-pounder. That isn't my style."
  • Steve Jobs told Cook to be his own CEO. Jobs told Cook in 2011, "I never want you to ask what I would have done. Just do what's right." That removed a tremendous pressure, Cook said. "It was his way of making sure Apple would not be burdened by the past."
  • He only wants to sell products that make a significant contribution to society. "You know, we want to really enrich people’s lives at the end of the day, not just make money. Making money might be a byproduct, but it’s not our North Star."
The interview seemed to have a positive impact on Apple's stock price. Shares closed up 1.57% Thursday to $547.24.

More from Money Now

Tags: AAPL
Dec 9, 2012 3:56AM

Life is great!


Chris Van Hollen & Elizabeth Warren in 2016 & 2020!


God bless America!

Dec 7, 2012 5:57AM
He forgot the part about promoting a sick personal lifestyle.
Please help us to maintain a healthy and vibrant community by reporting any illegal or inappropriate behavior. If you believe a message violates theCode of Conductplease use this form to notify the moderators. They will investigate your report and take appropriate action. If necessary, they report all illegal activity to the proper authorities.
100 character limit
Are you sure you want to delete this comment?


Copyright © 2014 Microsoft. All rights reserved.

Fundamental company data and historical chart data provided by Morningstar Inc. Real-time index quotes and delayed quotes supplied by Morningstar Inc. Quotes delayed by up to 15 minutes, except where indicated otherwise. Fund summary, fund performance and dividend data provided by Morningstar Inc. Analyst recommendations provided by Zacks Investment Research. StockScouter data provided by Verus Analytics. IPO data provided by Hoover's Inc. Index membership data provided by Morningstar Inc.

Trending NOW

What’s this?


[BRIEFING.COM] The stock market finished an upbeat week on a mixed note. The S&P 500 shed less than a point, ending the week higher by 1.3%, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average (+0.1%) cemented a 1.7% advance for the week. High-beta names underperformed, which weighed on the Nasdaq Composite (-0.3%) and the Russell 2000 (-1.3%).

Equity indices displayed strength in the early going with the S&P 500 tagging the 2,019 level during the opening 30 minutes of the action. However, ... More