What Apple’s ‘Pride’ Ad Might Say About How the Company Is Changing
Gabriel Beltrone has written an excellent essay on how Apple’s involvement in San Francisco’s Pride Parade, the video Apple made about inclusion, and how the corporate culture at Apple is slowly changing under Tim Cook is reshaping the company.
The new ad, meanwhile, also aligns with Cook’s championing, including in his CEO role, of human rights broadly defined, as well as other causes like environmentalism. Such are the trappings of inheriting a powerful company with the ability, and arguably an obligation, to contribute more socially. But in 2011, Cook also made a point of saying that one of Jobs’s last pieces of advice to him was never to ask what Steve Jobs would do, and instead to “just do what’s right.”
As a long time Apple watcher, investor, and most importantly user, I like Tim Cook and always have. I like what he’s doing to the company and I think he’s a decent human being. Being a decent human being doesn’t always produce the next great product but I’m guessing that while Tim Cook is not Steve Jobs, he’s got a lot of very talented people working with him and together, they will continue to produce great products that we’re excited about using and continue to do what’s right.
I like Tim Cook’s take on what’s right.
If you take a look at Apple’s Executive Profiles* you’ll note that there is no “executive” responsible for Macintosh hardware or Mac OS X. No doubt the Macintosh and it’s OS fall under Bob Mansfield’s control but his title is “Hardware Engineering” which no doubt is all Apple hardware: Macintosh, iPhone, iPad, iPod, etc.
Apple has a senior executive responsible for iOS software: Scott Forstall, and Eddie Cue is in charge of all of Apple’s online software and services. But no one at this level is responsible for Mac OS X.
This is an indication of just how far Apple has moved from “Apple Computer, Inc.” to Apple, Inc. Apple probably moves more iPhones and iPads in a year than they have Macintosh computers in the entire history of the company (I’m making this up but you get the idea).
This is no doubt a piece of the reason Mac OS X Lion and the upcoming Mountain Lion are inheriting pieces of iOS. There are (many) more iOS users than Mac users.
*Note, the link is working now, apologies to anyone who tried it and got an error.
Apple’s Secret Plan For Its Cash Stash
Connie Guglielmo at Forbes has written an excellent piece that looks like it’s a roadmap for Apple for the next few years: after adding more retail stores, server farms, a new campus in Cupertino, paying dividends, and buying a few companies to expand research and development, she thinks they’ll start buying pieces of their own supply chain. Tim Cook has done things like buy up huge quantities of Gorilla Glass from Corning, LCD screens from Samsung, and flash memory from a variety of vendors which gets him what he needs to build millions of devices a quarter but also gets him lower pricing and locks competitors out of both the pricing and the parts. Going a bit further into ownership of pieces of the supply chain with its huge pile of cash seems like a real possibility.
Apple has posted the video of yesterday’s October 4, 2011 Special Event.
I really like Tim Cook’s style, I think he did extremely well in this new role. No doubt the pressure was on. I loved his pauses to underscore some of this points. He’s not Steve Jobs and that’s just fine.
Here’s the iPhone 4S video and while we’re at it, the iCloud video and the iOS 5 video.
Who Needs Him?
Farhad Manjoo has written an excellent piece on Apple after Steve Jobs. Well worth reading.
But Jobs’ achievement wasn’t just to transform Apple from a failing enterprise into a staggeringly successful one. More important was how he turned it around—by remaking it from top to bottom, installing a series of brilliant managers, unbeatable processes, and a few guiding business principles that are now permanently baked into its corporate culture.
Under Jobs and Tim Cook—the former chief operating officer, now the CEO—it has mastered the global production process in a way that no other company can match. Apple makes more devices, at lower cost, with fewer defects than any other firm in the world. And it does this year after year, on a schedule so strict we follow it with the seasons (iPhones in the summer, iPods in the fall, iPads on the spring). As a result, Apple can now beat most of its competitors on price and profit.
Steve Jobs Resigns: Apple CEO Stepping Down
Tim Cook will take over the CEO position. This is a great move for both men. No doubt much more on this will be written in the next 24 hours.
PRESS RELEASE: Letter from Steve Jobs
August 24, 2011–To the Apple Board of Directors and the Apple Community:
I have always said if there ever came a day when I could no longer meet my duties and expectations as Apple’s CEO, I would be the first to let you know. Unfortunately, that day has come.
I hereby resign as CEO of Apple. I would like to serve, if the Board sees fit, as Chairman of the Board, director and Apple employee.
As far as my successor goes, I strongly recommend that we execute our succession plan and name Tim Cook as CEO of Apple.
I believe Apple’s brightest and most innovative days are ahead of it. And I look forward to watching and contributing to its success in a new role.
I have made some of the best friends of my life at Apple, and I thank you all for the many years of being able to work alongside you.