Small bits and pieces of news have hinted at Tim Cook’s influence on the corporate culture within Cupertino. But, a new Fortune story examines at length how much Cook has influenced Apple since taking the reigns from the late Steve Jobs.
A 14-year veteran of the company, Cook is maintaining, by words and actions, most of Apple's unique corporate culture. But shifts of behavior and tone are absolutely apparent; some of them affect the core of Apple's critical product-development process. In general, Apple has become slightly more open and considerably more corporate. In some cases Cook is taking action that Apple sorely needed and employees badly wanted. It's almost as if he is working his way through a to-do list of long-overdue repairs the previous occupant (Jobs) refused to address for no reason other than obstinacy. — Fortune
Cook, after Oppenheimer finished, “strode confidently” to the front of the room and fielded questions from investors. According to one investor “He was in complete control and knew exactly who he was and where he wanted to go.” As Fortune notes, the most incredible thing about this appearance, Steve Jobs “wouldn’t have bothered.”
Perhaps an even more telling example is Cook’s mood during Apple’s famed Top 100 retreat, where the top 100 managers as assessed by the CEO and not by rank, get to learn what products and services are on the horizon for the next year or so. Cooks was reportedly in a “jovial, joke-cracking mood” compared to the fear mongering tone of Jobs. One veteran executive was reportedly “blown away” by what he had seen coming down the Apple pipeline, presumably the next iPhone, and perhaps the much rumored Apple HDTV.
Cook is very much his own man. For a long time he was Jobs second in command, and like Jobs his actions indicate he’s going to take Apple where he thinks it should go. Still, Cook is well versed in and loyal to the Jobsian focus on great products and innovation. But, Cook is a little more human often sitting down at random with employees for lunch in the Cupertino campus cafeteria. Fortune puts it best concluding that Apple’s perhaps “doesn’t need a god as CEO, but a mere mortal who understands how to get the job done.”