Cook took over as CEO of apple for ten years: annual revenue increased by nearly three times and shareholder return reached 22%


Tencent technology news on August 23, when Apple co-founder Steve Jobs resigned as CEO of the company in August 2011, many people thought that the era of Apple innovation under his leadership might be over. However, few people were surprised by his choice of successor.
Tim Cook, who has long served as Apple’s chief operating officer and the helm of Apple’s global supply chain, has been preparing for the thankless task of replacing jobs for many years. Jobs was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer 8 years ago and asked for leave many times. Cook took over his work during this period.
Figure 1: Apple CEO Tim Cook
Mike Slade, a former strategic adviser to jobs, recalled: “jobs told me that he absolutely trusted cook. I thought, ‘this is good enough for me’. This is probably the highest praise jobs can give you. ”
Tuesday is the 10th anniversary of Cook’s appointment as Apple CEO. During his decade of leadership, doubts about Apple’s ability to produce the next popular product have never completely disappeared, but few people question cook’s success.
Apple’s annual revenue was about $108 billion a decade ago and is expected to reach about $370 billion this year. A few days before jobs left office, apple briefly overtook ExxonMobil as the world’s most valuable company, with a market capitalization of $343 billion. Apple’s share price hit an all-time high last week, with a market capitalization of more than $2.4 trillion and an average annual return of 22% for shareholders.
Ben wood, an analyst at CCS insight, said: “if you go back to cook and start his role as CEO, everyone says, ‘it’s over. This guy from the supply chain doesn’t have the charm of jobs’. This is considered a safe but rather conservative bet. But if you look at Cook’s performance during his tenure, you will find it shocking. ”
Wood also said that cook effectively launched a new popular product, which at least alleviated the concerns of some investors. Meanwhile, cook vigorously promoted Apple’s digital services businesses, such as app store, Apple Music and icloud, which turned iPhone users into monthly consumers. “He made the iPhone franchise the most profitable consumer electronics product in history”.
Apple smart watch and wireless headset airpods are the two most successful new products in the cook era. They are “larger than almost all similar electronic products on the market”.
But with cook’s second decade in charge of the world’s largest company approaching, rumors about his eventual departure have become louder. Earlier this year, when asked whether he would stick to it for another ten years, cook responded: “I feel good now and don’t want to retire. But another 10 years is a long time, and it may not be that long. ”
Cook turned 60 last year and will receive the last of the 10-year stock incentive plan this month. Last September, Apple announced a new plan to put cook at the helm until 2025, although his 23 year career in the company and being one of the highest paid CEOs in the United States have made him a billionaire.
Looking for heir to the throne
Over the years, cook’s most obvious successor has always been regarded as Jeff Williams, Apple’s chief operating officer, who has been in Cook’s previous role since 2014. Although not a household name, Williams has been responsible for the company’s new product development and sales since 2019.
Williams has become a regular guest of Apple’s keynote speech activities. Face to face exchanges with millions of audiences around the world need to be carefully planned. He released a new Apple smart watch and the company’s health measures, which are regarded as an increasingly important part of Apple’s business in the future.
Figure 2: Jeff Williams, Apple’s chief operating officer
Like its strictly confidential product plan, Apple has given no indication of who will become cook’s successor, although the company’s corporate guidelines stipulate that the board of directors must “conduct an annual review of the management development and succession plan of senior management, including the CEO”. However, whether to choose to retire mainly depends on cook. He may feel that some things have not been completed.
In addition to his economic success, cook also played the role of diplomat and activist. Many people who have dealt with him pointed out that cook’s decision to disclose his homosexuality in 2014 was a critical moment. He was the first CEO of a fortune 500 company to do so. In addition, unlike many other executives, cook openly contacted former president Donald Trump to seek to limit the former president’s power or exempt apple from some tariffs.
Cook also positioned the company as a defender of freedom, especially privacy, called for regulation and attacked competitors whose businesses rely on data collection. These years of reputation building means that cook may lead apple through the current regulatory storm. Regulators and competitors targeted Apple’s lucrative app store business, which is one of Cook’s golden geese to enter digital services. They criticized apple for charging excessive commissions to application developers.
Conceive iPhone successor
A silicon valley executive said that cook may still want to get rid of the only regret left after ten years in power, that is, he did not lead apple to produce anything comparable to the iPhone. The two most likely candidates are augmented reality (AR) helmets and electric vehicles. The early version of the former is expected to be released as soon as next year, but the development direction of the latter has changed many times.

Recently, Apple has been negotiating with manufacturing partners on a car that may be launched in 2025. An apple investor said that with Disney’s $71 billion acquisition of 21st Century Fox ending Bob Iger’s rule, the acquisition of this stroke era may become an example for apple.
The core figures in Apple’s current executives are still the core of the jobs era. They have worked in the company for decades. Among them, eddy cue, head of service business, and Greg joswiak, head of marketing, are 56 years old and have worked for Apple since 1989 and 1986, respectively. Williams, 58, joined in 1998. Deirdre O’Brien, retail director, has worked there for 30 years. Craig federighi, software director, first joined jobs in 1997 when Apple re hired him after acquiring Jobs’s computer company next.
These lifelong employees have made great returns at Apple, in part because outsiders often find it difficult to adapt to the company culture. John browett, the former Dixons boss hired to run Apple’s retail business, was fired by cook in 2012 after only six months. Angela ahrendts, former chief executive of Burberry, was hired to replace brauert for five years and left after an expensive but unpopular renovation of the company’s stores in the capital AUP. Her departure was surprising because she had been seen as a potential successor to cook.
The core that jobs built has begun to split. In 2019, sir Jony ive, Apple’s long-term design director, left the company after 27 years. Last year, Phil Schiller, a close friend of jobs, resigned from his full-time position. He was responsible for Apple’s app store and marketing.
Perhaps realizing that succession will not be just about cook, the company has begun to introduce a new generation of executives at the recent virtual product launch. In the ten years since cook took office, his resignation does not seem imminent, but consistent with his meticulous management of the company, it is undoubtedly necessary to formulate a succession plan in advance.
A long-time business acquaintance said Apple might seek to return and let a product genius run the company instead of someone like cook. “Apple did the right thing because they didn’t try to replace jobs, but maybe they need another visionary,” the person said However, the fact that it may be more difficult to succeed cook than jobs may prove his great success, but it will not make things easier´╝ł Tencent Technology (reviser / Jinlu)