The Shoes Tim Cook Has to Fill

#Opinion

Mon, Mar 3rd, 2014 12:00 by capnasty NEWS

On The Wall Street's Saturday Essay, Yukari Iwatani Kane -- author of Haunted Empire, Apple After Steve Jobs -- takes a fascinating look into a post-Steve-Jobs Apple. Of interest, it explains the struggles that its current CEO, Tim Cook, is going through: overshadowed by a dead man's lingering presence.

Tim Cook, whom Jobs had personally picked as Apple's new CEO, was at the service, but attendees gave the former chief operating officer little thought. Even as he took control of Apple's empire, Cook couldn't escape his boss's shadow. How could anyone compete with a visionary so brilliant that not even death could make him go away?

The genius trap had long been set for Jobs's successor. Apple had been defined by him for more than a decade. Design, product development, marketing strategies and executive appointments—all hinged on his tastes. Apple's accomplishments weren't Jobs's alone, but he had taken credit for most of them, which further fed his legend. One employee even owned a car with the vanity plate "WWSJD": What Would Steve Jobs Do?

The next CEO didn't have the quasi-religious authority that Jobs had radiated. Cook's every decision would be examined by current and former employees and executives, investors, the media and Apple's consumers. He would also have to contend with the sky-high expectations that Jobs had conditioned the public to have for Apple.

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