A Decade of Tim Cook, Visionary or Failure?
August 30, 2021
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by Stephen Kanyi

When legendary visionary CEO Steve Jobs passed in 2011 few knew anything about his successor Tim Cook. Succeeding Steve Jobs, co-founder of Apple was no easy task but ten years down the line most Jobs and Apple fans will agree that Tim Cook has proven to be a worthy successor, leaving the company bigger and better than he found it.

The Numbers

“Apple is bigger than oil”, a statement on The Verge that correctly summarizes just how big Apple is. Even before Jobs stepped down as CEO, Apple had already briefly surpassed oil giant Exxon to become the world’s largest most valuable publicly traded company.

Fast forward to 2019 however when the tech company truly cemented itself as the world’s largest corporation. In July 2019, the company surpassed Saudi Aramco’s $2 trillion market cap to become the world’s largest company with a market cap that is now approaching $2.5 trillion.

Under Tim Cook, Apple has shown consistent growth in revenues and profits. This year’s Q1 revenues was a whopping $111 billion, more than quadruple 2011’s quarterly revenues. Profits have been similarly impressive growing from $6 billion in Q1 2011 to $28.8 billion in Q1 2021.

To put these numbers in context, the tech behemoth makes an average of 10,000 every second of which 3,600 is pure profit.

The company has also grown its workforce doubling them from 60,400 full-time employees in 2011 to around 147,000 this year.

Hardware

Unlike Steve Jobs’ Apple Tim Cook’s reign has not seen big jumps in innovation. In fact, many have criticized Apple for having stagnated in the last few years. Tech Journalist Walt Mossberg, for instance, notedTim Cook’s Apple has yet to produce a truly game-changing hardware product — nothing on the scale of the iPhone, iPad, or Mac.”

It is hard to disagree with this argument, under Tim Cook the company’s products have primarily been iPhones (with larger screens) and iPhone accessories such as AirPods and Apple Watch.

His reign has also witnessed a few embarrassing failures such as the Mac Pro that was almost impossible to upgrade, MacBook’s keyboards that constantly broke and the cancellation of AirPower charging pad.

Some might argue that Tim Cook focused too much on iPad while ignoring the Mac. This was found to alienate Apple developers who the company relied on to create iPhone and iPad apps.

Services

Apple’s service sector has however enjoyed massive growth. So much that the company declared that its service business was a Fortune 100 company all by itself. Apple’s services garnered over $7 billion in revenue for all three quarters of 2017.

1st quarter of this year, Apple posted a record $17.5 billion in service revenue, this is nearly half of what iPhone pulls in every year.

Apple’s App Store was also found to generate more than the company’s entire iPad and Mac business in 2016.

The majority of Apple’s service sector has been built under Tim Cook and this, perhaps, could be considered his crowning jewel. Products like Apple TV, Apple Pay, Apple Card indicate the company’s slow evolution into a services company.

No matter what you may think about Tim Cook’s reign, having served the company for 23 years one cannot doubt his commitment to the company. That can at least justify his $750 million payouts.

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