With the passing of Steve Jobs in 2011, many tech industry experts were quick to predict that his company, Apple, Inc., would soon falter without its charismatic founder at the helm. Yet in the years since Jobs’ successor, Tim Cook, has taken the wheel, Apple has not only continued on, but flourished.
Since his term as CEO began, Cook has overseen the release of the budget-friendly iPhone5c, a complete redesign of the MacPro desktop PC, and the creation and release of the latest version of Apple’s operating system for the iPhone, iOS7. He’s also addressed the company’s controversial Chinese labor practices, increased charitable giving and dividends for Apple investors, and helped lead the company to become the world’s most valuable corporation.
And it’s not just investors and the millions of adoring Apple fans that approve of Cook’s approach. While Steve Jobs enjoyed an enviable 95% approval rating during his last year as CEO, Cook still managed to trump the one-time wunderkind with a 97% approval rating in 2012. Cook’s dedication to continuing the corporate culture established by Jobs, as well as his long history with the company (he started with Apple as Chief Operating Officer in 1998) and inarguable success in leading Apple to record-breaking profits, no doubt contributed to his popularity.
Apple’s customers, employees, and investors are clearly enamored with Cook’s approach—including a few folks willing to pony up well over half a million dollars to have a cup of coffee with the man (all proceeds went to charity). And while Apple’s position as an industry leader seems secure for the foreseeable future (the company is rumored to be planning an “iWatch” wearable computing device for sometime in 2014), only time will tell if Cook’s leadership and popularity will help it conquer even more of the tech market and enjoy even greater success.
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