Inspired by an interview with Steve Jobs, Tim Cook joined Apple in March 1998 and revolutionised Apple’s operations, streamlining manufacturing and logistics to create the foundations for the formidable levels of operational reliability Apple enjoys to this day.
He became chief executive on August 24, 2011, shortly before founder and then CEO Steve Jobs died. As CEO he has sought to reform international and domestic surveillance, cybersecurity, corporate taxation, American manufacturing, and environmental preservation. Unlike many other tech CEOs Cook has been vocal on protecting the privacy of customers and unlike other companies Apple does not appear to exploit customer data for profit.
He has also overseen phenomenal success and sustained growth with Apple becoming the first trillion dollar company. Apple’s success is very much built on the foundations established by Jobs, but Cook’s imprint is substantial. A more compassionate leader than Jobs, Cook inspires people to be the best version of themselves.
Apple’s products are also moving in the direction of helping customers be the best versions of themselves , with sensors and apps to helps them to sleep, exercise and recover better as well as tracking heart health and falls.
Cook has also overseen Apple’s drive to reduce the environmental impact of their operations and products, achieving 100% renewable energy use across factories, offices and shops and a 70% reduction in consumption by products among other sustainability milestones.
In 2014, Cook became the first Fortune 500 COE come out as gay and later explained: “Where I valued my privacy significantly, I felt that I was valuing it too far above what I could do for other people, so I wanted to tell everyone my truth.”
Under a new CEO Apple could have taken a different direction, it could have reduced spending on R&D and environmental concerns and struck out for the biggest short term returns. Instead Cook has navigated Apple to sustained success investing wisely and setting the company up for the long term. Personally Cook has been willing to be vulnerable in standing up for what he believes in. Tim Cook is the CEO of the most successful and valuable company in the world acting as a role model for other CEOs.