Ten years into the job, Cook now leads the world’s most valuable company – technology or otherwise – and it’s the most influential. More than one billion people worldwide use its tools, and millions of developers have built businesses on its software platform.
On August 24, 2011, less than two months before the death of Apple’s founder, Cook took over as CEO from Steve Jobs. Since then, Apple’s (AAPL) Market capitalization has grown by about 600 percent to about 2.5 2.5 trillion, and its annual revenue has more than doubled.
If Jobs was known for its ability to create ground-breaking devices that redefine its technology experience, Cook could be known for enhancing Apple’s ecosystem.
Within Apple, Cook inherited a company culture known for its constant demand and is now managing at a time when tech workers are increasingly raising their voices about social issues. (Cook himself, who became one of the first prominent CEOs to emerge as a gay man in 2014, has been involved in LGBTQ + rights advocacy.)
Cook has also been instrumental in making major corporate mistakes, such as “Battery Gate” and its suppliers, accusations of poor factory conditions. A recent announcement of a new child protection measure also turned into an unexpected PR nightmare. And it has faced a number of external threats to Apple’s business over the years, including the recent spate with the Trump administration, the US-China trade war and the Cove 19 epidemic.
What Cook didn’t do is launch another successful and disruptive product like the iPhone, but it has found ways for Apple to grow without it.
“This is probably the most successful hand-to-hand power-off in corporate history,” said Mike Bailey, director of research at FBB Capital Partners. “Clearly, Apple needed a chair leader and politician, possibly more than micromanage, the founder insisted.”
Bailey added: “You are maintaining the empire, as opposed to building one.”
A month after taking over as CEO, Cook announced the launch of the iPhone 4S. Since then, Apple has released new versions of the iPhone, iPad, Mac and MacBook, as well as about two dozen more versions of the iPhone at price points. Cook has also overseen the introduction of new hardware products – most successfully, the Apple Watch in 2015 and the AirPods in 2016.
But even more important than the new devices brought to life under his leadership is the growth of Apple’s services business.
Tom Forty, an analyst at DA Davidson, said: “From a hardware standpoint, I think you could argue that it’s more repetitive than revolutionary, but I think its contribution to the company has diminished. Is.” . He said … ‘What could be Apple? Apple could be a music subscription service, Apple could be a fitness subscription service, Apple could be more than the App Store.’ ‘
Even in the first five years of its rule, Apple was making significant money from its services division, which included products like iCloud, which were launched in October 2011. Apple Podcast, launched in 2012, and Apple Music, launched in 2015. In January 2016, Apple revealed for the first time that it had made 20 20 billion in sales of services last year.
Since then, Apple has launched even more services with the subscription bundle, including Apple Arcade, Apple TV + and Apple Fitness +, which has further boosted the business. In fiscal year 2020, Apple generated approximately .8 53.8 billion in revenue, or about 20% of the company’s total sales. (Apple does not sell for individual services.)
The focus on Apple’s services has allowed it to rely less on iPhone sales, which can be volatile for a quarter to a quarter, and it has started to rise to the plateau, even sinking under the hood. An important focus for Cook is to slow down the growth of the iPhone.
“He continued the iPhone party, but it blew up his services business,” said Bailey of the FBI.
Apple still collects cash every year from iPhone sales. But now, it also has a more permanent, higher margin profit than subscription services that acts as a buffer as customers stay on their devices longer. The services also give consumers more reasons to choose Apple hardware over others, and help the company extract more dollars from anyone who buys one of its devices.
Cook has already stated that he does not intend to stay at Apple for another 10 years. But most of the company’s followers expect him to at least stick to something else.
At the moment, it will have a lot on its plate that could shape the company’s future, including the long-rumored release of Apple Car and AR glasses, as well as its ongoing efforts to make its own chips for its devices.
But it will also face major challenges, including a no-confidence motion with Apple’s app developers and regulators. Fort also questioned whether Apple would be able to maintain its leading position if the rise of the Internet of Things meant that consumers relied less on smartphones. Apple has not yet achieved the same traction in connected home devices as Amazon’s Alexa, and earlier this year dropped its original HomePod in favor of a cheaper mini version.
One argument can be made that they are. [still] There’s a lot of reliance on the iPhone, “Fort said. I’m still trying to imagine what the future will look like and what will happen when smartphones are no longer the center of the universe.
Under Cook, Apple is also working to address its impact on the environment, including plans to become carbon neutral by 2030. Cook will likely have to push the company’s efforts further in the coming years, as climate change is increasingly an existential threat.
Then there is the question of who will lead the world’s largest company when Cook retires. Apple’s current chief operating officer, Jeff Williams, who has been dubbed Tim Cook’s Tim Cook in the tech press, would be a clear choice if he were to take office now. But at just two years older than Cook, the succession plan could be even more dubious in a few years, Bailey said.
“It doesn’t look like any other insider, number two, is ready to go, so I think Apple will have to start addressing that in the next two years,” he said.