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Apple CEO Cook's doing a good job, but Jobs 'would have lost his mind over Siri'

Karen Haslam | May 28, 2012
An ex-employee revealed that people at Apple are “embarrassed by Siri”.

It's not just Apple staff that are seeing the friendly face of Cook. Cook is surprising investors by actually turning up to meetings and paying attention, something that Steve Jobs wouldn't have done. According to the Fortune report, this is a "subtle but significant change" that means investors now have the CEO's ear for the first time in years.

Cook is also a hit with Wall Street, not surprisingly since the company's market value is up $140 billion since Cook took over. "Wall Street in particular has good reasons - billions of them, actually - to love the Cook regime," states the report.

Today's Apple staff dividend payment announcement may never have happened under Steve Jobs, nor might the announcement that the company would pay a dividend to all shareholders. "Jobs was opposed to dividends and stock buybacks," notes the report.

Cook's progress in China is also keeping analysts and shareholders happy. Fortune mentions Apple's strengthened relations with China. In particular Cook's visit to the Foxconn factory after Apple was criticized for working conditions there.

The report also notes Apple's investments in China, suggesting that when Apple disclosed that it was $2.6 billion assets there the number spoke to the value of the material and equipment Apple has bought on behalf of its suppliers. "Apple risks its own capital - with $110 billion in cash at last count, it has plenty to risk - as a way of financing massive upgrades in its manufacturing capabilities in Asia, even though its partners will operate the equipment."

As a result of Cook's appointment as CEO, "Apple has become slightly more open and considerably more corporate," according to Fortune.

One former engineering vice president told Fortune: "It looks like it has become a more conservative execution engine rather than a pushing-the-envelope engineering engine. I've been told that any meeting of significance is now always populated by project management and global-supply management. When I was there, engineering decided what we wanted, and it was the job of product management and supply management to go get it. It shows a shift in priority."

Another change is with mergers and acquisitions. "Steve Jobs basically ran M&A for Apple," notes the report. Today there is a department that allows Apple to "work on three deals simultaneously". There are also more staff with MBAs being employed. Fortune notes that 2,153 Apple employees reference the term "MBA" in their LinkedIn profiles, and of those, "more than half the employees who reference "MBA" have been at Apple less than two years."

The report suggests that "Cook is taking action that Apple sorely needed and employees badly wanted." It also notes that "It's almost as if he is working his way through a to-do list of long-overdue repairs the previous occupant (Jobs) refused to address for no reason other than obstinacy."


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