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Cook receives praise for Apple's 'cabinet reshuffle', will the markets react positively?

Karen Haslam | Nov. 2, 2012
The feedback to the news of Apple CEO Tim Cook's reorganization of his executives has been largely positive, with some suggesting that the news shows that Cook is taking charge at Apple and learning from his mistakes.

Another of Cooks' mistakes was also highlighted by the news of the reshuffle. His handling of hardware engineering head Bob Mansfield's retirement. Mansfield announced his retirement earlier this year, then this summer it was announced that Mansfield would be returning to the company. Reports at the time claimed that Apple engineers had kicked up a fuss about Mansfield's replacement, Dan Riccio, causing Cook to go to Mansfield and ask him to stay. At the time it was said Cook offered Mansfield an "exorbitant package of cash and stock worth around $2 million a month to stay on at Apple as an adviser and help manage the hardware engineering team".

Reflecting on this, and the news that Mansfield will now be heading up a new "Technologies" division at Apple, Forbes asks: "For a 51 year old to retire (maybe I'm old fashioned but isn't that a little young to retire for a rock star SVP at the most valuable company in the world?), unretired, and then get promoted, it makes me wonder what's been going on behind the scenes for the last 6 months with management?"

Another mistake that happened under Cook's reign was Apple Maps. While Forstall has been assigned much of the blame, Cook did in fact admit fault in the matter, as the CEO of the company Cook should accept over-all responsibility. Should Cook have addressed the developer feedback on the Maps issues prior to release? Should Cook have held back the release until the software was ready?

It looks like Cook has been learning from his mistakes, however. In one day he has fixed issues in his management team, addressed his failed hire of a retail head, and announced that iTunes 11 would be delayed while the company works on making it better.

Analyst reaction to Apple's cabinet reshuffle

Horace Dedieu of Asymco: "Seems like a good plan. Apple's biggest threat is corrosive politics and the entropy that follows. But I have no data." (Via: Forbes).

William Powers of Robert W. Baird & Co: "This appears to be part of Tim Cook putting his own stamp on the company, and importantly, he is still surrounded by several key long-time Apple executives and innovators." (Via: iDownloadblog)

Gene Munster of Piper Jaffray: "Apple is consolidating leadership around core long term executives, and the probability that key management is committed to Apple appears to have increased." Munster refers to Cook and Ive as: "The two most critical management figures" and noted that the changes seem to confirm that Jonathan Ive will be with Apple for the "foreseeable future." Munster believes Ive's expanded role should put to rest "a recurring investor concern of an Apple without Ive." Via Apple insider.


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