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Tim Cook Lacks Leadership And Is A “Lightweight” In The Field Of Technology, Says Former Apple Sales Chief

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Former director of Apple’s federal sales group David Sobotta, has stated in an interview with Readwrite.com (via CNET) that Apple CEO Tim Cook lacks leadership skills and is a “lightweight” when it comes to understanding technology. 

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Sobotta, who is also the author of recently published Kindle book “The Pomme Company“, in which he shares his 20-year experience at Apple, said in an interview to Dan Lyons, the editor of Readwrite.com, that he never saw the same passion for technology in Tim Cook like he did in Steve Jobs. He also claimed that Tim Cook is afraid of being wrong, a “managerial trait that runs strong and deep in Apple”, because of the way Steve ran the company.

“Well, for starters, Cook is not a people person,” Sobotta writes. “He certainly will not stand behind someone if the going gets rough. He is not that kind of guy. I sense no personal loyalty in him, and I suspect employees already understand that.

“Tim will react to the numbers or his fear of being wrong quickly. Fear of being wrong is a managerial trait that runs strong and deep in Apple because of the way Steve ran the company. Even the appearance of being wrong when in the end you might be right is dreaded at Apple.

“You don’t make mistakes at Apple and get a second chance. That often hinders decision-making and creates a lot of passive-aggressiveness between teams that should be cooperating.”

David Sobotta’s book, The Pomme Company, is available in Kindle format from Amazon, that most likely won’t make its way to the iBookstore.

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  • KJ

    Lol another disgruntled ex employee

  • Banksy

    What ex-employee is not generally disgruntled though? Not just from Apple, but from any company?

  • Farids

    I agree with the other guys posts here. But, what is given above is somewhat correct. Before Steve Jobs died, he was the inspiration, innovation and drive behind Apple. His passion for technology created the push and his sense of perfectionism filtered only the best of products and services out of Apple, and nothing but! I don’t ever remember Apple apologizing for anything at all during Steve Jobs leadership, he was so sure about any product that went out Apple’s door. And that maybe why his protege Scott Forstall refused to apologize for Apple Maps. Tim Cook doesn’t have the love, vision and knowledge of technology Steve Jobs had, that makes him unsure and hesitant. His lack of love is obvious from his limited vocabulary of technology terms, after being in the largest tech company for so long. He is the best when the supply and process comes. He did perfectly fit in sharing the Apple leadership with Jobs. But without Jobs, he’s only half of the leadership Apple requires to be like before: whole. With him on the helm, the supply and process still works perfectly, but a lot of what Jobs brought is missing. You can see it in Cook’s face and in his presentations: or his lack of presentations and reliance in others’ knowledge.

  • KJ

    I don’t agree at all. Jobs was only one man surrounded by bright minds…enough kissing his ass….people are so busy dissing apple. Tell me what other company is so innovative. I bet no one one here can even names the CEO of Samsung, LG….or even Rim….sure seems like a lot of people are tech experts but instead of applying at apple there on iPhone in Canada complaining the iPhone does not wipe there ass yet….limited tech vocab….please man

  • Farids

    Most readers here might not know(I do, but beside the point) the name of CEOs of Samsung or RIM or LG, because in here, mostly Apple fans leave comments. They, we are familiar with, follow and support Apple. We mostly own iPhones, Macs and iPads. As for me, I am a tech expert with almost 28 years in computer and telecom field. I’m not dissing Apple. I’m basically indicating what’s been happening since Jobs’ death, related to the above article. If you have any comments that proves otherwise, why not put here for everybody and me to read? Instead of dissing my comments? I’ll be very appreciative more than happy to read and perhaps learn I’ve been wrong.

  • Kk

    Well how about when jobs allowed the iPhone 4 to ship with attenna issues when they were well know just to start

  • Brian

    Makes a bit of sense. Could be why they take forever to implement new technologies. If it doesn’t have the appearance of being flawless right off the bat then you’re cut loose, a la Scott Forstall with Maps. This leads to great quality and simplicity in the software and hardware, but severely lacking in innovations.

  • Farids

    As I mentioned above, Apple has never publicly apologized for anything till Cooks apology for the iOS 6 maps. Certainly never while Steve Jobs was alive and working for/with Apple, for any Apple product. iPhone 4 antenna problem is well known, also the problem of cracking glass on iPhone 4 and 4S vs. a plastic back. There’s been other problems with iPhones and Apple products in general. But as some say, Jobs’ Reality Distortion field, and I say the fact Jobs was so knowledgable and so fussy in making a product and so sure of its quality because of the fuss, he never apologized for anything regarding that product, to a fault almost. Cook on the other hand, not only apologized for the maps product whilst being improved, but let go of an original iPhone team member for not apologizing. Forstall may have not been the best person to get along and work with, but his guidance and design had a share in the creation and success of the iOS, iPhones and the revolution it created in telecommunication industry. That alone, in my opinion, is a sign of Cook’s lack of knowledge and wisdom. He could have mediated like Jobs did since his team including Forstall rejoined Apple from Next.

  • Do

    Well why don’t you enlighten us about all the other innovative products from all the other companies

  • Farids

    This article, and thread is not about innovations from competitors. There’s no comparing any products. You can not compare any product with the quality or care put into designing an Apple product. I, for one am an Apple user and a fan, very much worried about the future of the company I support. What I feel is very much based on my knowledge and the facts I mentioned above. I’m still waiting for someone to convince me I’m wrong, rather than trying to change the conversation to the competition. I believe, constructive criticism(based on logical and historical grounds) can help keep this most wonderful company on the right track. Blind support and labeling does not.

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