WSJ: Apple ‘iWatch’ to Debut Alongside iPhone 6 This Fall; Tim Cook Seeks New Directors

The Wall Street Journal’s Daisuke Wakabayashi has profiled the moves of Apple CEO Tim Cook and how his new leadership has differed from that of the late Steve Jobs. The article is based on an interview with over a dozen former and current Apple employees.

Cook is seen as a calmer CEO, compared to Jobs, known for his temperament, with one former employee noting “Steve was a wartime CEO, while Tim is a peacetime CEO.” Another former employee described the situation as “The only thing that Steve cared about was creating great products. The company, the employees were only there to facilitate that goal… Tim is much more worried about everything at the company.”

As for Apple, Cook is apparently looking to add new directors to the company’s board, which currently has eight people, most of them loyal to Jobs:

According to people familiar with the company, Mr. Cook is actively seeking new directors to add to Apple’s eight-person board, known for its loyalty to Mr. Jobs. Six of the seven outside directors are aged 63 or older. Four of them have served for more than a decade, including two who have been on the board since the late 1990s: former Intuit Corp. Chief Executive Bill Campbell and J. Crew Group Inc. Chief Executive Millard S. “Mickey” Drexler.

Wakabayashi also notes Apple’s rumoured iWatch is set to debut this fall alongside the iPhone 6:

People familiar with the company’s plans say that Apple is working on a smart watch with advanced sensors to track a user’s fitness and health. Apple is expected to introduce the new device, as well as a larger iPhone, in the fall, these people said.

Cook, as expected, is less hands-on compared to Jobs when it comes to product development. The CEO encourages employees with comments such as “let’s push that forward” or “let’s see what we can do with that”. Another employee said Cook is not as comfortable as saying “no”, compared to Jobs—which actually contradicts the company’s recent mantra.

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Although most of the information is not exactly new, the consensus is Cook is a pragmatic thinker that takes his time to make decisions to “minimize mistakes”, and is also a consensus builder. This has resulted in apparent slower decision making but has reduced the chaos under the reign of Jobs, as executives are now more collaborative than competitive.


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