Tim Cook likely to succeed Jobs as Apple CEO


Talks are ripe that Apple COO Tim Cook is set to succeed Steve Jobs as Apple CEO but analysts note the company’s second in command has yet to show he is just as visionary as his company’s co-founder and leader.

Cook is expected to stand in for Jobs in leading the annual shareholders meeting on Wednesday where questions about likely succession scenario are expected to take on the floor during discussions.

On January 16, Jobs announced he is taking an indefinite leave of absence due to medical condition, the second time in two years that he sought to be away from the company since undergoing a liver transplant. It was learned later he is currently seeking medical treatment and is fighting for a rare form of pancreatic cancer.

A soft-spoken Cook has been thrust into the limelight following Jobs likely departure from pressure-laden task of leading today’s fastest growing computer and mobile phone maker in the world.

He joined Apple in 1998 after leaving Compaq, which was then the world’s top PC maker and has worked behind the scenes as Jobs take Apple to greater heights of innovation and success.

“My most significant discovery so far in my life was the result of one single decision, my decision to join Apple,” said a reflective Cook in speech at his alma mater Auburn University last year.

“Working at Apple was never in any plan that I outlined for myself, but was without a doubt the best decision that I ever made,” he added.

But both technology and financial experts believe he has yet to prove that his technology instincts are as sharp as when he elected to jump ship from the once-mighty Compaq to Apple.

Also, what most investors expect to see is whether Cook has any of Jobs’ instincts for anticipating what consumers want before they know it. While those who have known or worked with him over the past two decades were said to have regarded him as “brilliant” and “phenomenal,” still, his true measure remains untested.

Cook earned a degree in industrial engineering from Auburn in 1982, and received his MBA from Duke University in 1988.

Driven by the robust performance of its latest slew of popular products, the computer technology giant posted a whooping $26.7 billion revenue in the last quarter of 2010, following impressive sales of iPad and iPhone which exceeded earlier Wall Street forecasts, generating sales of 7.3 million iPads for the said quarter that matched those of the earlier two quarters combined.

Apple had also sold a record 16.2 million iPhones, and boost the company’s latest sales performance to a new record of $6 billion profit.

Jon Mills

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