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Apple CEO Tim Cook discusses Steve Jobs, privacy, the iPhone and more on Bloomberg (VIDEO)

Posted: , by Alan Friedman

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Apple CEO Tim Cook recently visited Bloomberg's The David Rubenstein show for a sit down talk with Mr. Rubenstein. The executive spoke about the man who preceded him as Apple's top executive, Steve Jobs. Cook says that when he first met Apple's co-founder, he noticed that Jobs had a sparkle in his eyes unlike any other CEO he had met before. He also noted how Jobs led Apple in directions that were opposite conventional wisdom. For example, at the time, computer companies were exiting the consumer market due to competition and low margins, and were going into servers and storage. Instead of following suit, Steve Jobs had Apple make a major commitment to consumers.

Now the leader of Apple, Cook pointed out that the company is run for the long haul, not for short term traders. He commented on how the number of iPhone units sold in a quarter can move the stock. "It's always struck me as bizarre that there's a fixation on how many units are sold in a 90-day period," said Cook. "We're making decisions that are multi-year kinds of decisions. We make it very clear that we don't want to run the company for people who want to make a quick buck." He did say that he welcomes the investment in Apple shares made by Warren Buffet because the investor buys into companies for the long term.

After discussing Steve Jobs' idea for the circular design of Apple Park, Cook revisits his early life and how he ended up at Apple following a stint at Compaq. At the time, Compaq was a much larger company than Apple, but he met with Jobs because it gave him the opportunity to "talk to the guy who created the industry." After just a few minutes, Cook realized that he wanted to go to Apple. 

Talking about the iPhone, Cook says that before it was unveiled by Jobs on January 9th, 2007, there was a sense that it was a "game changer." In response to a question by Rubenstein, the CEO stated that more than 1 billion iPhone handsets have been sold overall.

When the hot button topic of privacy was raised, Cook immediately noted that Apple sees it as "a fundamental human right." Continuing with the subject, Cook said, "Our tact on this is we take a minimum amount of data from customers, only that which we need to provide a great service. Then, we work really hard to protect it with encryption and so forth."

Equality was another issue addressed by Apple's CEO. Cook blamed inequality for many of the problems in the world. As examples, he mentioned two kids living in different zip codes causing them to have different experiences in education, and a member of the LGBTQ community who is fired from a job because of the person's sexual orientation. Speaking of which, Cook explained during the interview why he came out when he did. While he was more comfortable staying private, he said that he "needed to something for the greater good."


It's a fascinating interview with a man who had big shoes to fill, and has filled them admirably.

source: Bloomberg

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