Apple CEO Tim Cook says he might leave sometime over the next ten years

Apple CEO Tim Cook says he might leave sometime over the next ten years
On January 15th, 2009, Tim Cook took over as CEO replacing Steve Jobs who was suffering from pancreatic cancer. Cook's first reign as Apple's top executive lasted 207 days as Jobs felt well enough to return to Cupertino during the third week of June. Jobs remained in his CEO post until August 24th, 2011 when he decided that he could no longer continue doing his job. Once again Cook replaced him as CEO and has had that position ever since. On October 5th, 2011, Jobs succumbed to cancer.

Regardless of what you might think of Tim Cook's abilities, he has been the right man for the job. Under his leadership, Apple increased the size of the iPhone screen from 3.5-inches to the 6.7-inches on the iPhone 12 Pro Max. He added a larger 5.5-inch "Plus" model starting with 2015's iPhone 6 series and also led a major redesign with the iPhone X; the latter model introduced the world to Face IDand the notch (although it wasn't the first handset to sport one). Cook launched popular wearables like the AirPods and the Apple Watch. Sure, not every device has been a hit. Take for example the HomePod smart speaker which turned out to be a sales dud. Since Cook took over, Apple's market cap has risen from $350 billion to $2 trillion. Clearly, Cook has been a perfect fit for Apple.

During the latest edition of tech journalist Kara Swisher's "Sway" podcast, Tim Cook was on the hot seat. He answered a number of questions, some of which we've covered in other articles today. But perhaps one of the most important questions that Cook was asked was whether he will still be at Apple in ten years. His response? "10 more years, I probably not. But I can tell you that I feel great right now. And the date’s not in sight. But 10 more years is a long time and probably not 10 more years."

The good news is that Cook's departure from Apple does not appear imminent. But it also sounds as though someone else will be the company's CEO ten years from now. Back in 2019, Chief Operating Officer Jeff Williams was the clear successor to Cook. Like Cook did before becoming CEO, Williams worked with Apple's supply chain. The first device he got his hands dirty on was the Apple Watch and more than once he had to stop the development of the timepiece in order to switch the materials being used. This led to a delay in the release of the device, but it was the right thing to do since it prevented possibly defective units from ending up in consumers' hands.

If Williams is next in line after Cook, it would seem that the company will remain in good hands. But Cook still has plenty of time left as he continues to mold his legacy at Apple.


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