TIME Person of the Year Runner-Up: Tim Cook
December 20, 2012 12:44 PM
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Cook received runner-up for successfully filling Steve Jobs' shoes
TIME has named U.S. President Barack Obama the Person of the Year for the second time (he was also Person of the Year in 2008), but one of the runners-up for TIME's annual award was none other than
Apple's CEO Tim Cook
Why Cook? TIME had a list of reasons, ranging from the fact that Cook was the first to professionally transition to Apple's CEO without a civil war within the company, to his "Apple" look, to his ability to step in and run the company when so many thought that Steve Jobs
"Like an Apple product, Cook runs smooth and fast," said Lev Grossman, TIME. "When
Jobs died on Oct. 5, 2011
, of pancreatic cancer, there were questions about whether Cook could lead Apple. Some, myself included, wondered whether Apple was even a viable company without Jobs. Since then Cook has gone about his business apparently unintimidated by his role as successor to one of the greatest innovators in history. Cook’s record hasn’t been flawless, but he has presided in a masterly way over both a thorough, systematic upgrading of each of the company’s major product lines and a run-up in the company’s financial fortunes that can only be described as historic."
Apple was considered a tech superpower when Jobs held the reigns, putting out wildly popular devices like the iPod, iPhone and iPad during his tenure. He was a forceful, outspoken and emotional person, making the quiet and smooth Cook a questionable follower for the position.
Jobs stepped down as CEO in August 2011 and died that October having already told Cook that he was chosen as the next CEO of Apple. Since then, Cook has successfully launched products that continue to be explosively popular (the new iPad, iPhone 5,
) and has hit some record-breaking sales.
"Cook has done it his way," said Grossman. "Jobs was famously over the top: he came at you from across the room, flashing his lightning-bolt eyebrows, and he browbeat you till you either agreed with him or pretended to, just to make him for God’s sake stop. That’s not how Cook operates. He’s a seducer, a Southern drawler, slow and soft-spoken. He has been observed winking. He doesn’t come at you; he waits for you to come to him. And sooner or later you do, not because you have to but because, dang it, you want to."
Cook certainly has brought Apple through some tough times since his takeover. Earlier this year,
The New York Times
attacked the company for standing by while its Asian suppliers provided subpar working conditions for its workers.
Later, Apple released its first mapping service after ditching Google Maps, but once it launched, the app was a catastrophe. The service gave images that looked nothing like the location it represented, the navigation was off, and people have even
gotten lost in dangerous areas
thanks to Apple's mapping.
apologized to customers
for the issues, and Apple executives in charge of the maps service like
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12/21/2012 6:04:13 PM
Reminds me of one of Jerry Seinfeld's jokes regarding finishing with a Silver Medal or Second Place. He said "Congratulations, you almost won; Of all the losers, you came in first! You're the Number 1 Loser!"
"There's no chance that the iPhone is going to get any significant market share. No chance." -- Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer
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