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Who is the better CEO? Steve Jobs or Tim Cook?

Sanjana Ray
7th Sep 2016
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Everyone’s on the edge of their seat after Apple’s recent announcement on the launch of their newest dazzler – the iPhone 7. As Apple loyalists and the rest of the technologically-divided world watch on with bated breath at what the Silicon Valley giant under the leadership of CEO Tim Cook can pitch them to make the purchase, we’d like to reflect on how much the several-billion dollar company has changed since its creator and legend, Steve Jobs, passed away and the reins were placed in the hands of Cook.

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According to CNBC, the company’s stock is up 105 percent since Tim Cook was awarded the insurmountable task of becoming the CEO of this tech-giant, but it has slid three percent over the past year. The report says that the S&P 500 is up 88 percent and 11 percent in those respective periods. In Apple's most recent quarterly results, the revenue declined by 14.6 percent – a second quarterly decline following 13 years of growth.

So the question is – was the company faring better under the man who is considered a Tech-God around the world? What is Apple doing differently from when the company was under the supreme control of Jobs?

Innovation

Steve Jobs was always particular about building an innovative company culture and recurrently stressed on the need to build on Apple’s ability to innovate and create the ‘next big thing’. However, since then, Tim Cook has been bigger on acquisitions than on deriving an individualistic innovation culture, as evident from his recent interest in the new tech-startup culture that is spreading like wildfire around the world. “We look for companies that have great people and great technology and that fit culturally and we don’t have a rule that says we can’t spend a lot or whatever,” he had once said in a speech.

Design

Jobs abhorred product designs that weren’t simplistic and convenient. To this end, he always spoke out against the ‘hummers’ – as he once called them – or the more popular Samsung products. He always said it wasn’t easy to operate with one hand, and the same sentiment was directed towards ‘small tablets’ as well. “There are clear limits of how close you can physically place elements on a touch screen before users cannot reliably tap, flick or pinch them,” he said. However, two of the company’s greatest sellers are the iPhone 6S, that could rival a Samsung ‘hummer’ with its size, and the iPad Mini, which went against his scriptures.

Competition

Although Google and Microsoft had been Apple’s arch rivals during Jobs’ time as well, they hadn’t quite managed to imitate and surpass similar products when it came to sales and numbers. Jobs was alive to witness the initial software that created Siri, but it was after his death that Microsoft’s Cortana and Google’s Google Now managed to beat it in the list.

Shifting spotlights and brand-control

According to Senior Analyst, Vinay Gupta, Apple had always managed to lure in the brightest talents of the world to its realm, hence managing to put in the next bestselling ideas on the table, increasing its sales by a maximum. During Jobs’ time, there was no supposing of ego-clashes and break-downs, because he was very good at managing his executives, considering his position as the undisputed final authority. However, under Cook, the recognition for ‘individual contributions’ is causing tensions within the company. This has led some of the top-level employees to walk out.

Do you think Apple works better or worse without Steve Jobs? Let us know in the comments below!

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