NEWS ANALYSIS: Apple CEO Tim Cook has a long year ahead of him. There are a host of mistakes he just can't make if he wants Apple to stay successful.
Apple CEO Tim Cook has a difficult job.
Looking back at the history of his company, there has been one CEO-co-founder
Steve Jobs-who has been able to lead Apple to greatness. Other executives at
the helm after Jobs was forced out in 1985 came perilously close to driving the
company into the ground. There is a general concern among shareholders that Steve
Jobs and Steve Jobs alone knew how to run such a big and
sophisticated company as Apple
But Cook's troubles go far beyond
filling Jobs' shoes. The Apple CEO is also running the world's largest company
and based on calendar fourth-quarter earnings, it's a firm that is generating
more cash than any other competitor in the technology space. To give all that
back because of poor decisions would be a huge black mark on Cook's record and
more than likely limit his chances of ever coming close to looking like a Steve
So, there are a host of potential pitfalls waiting for Cook
And if he's not careful, he might just fall into them. But luckily for the
Apple CEO, we have him covered.
Read on to find out what mistakes Cook
can't afford to make at Apple this year:
Put an end to the secrecy
One of the key elements of Apple's
success over the years has been its penchant for secrecy. The company uses the
rumor mill to promote its products and build hype, and all the while doesn't
allow a single sliver of real attributable news to leak out. It has worked
beautifully in the past, and it's something Cook must not ditch as he starts
making decisions this year.
Make the announcements less special
At the same time, simply sending out
press releases or having half-baked press events to announce new products would
be a mistake. So far, Cook hasn't proved that he really understands the value of
major press events
and has largely left them up to his executives to
handle. That needs to stop. He needs to be the face of Apple and prominent at
major product introductions.
Maintain status quo on production
Unfortunately, production facilities
Apple relies on around the world are becoming increasingly troublesome for the
company. Many workers at a Foxconn, a company that produces Apple products,
complain of poor working conditions and practices. What's worse, some workers
have committed suicide in the factories. Granted, Apple doesn't own those
companies, but as a petition from watchdog group SumOfUs explains, Apple has
the ability to "overhaul the way its suppliers treat their workers." Cook
must not maintain status quo in overseas production facilities. Things must
Forget Steve Jobs' lessons
As noted, Apple co-founder Steve Jobs has
been the only chief executive at the company who really knew what it takes to
make it successful. So, the last thing Cook should do is throw out all the
lessons Jobs taught him to try a different course. Jobs' strategies worked. And
Cook must accept that.