Apple CEO Tim Cook has long been one of Steve Jobs' most trusted associates. For years, he was content to live in Jobs' shadow while making the company's supply chain the best in the business. But Jobs has moved on from being Apple's CEO to becoming its chairman, and it's now Cook's job to lead the iPhone maker. Attention will naturally turn to Cook, and questions will be raised about where he will take Apple.
At Apple's Oct. 4 iPhone event, Cook will likely take the wraps off who he is as an executive and what he might have planned for the company's future. He might not discuss Apple's future product plans, but he will undoubtedly provide a glimpse into what he believes will help Apple continue to succeed and, perhaps most importantly, how he plans to run the company for the foreseeable future.
But before Cook takes the stage at the iPhone event, it might be a good idea to provide a little cheat sheet on what folks can expect from Apple's CEO both at the iPhone event and at any point during his tenure as top executive.
Read on to find out what Cook brings to the table:
1. Little, if any, strategy shifts
Soon after Jobs announced that he would no longer be CEO of Apple, Cook reportedly sent a memo to employees indicating that "Apple is not going to change." He didn't provide too many details about his plans for the company, but if the memo is to be one's guide, Apple will stay the way it is indefinitely.
2. A keen eye for profit margins
As Apple COO, Cook was in charge of managing the company's huge supply chain. And in that capacity, he did an exceptional job. In fact, Apple's supply chain is widely considered the best in the business. It's the main reason the iPhone maker has been able to get so much hardware to store shelves at costs that help it produce record-breaking profits. As CEO, Cook will continue to exert influence over Apple's profit margins and deliver impressive earnings each quarter.
3. Less stage generalship
At the iPhone event on Oct. 4, those hoping to see a Jobs-like performance from Cook will be disappointed. As Cook has shown at Apple events in the past, he simply doesn't have the stage presence that Jobs does. What's more, he likely won't spend as much time on stage as Jobs did. From now on, Apple events will likely be headlined by several folks, rather than just one. And that's just fine.
4. Less vision than Steve Jobs
At Apple, Jobs was often called the "innovator-in-chief." The Apple co-founder had a keen eye for product design and implementation, with an instinctive knowledge of what devices would be popular with consumers. Cook doesn't have that eye, and he will need to rely upon the collective genius of Apple's product designers and marketing executives to determine the shape of future products. Will that hurt Apple product designs? It's too early to tell. But it's something that observers should keep an eye on.