Apple CEO Tim Cook has given some hints about who might succeed him at the helm of the tech giant. In an interview with The New York Times, Cook said that he has a “very capable” team of senior executives who could take over the company if he decides to step down.
Cook, who has been leading Apple since 2011, said that he has a “deep bench” of leaders who share his vision and values. He singled out some of his top lieutenants, such as Jeff Williams, the chief operating officer, Deirdre O’Brien, the senior vice president of retail and people, and Johny Srouji, the senior vice president of hardware technologies.
“I look at the executive team, and I see some incredibly talented people there,” Cook said. “The kind of people that are running these enormous businesses that have been phenomenally successful, not just financially, but in terms of innovation, in terms of attracting and retaining the best people in the world.”
Cook also praised his software and services chiefs, such as Craig Federighi, the senior vice president of software engineering, Eddy Cue, the senior vice president of internet software and services, and Greg Joswiak, the senior vice president of worldwide marketing.
“They’re all people that I can’t imagine doing the job without,” Cook said. “They’re people that I have the utmost respect for, and I think our customers do as well.”
Cook does not reveal his retirement plans
Cook, who is 61 years old, did not disclose when he plans to retire or who he thinks should replace him. He said that he still loves his job and feels a sense of responsibility to lead Apple in a challenging and uncertain world.
“I don’t have a date in mind,” Cook said. “But 10 more years is a long time, and probably not 10 more years.”
Cook said that he wants to leave Apple in a better position than when he joined it, and that he is focused on making products and services that enrich people’s lives.
“I really want to be the pebble in the pond that creates the ripple for change,” Cook said. “That’s what gets me up in the morning, and that’s what keeps me going.”
Cook reflects on his legacy and challenges
Cook, who succeeded the late Steve Jobs as Apple’s CEO, said that he is proud of the achievements and innovations that the company has made under his leadership. He cited the launch of the Apple Watch, the AirPods, the iPad Pro, the iPhone 12, and the Apple Silicon Macs as some of the highlights of his tenure.
He also said that he is proud of the social and environmental initiatives that Apple has pursued, such as supporting human rights, racial justice, education, privacy, and renewable energy.
“I think we’ve done a lot of good in the world,” Cook said. “And I think we’ve made a lot of people happy.”
However, Cook also acknowledged that he has faced some challenges and criticisms as Apple’s CEO. He said that he has learned to deal with the scrutiny and pressure that comes with leading one of the most valuable and influential companies in the world.
He said that he tries to ignore the noise and focus on the things that matter, such as the feedback from customers, employees, and partners.
“I don’t get caught up in the praise, and I don’t get caught up in the criticism,” Cook said. “I just try to do the best job that I can do, and let the results speak for themselves.”