Pixel Envy

Written by Nick Heer.

How Tim Cook is Changing Apple

Interesting profile by Adam Lashinski, for Fortune. There are some intriguing differences between the Cook era and the Jobs era at Apple. This paragraph, in particular, seems worrisome at face value:

Elsewhere there are signs of Apple becoming a more normal company. When Adrian Perica, a former Goldman Sachs banker, joined Apple several years ago, he was the only executive whose sole remit was dealmaking. Steve Jobs basically ran M&A for Apple. Today Perica heads a department with three corporate-development professionals under him and a staff supporting them, so that Apple can work on three deals simultaneously. Indeed, the vibe, in the words of a former employee, is of an Apple that is becoming “far more traditional,” meaning more MBAs, more process, and more structure. (In point of fact, 2,153 Apple employees reference the term “MBA” in their LinkedIn profiles out of a nonretail workforce of nearly 28,000. More than half the employees who reference “MBA” have been at Apple less than two years.)

That there has been a dramatic uptick in the number of business students at Apple in the past two years seems antithetical to the way Apple views themselves, and to the organizational structure that began when Jobs returned in the mid-nineties. But another idea earlier in the Fortune story suggests that these fears are unfounded:

Cook consistently pays homage to the legacy of Jobs, but he doesn’t apologize for charting a new course. He seems, at the end of the day, to be honoring one of Jobs’ dying requests: that Apple’s management not ask “What would Steve do?” and instead do what’s best for Apple.

The company is a shifting beast, and it’s Cook’s job to ensure that it stays true to the qualities of Apple, but not necessarily in the way Jobs would do it. That’s all.