What It's Like Working For Tim Cook

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We're getting some new details on Apple CEO Tim Cook from a forthcoming book on Apple in the post Steve Jobs era.

The book is called "Haunted Empire: Apple After Steve Jobs." It was written by former Wall Street Journal Apple reporter Yukari Iwatani Kane. The Journal ran an excerpt of the book today.

The excerpt is largely a profile of Cook. Despite being CEO of the world's most valuable company, there isn't much known about Cook. In short, Cook is a workaholic, who obsesses over details. He doesn't have much of a social life outside of Apple. He's frugal, and generous.
Here's more on Cook:
  • Kane says that some colleagues call Cook a blank slate. She reports, "As far as anyone could tell, Cook had no close friends, never socialized and rarely talked about his personal life."
  • Cook led a relatively simple life. He rented a house without air conditioning for years. When he finally bought his own place it was 2,400 square foot home on a half lot with a single parking space.
  • His first sports car was a used Porsche Boxster.
  • When Apple was going to release iMovie, Jobs asked all the executives to make home movies to test the software. Cook made a movie about house hunting in Palo Alto, and the high price of real estate in the late 90s.
  • Cook's weekly meetings could last 5-6 hours as he went over every single detail. His employees crammed for the meetings like they were cramming for a final exam. If any number was wrong or missing, Cook would know.
  • Kane says, "Meetings with Cook could be terrifying." He could ask the same question of an employee 10 times in a row. He would ask, "Why is that?" "What do you mean?" "I don't understand. Why are you not making it clear?"
  • Kane reports, "Cook also knew the power of silence. He could do more with a pause than Jobs ever could with an epithet. When someone was unable to answer a question, Cook would sit without a word while people stared at the table and shifted in their seats."
  • He had an "inhuman" level of stamina. He would spend days in Asia, return to California, and head straight to work.
  • He wakes up every morning at 4-5 AM. He works out, then heads to the office. He eats protein bars all day and has simple meals like Chicken and rice.
  • His hobbies are rock climbing and mountain biking.
  • He's generous. He volunteers at soup kitchens, he gives away frequent flier miles as presents, and he's participated in bike rides to raise money for charity. When he was first named CEO he made it so Apple would do matching contributions to charities.
  • Cook eats in Apple's cafeteria and introduces himself to employees he doesn't know.

Read the whole thing at the WSJ, it's a good look at Cook and Apple >