On the occasion of his 5th year as the company’s CEO, Tim Cook opens up in an interview last week with Washington Post. From the evolution of the company’s revenue to the importance of social responsibility, the CEO of the Apple firm analyzes the major changes since the transfer of power, following the resignation of Steve Jobs in 2011. It was August 24, 2011, six weeks before the death of the iconic founder of the group. Here are the main lessons that Tim Cook draws from his first five years at the head of the world’s largest market capitalization.
More employees and an explosion in revenue
As for Apple’s revenue, the CEO tells the Washington Post that they have increased fourfold since 2010. And this is thanks to the explosion in sales of the now mythical iPhone, which is available in new ranges every year and has an increasingly intuitive operating system. The smartphone made in Apple – sold more than a billion copies – represented 44% of the manufacturer’s turnover in 2011 and is now approaching 70% ($ 136 billion on 215.5 billion dollars). Very optimistic, the successor of Steve Jobs comments this dependence of Apple to the iPhone: “this is actually a privilege, not a problem”. However, Apple’s quarterly results published in July confirm the urgency of finding a new growth driver after the iPhone. Based on estimates from research firm IDC, Apple has seen sales of its iPhone fall by 15% to 40.4 million units in the second quarter of this year. This is mainly due to the market for connected watches with the Apple Watch, which continues to be explored, even if it is still struggling to find its feet. But also by the Apple TV …
The importance of social responsibility
On the social front, Tim Cook wants to make things happen. Regularly criticized for its lack of respect for labor rights and its lack of transparency about the working conditions of its suppliers, the company would have recently intensified its social responsibility, says the CEO. While remaining discreet about the products themselves, Apple says it has made efforts to communicate and be transparent. The CEO of Apple told the American daily that each generation has the responsibility to strive for the improvement of human rights.
Tim Cook also discusses the company’s environmental work, which “has been going on for decades, without any talk or aspirational goals.” This would also be changing, he says.
Moving away from the traditional CEO archetype
Breaking away from the previous model of the CEO who plays the role of a figure far removed from his customers. This is the desire of the man who is at the head of Apple today. Beyond making sure the revenues are in order, the CEO emphasizes that he also places a huge emphasis on interactions with his customers. He also has “a tremendous responsibility to employees, to the communities and countries in which the company operates, to those who assemble the products, to the developers, to the entire Apple ecosystem.”
Full of ambitions for the years to come, Tim Cook is convinced that Apple’s best days are not over. This includes services (iCloud, AppStore, Apple Pay), the business market (especially thanks to the iPad Pro, which opens up new opportunities for the group), and the opening of new markets (after the success in China, Tim Cook is thinking in particular of India, where Apple still has a lot of room for improvement).
Steve Jobs will remain irreplaceable, Tim Cook is convinced. Nevertheless, the 55-year-old man, who recently came out, is transforming the Apple company, notably by going back on some of the positions of its illustrious founder.