A good ole Alabama boy took on a task that many would fear: Replacing our generation’s greatest innovator as the head of the world’s most successful company. Simple enough.
Without skipping a beat, Apple CEO Tim Cook has taken over — and is already starting to transform — a company that has changed the way the world talks, listens and communicates. Because of that, Time Magazine has named him to this year’s 100 Most Influential People. Included in the magazine is a short essay about each person. Cook’s was written by former vice president and current Apple board member Al Gore.
“It is difficult to imagine a harder challenge than following the legendary Steve Jobs as CEO of Apple. Yet Tim Cook, a soft-spoken, genuinely humble and quietly intense son of an Alabama shipyard worker and a homemaker, hasn’t missed a single beat.
Fiercely protective of Jobs’ legacy and deeply immersed in Apple’s culture, Cook, 51, has already led the world’s most valuable and innovative company to new heights while implementing major policy changes smoothly and brilliantly.
He has indelibly imprinted his leadership on all areas of Apple — from managing its complex inner workings to identifying and shepherding new “insanely great” technology and design breakthroughs into the product pipeline.” — Al Gore
Another person with a tie to Apple, Walter Isaacson, who is a former Time editor and author of Jobs’ biography, also made the list. His essay said his talents separate him from other writers “in choosing subjects whose individual talents have affected all our lives.”
To be fair, Steve Jobs chose Isaacson to write his biography — not the other way around.
Under Cook’s watch, Apple hit record-highs on the stock market. He’s even changed the culture at Apple, recently introducing a dividend program for investors. He recently toured China, proof that he cares and wants to improve the working conditions at factories that manufacture Apple products. Who knows, he might even be introducing a 7-inch screen iPad that would totally go against what his predecessor felt on that subject.
Those who argue that Cook shouldn’t have made the list say that he hasn’t even released a product on his own yet. Well, the rumors are well and alive, and we might see a smaller iPad from Cook. We might see a dedicated Apple television set. And we will likely see a new iPhone.
But will we see man who changes the way we consume media? The way we watch TV? The way we act when on the go? Cook has led Apple since January 2011. He still has plenty of time to prove all of those things and more.