Tim Cook

Following the death of Steve Jobs last year many wondered whether Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) would continue to reach the heights it had after he was gone. This has been a major worry for Apple investors since Tim Cook took to the position of CEO last August. Since the changeover however Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) has been doing better than ever before. The company posted a record quarter in January and its second quarter was its largest ever. Expectations are that every single quarter in the coming year will be the biggest in Apple’s history, a result that would certainly secure the adoration of fans and gratitude of investors for Cook, the Alabama native.

In order to probe the strengths of Apple’s chief we need to see where he is weak. First of all he has not released any new products. Two updated, but far from revolutionary, releases have marked his tenure, the iPhone 4S and the iPad. Both were updates of old product lines, and though both have been successful it will be interesting to see what the first Cook product to come out of Apple will be.

Whether a radical dparture from an old product line, a new Macbook?, or something completely new, Cook’s effectiveness at the helm of the wold’s most innovative company will be tested by its innovation under his watch. So far there hasn’t been anything mind blowing but that may change later in 2012.

On contracts and organisational management we know that Cook is among the very best. As Apple’s COO he tailored the company’s incredible supply chain system that has it not only keep its products under wraps  and reduces costs but also moves old versions out of stores in time for the introduction of updates. He is also given rightful acknowledgement for getting Apple out of manufacturing altogether and outsourcing that to the far east.

His biggest public test in organisational management so far has come in the area of corporate responsibility in relation to treatment of workers at Foxconn. He put a good face on that situation and had many thankful for his attention to the matter. Though the abuses continue Cook’s attention to the matter came off with Apple looking much better than it had and the relationships continuing.

A bigger test will come if fears of US carriers stopping subsidies on iPhones come true. The negotiations surrounding any move like that will be harsh and unforgiving on both sides.

Apple hasn’t changed much since Tim Cook took over. There is no new product line and no major change up. Tim Cook, at least in Public Eyes, has done little more than continue the day to day workings at Apple. After 6 months it is difficult to tell what kind of impact he is having. We will have to wait and see when the company makes major new announcement whether or not he really is filling Jobs shoes.