Fans of Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) might be forgiven for worrying about the company at the moment. A recent profile of the company’s CEO Tim Cook by Reuters described the changes the executive is bringing to bear on the company’s culture, and news yesterday revealed an increasing focus on getting cozy with Wall Street.
Tim Cooke is planning on eating dinner with veteran hedge fund manager Carl Icahn next month in order to discuss the size of the company’s share buy back. Carl Icahn is the kind of investor that gets under the skin of executives, and he often attempts to remove them entirely.
Size matters at Apple
Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) has never really been a bigger-is-better kind of company. The firm made its biggest splash in the PC industry with all-in-one desktops and incredibly compact laptops, while its iPhone screens are so small that some analysts see the design as a major weakness for the company.
One thing is obvious, however, Carl Icahn isn’t much of a danger to Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL), but that’s not because of good design or savvy strategic thinking. Carl Icahn is far too small to put real pressure on Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL). It is the biggest company in the world.
Apple fans are aware of the chaos that Icahn caused at Dell Inc. (NASDAQ:DELL) and they’re worried that something similar could happen at Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL). Icahn would need to find a lot of money if he wants to take on the Cupertino company. He’ll have a lot of support for increasing the firm’s capital return program. He’ll see little support for any plan to change the company’s management.
Apple and Wall Street
There has definitely been a rethink at Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) about Wall Street since Tim Cook took over. Whether it is better or worse for the company is up for debate, but Apple has been outperformed by the wider Nasdaq and the S&P 500 in the two years since Cook took over.
Whether or not Tim Cook is slowing Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) down and changing it for the worse, it’s not Icahn’s fault. Cook’s date with the hedge fund manager might be indicative of a cosier relationship between the company and shareholders, but it’s not going to have any real effect on the company.