Tim Cook hasn't had an easy time as CEO of Apple. He was forced to take on that role when Steve Jobs got sick and then finally passed away. Cook had to jump into the role of CEO of one of the world's biggest companies, and he had the unenviable task of being the successor to one of the most dynamic and successful chief executives in the history of business.
So how is he doing? Well that, of course, is a matter of opinion. Recently there was quite a long thread on the Apple subreddit about Tim Cook's performance as CEO of Apple. As I write this post the thread has nearly 700 responses, and Apple redditors were not shy about offering Tim Cook some very blunt feedback about his performance as CEO of Apple.
I'll share some of my own thoughts below, but here's a sample of what Apple redditors had to say about Tim Cook. The first message is absolutely blistering and pulls no punches whatsoever and it got about 1893 up votes:
Lookingforasonghelp: ”Tim Cook is one greedy mofo. On a scale of an A through F, I'd give you a solid C-. And that's being really generous...
Let's not even talk about how the polish of OS X and iOS has gone down over time. Let's not even talk about the bugs in every release, how every update leads people in with the constant hope of "this is the one, this the one which will make your device run like new". Oh man, let's...update. Oh wait, this...isn't what they promised. Nah, let's not talk about any of that. Because that's not gonna change, is it? Planned obsolescence is the name of the game.
Instead, let's talk your constant unwillingness to give a single...about your customers and your willingness to always give a...when your stinginess comes into play. You deny staingate on the MacBook Pro line up until the very end when you feel your pockets are threatened by a consumer lawsuit. Hell even Steve held a...press conference for antenna-gate while you high-fived Jony on sales while iPhone 6's were being bent, many with no fault of the consumer. 16 GB of storage on a flagship phone which is supposed to last into 2016. And that sneaky little...Phil Schiller just jumps over it with the words "great customer experience" and "5GB iButt Storage" - Phil, I'd bet you any amount of money that you've personally never used the 16 GB device a single day of your life, and neither has anyone in your upper management, otherwise, you'd...know how much of a pain in the ass it is to work with the actual 12GB of storage so many of your customers put up with.
...you can justify selling a 4k iMac machine with a 5400rpm HDD which would have probably been considered outdated even a decade ago - this is supposed to last people more than a year? A PROSUMER DESKTOP - is that what you call this? You can justify decreasing the base SSD storage for the fusion drives for no good reason (except money, of course). You make your iMacs thinner for no reason (a desktop machine that's not supposed to be portable) while taking away features that people actually need. You have no logical sense about customers who might need dedicated GPUs, or customers who might want to upgrade their RAM...”
TobiasKM: ”Apple under Jobs was far from flawless. People complain about iCloud, but have forgot the Jobs era disaster that was MobileMe. People talk about brushing over bending phones, when Jobs' first statement on antennagate was "you're holding it wrong". The way the 3GS got completely crippled by iOS6/7. The 2011 MBP graphics card affair. And a shitload of other stuff.
If you think Apple was perfect when Jobs was in charge, your memory is severely lacking. It doesn't make the current complaints invalid, but it should put the current Cook witch hunt into perspective.”
Swollennode: ”One thing people failed to realize is that while Steve Jobs was a micromanaging ahole, he knew what was needed to be done. An OCD prick like Steve Jobs was able to bring Apple back from the brink of bankruptcy, and built an empire. Tim Cook is only riding the wave that Steve Jobs created.
People can say what they want to say about Steve Jobs, but no one can deny that Steve Jobs was a visionary. He might not have been an inventor because he doesn't know how to build shit, but he knew what to build. That is what separates Steve Jobs from Tim Cook. Steve knew the "what" and Tim knew the "how". Steve Jobs wanted a better inventory control, and Tim Cook made it happen.
Under Steve Jobs, we'd probably have all lines of iPhones having the same features except for the screen size. We'd have OIS on the 6 and 6s along with the pluses. Under Steve Jobs, the major functionality bugs would have been squashed.”
Qwop22: ”Apple still doesn't get cloud services. Apple Music has issues, iCloud has issues, Photos has issues, etc. also, their last few launches have been lukewarm outside of the diehard fans (Apple Watch, new MacBook, Apple Music, new Apple TV).
I think the new Apple TV is the worst offender. This thing is not worth $150 in its current state. The Chromecast, Nexus Player, Roku, Shield, and Fire TV are all cheaper and do the same things and sometimes more. I've used all of these devices and personally I think Google nailed TV interaction with the Chromevast. Forget the clunky TV UIs and apps. Just use your mobile device and cast the media to your TV. And unlike AirPlay, you can watch video, listen to music, or take a phone call on your phone and what your casting to the TV won't cut out. If you are someone who has to have a physical remote get a nexus player.
I'm sure down the road the Apple TV will offer a lot more but how many more Apple products or services will we have to buy and say "it'll be better in time" before we realize it's unacceptable. I'm not sure if you noticed this but Apple takes forever to update their apps and services. It takes then a year to update apps in iOS, and that's their bread and butter product. I wouldn't expect any major updates to the new Apple TV for at least 7 months.”
Auralucario: ”...iOS 7 led me away from Apple to buy an Android phone. I've been considering switching back because many people tell me iOS 9 has returned to the stability and smoothness of iOS 6. Is this not true? Also, as far as OS X goes, Yosemite was a giant turd but El Capitan has been pretty good for me so far, to the point where I consider it on par with Windows 10. ”
Tornadoradar: ”He's not a product guy. Jobs always complained how much HP got...up yet cook is part of what ducked up HP. ”
Moonlightson: ”Thank you, I couldn't have said it better Cook the beancounter needs to stop these greedy corner cuttings at the expense of user experience.”
Bob2049: ”I've been using Macs since well before 1996, and I have seen a string of bad decisions made by this once great company. It's just what happens when you make a money man the CEO. Cook thinks all he has to do is throw money abound and he'll be successful, so now he's spreading Apple thin and following other companies lead.
He is rumored to be making a car. An Apple car. How the hell are they supposed to fix their software and product line shortcomings while they're trying to turn Apple into a car company?! At least they should cancel some product lines first. This will be more and more obvious as time goes on, you can expect Tim to be gone in 5 years if he keeps operating Apple this way. And he won't be replaced by anyone better.”
B1geast: ”Tim Cook is a supply-chain guy and he is running Apple exactly like someone whose career is penny-pinching. Yeah, he isn't the product guy Steve Jobs was and probably shouldn't have been made CEO. Apple doesn't have a visionary leader anymore.”
Waterbed87: ”I have no business judging his overall performance but I've personally been very disappointed by the new Macs. So much so that I've gone back to PC simply because there is no such thing as a reasonable GPU option in Macs anymore and combine that with the bang for buck building your own PC (or Hackintosh) is just to good to pass up.
All I want to do is be able to do an occasionally GPU intensive task (game or otherwise) without having to spend 2.5+k dollars, is that so much to ask? Even if I spent that much I get a mobile GPU that doesn't stand the chance at pushing the resolution of the screens in anything remotely demanding. Is there a point to making the iMacs to thin to support proper desktop class hardware other than "oh pretty!" big things can be pretty to.
Macs used to bring a lot of power in their pro lines but now you get a poorly optimized OS X on top of a 4k display powered by a mobile GPU and a 5400RPM disk drive in 2015/2016. I'm sorry but that's just a joke.”
Ouch! Wow, talk about not holding anything back! The folks in that Reddit thread had a lot to say about Tim Cook's performance as CEO of Apple, and they let him have it big time. And what I've included is just a very small sample of what's in the actual thread.
You've got to give the commenters props for honesty, and some of their criticism is right on the mark. I hope somebody at Apple shows the thread to Tim Cook, and that he takes some of the criticism to heart for future reference.
Tim Cook and Apple's botched product rollouts
For me one of the most noticeable problems with Tim Cook's performance has been the rollout of various Apple products. The company seems to be stumbling regularly when it releases new products. It's getting to the point where I actually expect a new product rollout to be botched by Apple.
Here's a quick run-down of three problematic product rollouts by Tim Cook's Apple:
iPad Pro and the Apple Pencil - The latest big product release was the iPad Pro and its Apple Pencil. Many customers were disappointed to find that they could get an iPad Pro but their order of the Apple Pencil would take significantly longer. It's not a good idea for Apple to tout something like the Apple Pencil then not have enough of them in stock to ship with the iPad Pro.
Apple Watch - Remember the release of the Apple Watch? There was lots of excitement but Apple didn't have much in the way of actual watches to sell. It took weeks and weeks for some customers to get their watches. The aura of excitement around the Apple Watch dimmed quite a bit once users realized they'd have to wait a while to actually get one.
Apple Maps - The initial release of Apple's Maps app should have been labelled as beta. If the company had done that then it would have tempered expectations by users. Alas, Apple didn't use the beta label and Maps was tarred and feathered in a big way. The app has gotten much better, but first impressions can last a long time and even now there are people who think Apple's Maps app is bad despite all of its recent improvements.
Apple has obviously had some problems with other rollouts too, I'm not even including issues with OS X, iOS, Apple Music, etc. Nor have I mentioned the lack of iPhone 6 Plus models when the bigger iPhones launched, or the lack of an update to the 4-inch iPhone when the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus were released. And I haven't touched on the bloated and confusing interface of iTunes that hasn't even begun to be addressed in recent releases of that software.
But you get the idea, Apple has been stumbling fairly regularly when it rolls out new products and this is something that Tim Cook needs to fix as quickly as possible. The last thing Apple needs is for its brand to be tarnished, and for it to gain the reputation of being the company that couldn't shoot straight when releasing new products.
Did you miss a post? Check the Eye On Apple home page to get caught up with the latest news, discussions and rumors about Apple.
This article is published as part of the IDG Contributor Network. Want to Join?