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Apple’s acting-CEO is exceptional and unusual

Tim Cook, the unknown, ascetic, workaholic stand-in for Steve Jobs, is profiled by Fortune –

He can be brutal

“I’ve seen him shred people, he asks you the questions he knows you can’t answer, and he keeps going and going. It isn’t funny, and it’s not fun.”

unnerving

In meetings he’s known for long, uncomfortable pauses, when all you hear is the sound of his tearing the wrapper of the energy bars he constantly eats.

and as direct as Warren Buffett

“This is really bad,” Cook told the group. “Someone should be in China driving this.” Thirty minutes into that meeting Cook looked at Sabih Khan, a key operations executive, and abruptly asked, without a trace of emotion, “Why are you still here?”

but he’s probably been as responsible as Jobs for Apple’s resurgence. He’s run the operational side for some time –

“Operationally, when you think about what they’ve done – a massive retail-stores ramp, an expanded sales-channel presence, delivering new products without glitches, and managing huge seasonality – all speak to a company that is exceedingly well run,”

and by driving inventory down, reducing costs and charging high prices, he’s given Apple the vast treasury that allows it to lock up global supplies of  strategic new components.

Conosco’s IT service supports Apple, but we try to be a little gentler with our customers.