Apple Needs New Ideas, Not a New CEO
As an avid sports fan who has seen good coaches fired from teams that under perform, I see some similarities at Apple. First and foremost, however, let's not forget how he came to power in the first place. Keeping in mind that it's sacrilegious to denounce Apple co-founder Steve Jobs as anything but a genius, those calling for Cook's head seem to forget that it was Jobs who put in him in power in the first place. If Cook was a mistake, then it was Jobs' mistake.
Nearly a year after Cook was named CEO, Apple's stock rose to an all-time high surging to over $700 per share, making it the most valuable company in history (before accounting for inflation). It was the tech equivalent of winning a championship in sports, and perhaps proof that Cook was the right man for the job. Or at least the right man to not get in the way of Apple's momentum (just like Mike Brown didn't get in the way of LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers reaching the NBA Finals in 2007).
Since then, however, Apple's share price has fallen to nearly in half. Meanwhile, there's a perceived lack of innovation taking place at Apple, which Samsung in particular has been able to capitalize on with its Galaxy line of devices. Even the iPhone 5 was viewed as a disappointment to many who were expecting a much bigger announcement. Fair enough, but here's where Apple's board (and investors) need to think about things.
First, it's been rumored that Jobs designed the iPhone 5 (and the next model after it) before he passed away. If that's true, and only the real Apple insiders know if it is or not, then once again it's a decision that falls on Jobs' shoulders, not Cook's.
Secondly, and in my opinion, more importantly is the fact that Apple is still making money, and lots of it. Apple closed out 2012 by generating more quarterly revenue than ever before, posting a record $54.5 billion. What was also a record was the $13.1 billion net profit for the quarter. On top of it all, Apple saw record iPhone and iPad sales. Think about that for a moment.
Image Source: Flickr (deerkoski)
Apple's most recent financial statement boasts of record revenue, record sales, and record profit, yet Tim Cook finds himself on the chopping block? It doesn't matter if Samsung is firing on all cylinders, or if the iPhone 5 didn't revolutionize smartphones the way the original iPhone did, etc. It doesn't even matter if investors are fickle, because at the end of the day, Apple is doing what it's supposed to do -- selling products and making money -- and doing better than it ever has before.
Apple needs to find its innovative mojo, there's argument there. But a new CEO? Only if record profits are a problem.