Has Tim Cook Filled Steve Jobs' Big Shoes in First Year as Apple's CEO?

It seems hard to believe, but it was one year ago today that Steve Jobs resigned as Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Apple and handed the reigns to Tim Cook, then the Chief Operating Officer (COO). Jobs passed away not long after, succumbing to pancreatic cancer on October 5, 2011. That means Cook has been at the helm without any input from Jobs for the majority of his short tenure as CEO, though Apple's accomplishments during the past year aren't his alone.

Apple's roadmap was already laid by the time Cook took over, so it's really too early to issue Cook any kind of meaningful report card. We can, however, say that without a doubt the transition from the Jobs era to the Cook era has been mostly without hiccups. With all eyes on Cook, Apple recently ascended to new heights in market capitalization, setting a record for most valuable company of all time (unless you factor in inflation, in which case Microsoft still holds the record from 1999).

Tim Cook

Many wondered how Apple would fare in the post-Jobs era, and while the verdict is still out, Cook is off to a fast start. Apple recorded a record 118 percent jump in profit back in January, a feat that left Apple with $100 billion in cash to play with; he oversaw the new iPad launch; and come next month, he'll unveil the iPhone 5 and, possibly, an iPad Mini to go up against the Nexus 7, Kindle Fire, and other 7-inch tablets.

Yes, it too early to tell if Cook has the chops to maintain Apple's success, but the fact that we're still discussing it a year later rather than writing about Apple's search for a new CEO bodes well for his future, and that of Apple's as well.