Apple chief executive Tim Cook hasn’t made many changes to the company since taking over as its top executive in late August, but he has made a few.
According to a report from the Wall Street Journal, Cook is taking the advice of business analysts and his late boss Steve Jobs by setting up his own path for the company. The report said that Cook has stepped in to make some administrative changes, separating the company's education division into sales and marketing groups, and putting iAds under the supervision of Eddy Cue, now the senior vice president of cloud services.
But Cook has also made some subtle changes to the culture at Apple. As The Washington Post’s Peter Whoriskey reported, Apple introduced its first program to match employee contributions to nonprofit organizations up to $10,000 in September, something that Steve Jobs was reportedly opposed to doing. Jobs kept a low profile as a donor, and the Journal article says that he was “opposed to giving money away.”
Cook is also said to keep the lines of communication more open with his employees, sending more messages addressed to the whole “Team.” In fact, many of Cook’s e-mails that have been leaked from Apple have started with that way.
The report also suggested that Cook may be considering using Apple’s huge stockpile of cash (over $80 billion) for dividends or a stock buyback, two options that Jobs had eschewed in the past.
Cook is a logistics wizard — not a product guy, as Jobs himself pointed out to biographer Walter Isaacson — so it’s not surprising that his first moves as CEO have been small changes to the company’s structure. It’s also not surprising that things haven’t changed much at Apple since Cook’s appointment, since he has been acting CEO in the past and was Jobs’s hand-picked successor. That won’t keep Apple investors and fans from watching his every move, but has let Cook start his tenure with a certain amount of trust.