On an 18-hour flight from California to Singapore a few years ago, Timothy d. Cook, chief operating officer of Apple, has had little time for small talk with a colleague. Glued to his place of business, Mr. Cook had the nose to spreadsheets, preparing for an in-depth review of Apple's Asian operations.Timothy d. Cook, leading Apple in the absence of Steven p., is widely regarded as the most likely replace it permanently. Apple has benefited from the complementary expertise of Timothy d. Cook, chief operating officer and jobs Steven P..
The two landed at 6 a.m., took the time to shower and drove in a meeting with local leaders of Apple. Twelve hours later and well over dinner, local leaders were ready to call it quits.
"Were absolutely exhausted," said Michael Janes, Apple Executive who accompanied Mr. Cook. "It was Tim. He was ready to move to the next slide and the next slide after that. He is absolutely relentless. "
This determination may be indispensable in the coming months, because Mr. Cook can be tested like never before. He has been accused of running day-to-day operations at Apple, while his boss, Steven p. Jobs, CEO of the company's visionary, medical leave.
Mr. Cook has done it twice before, concisely, and with success. Even if you don't improve the health of Mr. Jobs, Mr. Cook could be at work for a long time. And while Apple's succession plans are closely guarded, Mr. Cook is widely believed to be the most likely candidate to replace definitively Mr. Jobs.
In Silicon Valley, Mr. Jobs is also known for determination. Yet on many levels, he and Mr. Cook are opposites. While Mr. Jobs is volatile and prone to outbursts, Mr. Cook, who was raised in a small town in Alabama, is polite and soft spoken. He is often described as a "Southern gentleman". While Mr. Jobs obsesses over every detail of Apple products, Mr. Cook obsesses over the minutiae less glamorous than Apple's operations.
Their complementary skills helped Apple pull out the most notable turning point in American companies and made most valuable technology company in the world. When Mr. Cook is on his own, he must compensate for the absence of Mr. Jobs — and its inventive, charisma and uncanny ability to predict the future of technology and anticipate the desires of consumers.
"He is going to look at the other to provide the creative void left by Steve," said a. m. Sacconaghi Jr., an analyst with Sanford Bernstein & Company.
Mr. Cook and Apple has refused to comment on this article. From his early days at Apple in 1998, Mr. Cook, who is known as intensely private, has worked in the shadow of Mr. Jobs and other prominent leaders. Although his work — making sure that Apple would produce, assemble and ship his products in the world and ensure profitable — was he not considered sexy, quickly remove inefficiencies from Apple's supply chain.
"My favorite scenes were suppliers of Assembly," said a former Apple Executive who had traveled with Mr. Cook frequently and asked to remain anonymous, because he doesn't want to upset their relationship. "He is Mr. spreadsheet. If things weren't right, he would torture the suppliers and the improvement of the application. At the same time, he had a good relationship with them. "
Apple has been largely concentrated on making the PC and then smaller. The operations were a mess.
Apple was still running their factories in California, Ireland and Singapore. As companies more efficient and profitable as Dell had moved to a model of just in time production, Apple held still 90 days of inventory.
Mr. Cook Apple's closed factories and outsourced manufacturing all to a network far-flung suppliers in Asia. Inventories decreased to 60 days, then 30 days, then the template just-in-time. Mr. Cook lived practically in airplanes, traveling the world to meet with vendors and browbeat them in fulfilling your requests.
Analysts and investors say efforts of Mr. Cook on the production order has made the difference in transforming fate Apple. And are still critical to the success of the company.
Take the iPad. It took fancy of Mr. Jobs and the expertise of its engineers and designers to create it. But the operational capacities of Mr. Cook of parlay a Apple authorized fresh produce into a business that has already led to 9.6 billion, as the company built and shipped IPAD nearly 15 million worldwide in just nine months to meet the seemingly insatiable appetite customers.
Steve Lohr contributed reporting.
This article has been revised to reflect the following correction:
Correction: January 25, 2011
An article on Monday on Timothy d. Cook, who is running Apple during medical leave, Steven p. Jobs, misstated in some copies, the year that Mr. Cook took a job at Compaq, computer maker. He went to work for Compaq in 1997, 1981.