Tim Cook’s "Tough Side" Revealed in New Profile by Reuters

In meetings, Cook is calm as to be nearly unreadable, according to employees

A new profile on Apple CEO Tim Cook has hit the wires courtesy of Reuters. In the report, various knowledgeable people are revealing the tough side of the guy with a southern accent who replaced visionary genius Steve Jobs as CEO of the world’s most valuable company.

The publication got some interesting information on Cook through Sheryl Sandberg, who is the chief operating officer of Facebook.

When she took on the COO role at the social network, she asked for advice from various other people who were in similar roles, including one Timothy Cook who, at that time, was Apple’s operational whiz.

“He basically explained nicely that my job was to do the things that Mark [Zuckerberg] did not want to focus on as much,” Sandberg says.

“That was his job with Steve [Jobs]. And he explained that the job would change over time and I should be prepared for that,” she reveals.

Following the death of Steve Jobs, Cook took on the role of Apple CEO. Along with the change in leadership came a change in culture, according to people who attend meetings with Cook.

“Jobs' bi-monthly iPhone software meeting, in which he would go through every planned features of the company's flagship product, is gone,” according to the report.

He has a "tough side," one that is especially visible in meetings, according to a key paragraph in the Reuters profile.

“In meetings, Cook is so calm as to be nearly unreadable, sitting silently with hands clasped in front of himself. Any change in the constant rocking of his chair is one sign subordinates look for: when he simply listens, they're heartened if there is no change in the pace of his rocking.”

One person who is familiar with Cook’s style said, “He could skewer you with a sentence.”

“He would say something along the lines of 'I don't think that's good enough' and that would be the end of it and you would just want to crawl into a hole and die,” this person added.

Many bash Apple for lacking innovation under Cook, but high-profile figures in the industry see a whole different side of the story.

Quoted on this matter is Bob Iger (CEO of Walt Disney Co.) who just so happens to be on Apple’s board of directors. While his words may be biased, they also tend to make a lot of sense.

“The vision that Tim had to involve Jony and to essentially connect two very, very important Apple initiatives or areas of focus - that was a big decision on Tim's part and he made it independently and very, very resolutely.”

Regarding Cook’s approach to solving some matters (compared to how Jobs would have handled things), Iger noted “I think he's done so with a deft hand, a strong sense of himself.”

“With that comes a real self-honesty that he is who he is, and not what the world expects him to be, or what Steve was. And I like that,” he added.

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