Is Tim Cook running for President?

The New York Times put the question to Apple's CEO over breakfast in Austin.

From Andrew Ross Sorkin's Apple’s Tim Cook Barnstorms for ‘Moral Responsibility’:

“The reality is that government, for a long period of time, has for whatever set of reasons become less functional and isn’t working at the speed that it once was. And so it does fall, I think, not just on business but on all other areas of society to step up.”

That was Tim Cook, Apple’s chief executive, across the table from me over breakfast here in downtown Austin late last week at the end of a mini-tour across the country during which he focused on topics usually reserved for politicians: manufacturing, jobs and education...

Mr. Cook’s comments weren’t a dig at President Trump so much as they were a critique of Washington’s seemingly perpetual state of gridlock...

As we finished up breakfast before we headed over to Austin’s Capital Factory, an incubator for tech start-ups..., I mentioned a question that some in Silicon Valley and elsewhere have asked: Is his focus on jobs and speeches in front of American flags a hint at something bigger? After all, Mark Zuckerberg’s name is now regularly bandied about in discussions of potential presidential candidates.

“I have a full-time job,” Mr. Cook said. “I appreciate the compliment,” he added with a wry look, “if it is a compliment.”

My take: What Tim Cook is trying to do is fill Steve Jobs' shoes. Now that's a full-time job.


  1. Sandro Castellaro said:
    I never thought I’d say this, but Apple losing Tim Cook would be a huge loss. We tend to take him for granted but think of who could replace him? I’m waiting….I’m still waiting….

    August 29, 2017
    • Fred Stein said:
      Yup. Tim Cook would never leave Apple without someone to fill his shoes. Don’t see it now.

      I’m happy to take Tim at his word, mainly that government is not as agile as it was. This is not nostalgia. Government used to be the big visionary investor – giant dams, space, the Internet in its formative years. Agencies don’t think, “If we don’t fix our UX, or use the next gen technology, Google or Apple or Amazon will crush us”. PLEASE, I’m not making a political statement – just observing the reality of being in tech vs government.

      August 29, 2017
  2. Richard Wanderman said:
    My take is that Cook long ago filled Steve’s shoes and is working on his own pair (pun intended). I certainly don’t see him getting involved in politics beyond commentary. These are extraordinary times and CEOs of influential companies who are not following things closely and willing to take a stand are chickenhawks, or, worse, Henry Fords.

    August 29, 2017
  3. Ken Cheng said:
    In the vacuum of leadership, others will fill the void.

    August 30, 2017

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