Steve Jobs could never have done this

From Tripp Mickle’s “How Tim Cook Won Donald Trump’s Ear” ($) posted Saturday in the Wall Street Journal:

Mr. Cook is one of the few executives in a hyperpolarized political era who has managed to both support and challenge the president’s agenda in a way that has kept him in Mr. Trump’s good graces while avoiding any public backlash from either employees or customers.

“There are only a handful [of executives] who have been able to thread the needle,” said Jeffrey Sonnenfeld, a Yale University management professor who has informally advised Mr. Trump over the years before he became president. “This is a newfound capability for Apple. Steve Jobs didn’t have influence in Washington, and Tim Cook has offered it…”

“He’s a great executive,” Mr. Trump said recently. “Others go out and hire very expensive consultants. Tim Cook calls Donald Trump directly.”

My take: Steve Jobs, who died eight years ago today, did not suffer fools gladly.


  1. Steven Noyes said:
    “Tom Cook”???? I have to admit it took me a second to figure out “Tom Cook Won”

    That said, I think Tim recognizes it is infinitely better to have a voice at the table even if you don’t agree with all the agendas at the table than to bend to will of ideologically processed employees.

    October 5, 2019
  2. Michael Thompson said:
    I’ve previously stated multiple times that the best poker player among tech executives by far is Tim Cook. Apple will gain every advantage because of Cook’s relationship to Trump. Smart Business.

    During Trump’s second term, Google, Facebook and Amazon are going to face hell, fines and potential breakups. Dumb Business.

    October 5, 2019
    • S Lawton said:
      Catering to the wanna be king or exposing the truth about. him and his administration. I’ll choose the later.

      October 5, 2019
  3. Gianfranco Pedron said:
    @PED “My take: Steve Jobs, who died eight years ago today, did not suffer fools gladly.”

    +1 ★

    @Steve Jobs – Tim Cook is doin’ great ‘n all but we miss you.

    October 5, 2019
  4. Jerry W Doyle said:
    No, Steve Jobs never could have cultivated the working relationship with DJT and his team of advisors as has Tim Cook.

    One leadership trait I admire about Tim Cook in the running of Apple is his ability to put differences aside that may conflict with his personal and business values and push forward in working with opposing sides in the perpetual hope of enlightening them or at least, in serving as some spirit of edification on outstanding differences.

    I rolled-my-eyes when CEOs abandoned the president’s Business Advisory Council and their willingness to work with him and his staffers. Now, these CEOs are on the outside looking in, and have little to no influence with the current administration.

    When those CEOs interjected “politics” into the BAC, got up and walked away from the table with the president and his staffers sitting ready to do business, then those CEOs did a humongous disservice to their companies and shareholders.

    Tim Cook grew up in the deep south where I grew up in a segregated society and went to segregated schools. The last scene in the movie “Easy Rider” where Billy & Wyatt was blown away was in the Atchafalaya Basin just up-the-road in Krotz Springs from where I was finishing school at LSU. On weekends, we hung out in some of those small town cajun bars dancing to zydeco music. Hollywood has a way of taking the worst elements of a societal cadre and spreading it like butter to coat the collective institutional societal brotherhood and sisterhood of the geographic area. Yes, there was elements of racism in the South as there is racism in all areas of the nation. Here’s the basis for presenting a little history of my indigenous upbringing: As a gay man Tim Cook grew up in the Deep South at a period when one didn’t advertise and manifest they were gay. Throughout his life there is no telling how many times he had to sit and deal with individuals he preferred not to engage with on matters. Consequently, he gained significant interpersonal skills and keen experience in recognizing how to put aside his own internal feelings of having to deal with the person at the table over the possible good to be achieved in staying engaged in conversation.

    Tim Cook understands that the president is little different from the rest of us when it comes to wanting to be respected. One can disagree with this president, but one needs to be respectful in doing so. I agree that this may be the only president who can defend a wrong premise and somehow reach the right conclusion. It’s that last paragraph in PED’s blog above that gives you the answer how to deal with DJT. “… He’s (Tim Cook) a great executive, ….Others go out and hire very expensive consultants. Tim Cook calls Donald Trump (me) directly.” Trump craves that personal recognition and being respected.

    Growing-up as an adolescent in a heterogeneous society equipped Tim Cook to cultivate a working relationship with DJT in ways that precluded other CEOs at that BAC table from cultivating. It also allowed Tim Cook the emotional and mental discipline to refrain from interjecting racial and political rhetoric into the conversation and instead, to work with the president in creating an uplifting economic message appealing to DJT and wise enough for each to know that someday in the distant future each would need the other.

    In summary, based on my last statement above, and based on Tim Cook understanding of his need to remain at the table doing business with this president gives me not only confidence, but certitude that Tim Cook come December will get Apple the tariff exemptions on its core products.

    October 5, 2019
    • Steven Noyes said:
      Nice read and very well thought out, expressed and written. Thank you.

      October 5, 2019
  5. David Emery said:
    Reading this (article and comments), I wonder if Tim Cook’s being gay contributes to his ability to work with people he might not like on a personal basis.

    October 6, 2019

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