Ten years ago, Steve Jobs' admirers had grave doubts about Tim Cook as CEO

Since then, Apple's market value has grown nearly sevenfold  -- from $348 billion to $2.475 trillion.

From Felix Richter's "A Decade of Growth: Apple Thrived Under Tim Cook" posted Tuesday:

Besides strongly recommending Tim Cook as his successor in his resignation letter, Jobs stated his belief that “Apple’s brightest and most innovative days are ahead of it,” a notion that many Apple enthusiasts and admirers of Jobs’ life’s work did not share at the time...

And yet, ten years into Cook’s tenure at the helm of Apple, it must be concluded that Jobs was at least partly right. While the jury is still out on whether the past decade was the most innovative in Apple’s history, it certainly was the brightest in terms of growth and execution. As the following chart shows, Apple’s revenue and profit more than tripled between 2011 and 2021, as the company constantly expanded the ecosystem of devices and services around its flagship product, the iPhone. As a consequence, Apple’s market capitalization grew from roughly $350 billion on the day of Steve Jobs’ resignation to almost $2.5 trillion 10 years later.

apple grew under tim Coom

My take: Thanks to friend-of-the-blog (and former art director) David Thall who created a couple original illustrations.


  1. Bart Yee said:
    Whether or not others had issues with Cook is irrelevant. What mattered was what Jobs knew and felt about Cook after working so long with him to entrust his company and legacy to Cook. In that, Jobs was not partly right, he was completely correct.

    August 25, 2021
    • Kirk DeBernardi said:
      @ Bart Yee —

      Thanks Bart. That’s needed to be said for a long time now.

      Jobs was a one-off and everyone knows it and to expect you could “appoint” another at his passing is a good definition of folly.

      Steve left an amazing business soul to be nurtured and probably sensed Tim “felt” this. Combine that with Tim’s known operational talent and that creates a pretty good starting point…

      …and it sure did.

      August 25, 2021
  2. Romeo A Esparrago Jr said:
    Two dice equaling Lucky 7 with lotsa chips beside them or slot machine w/jackpot results below might be better than that death bat original image you posted, Mr. Philip 🙂

    August 25, 2021
  3. Thomas Larkin said:
    Jobs was at least ‘partially’ right? Hmmm, faint praise. What wold a ‘mostly’ right pick have looked like?

    August 25, 2021
  4. Fred Stein said:
    One of Steve’s many amazing talents was finding and getting the very best person on the planet to join his journey.

    And then help that person reach their fullest potential and change the world.

    Tim Cook is the crowning example.

    August 25, 2021
  5. David Emery said:
    Yup. Apple was doomed when Cook took over 🙂

    August 25, 2021
  6. Daniel Epstein said:
    I have been very happy with Tim Cook’s guiding of the company since the passing of Steve Job’s. Yes the market cap growth has been huge but Cook doesn’t have direct control over the stock price. He does have more involvement with the companies revenue growth over that period which has been impressive as well. A better yardstick in my opinion. By the way I usually remind people to look at what happened to Disney after Walt passed to get an idea what positive things can happen after the founder has passed if the company has a solid foundation of talent and business opportunities. Doesn’t always happen that way but in Apple’s case the first draft is looking good.

    August 25, 2021

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