March 4, 2014: Peter Oppenheimer, the Apple chief financial officer who presided over a decade of skyrocketing growth, steps down from the company.
After becoming Apple CFO in 2004, Oppenheimer saw the company’s valuation soar from $8.8 billion to $471 billion. Luca Maestri, Apple’s current vice president of finance, replaced Oppenheimer in this crucial position.
February 2, 1996: Apple reveals that turnaround artist Gil Amelio will take over from Michael “The Diesel” Spindler as CEO of the struggling company.
With disappointing Mac sales, the disastrous “clone Mac” strategy and a failed Sun Microsystems merger to his name, Spindler is asked to resign by the Apple board. Then Cupertino enlists supposed corporate miracle worker Amelio for the job.
Unfortunately, he turns out to be no better than Spindler.
October 14, 2005: Tim Cook takes the reins as Apple’s chief operating officer, continuing an upward climb through the company’s ranks that will make him CEO less than six years later.
“Tim and I have worked together for over seven years now, and I am looking forward to working even more closely with him to help Apple reach some exciting goals during the coming years,” Steve Jobs says in a statement.
Due to Apple’s secrecy, and the company’s marketing-driven need to stay “on message,” interviews with senior execs can often be frustratingly free of revelations. That’s not the case with the recent in-depth interview the Washington Post did with CEO Tim Cook, however.
Here are the 10 most interesting tidbits we learned from Cook’s most revealing chat yet.
Tim Cook had enormous shoes to fill when he took over as Apple CEO. After Steve Jobs’ death in 2011, doubters questioned whether the Southern engineer could keep Apple relevant. But Cook has led Apple to become the world’s most valuable company — he might be even better at running the company than Jobs ever was.
Now Fortune has named Cook the “world’s greatest leader” and published a profile full of exclusive details about Cook’s journey as Apple CEO. In the interview, Cook reveals how he developed thick skin, why he’s giving all his money to charity, and the real reasons he opened up about his sexuality.
The massive profile is well worth a read, but we’ve picked out the most interesting bits for you below.
A few days before he died, Steve Jobs asked Tim Cook over to his house to watch a movie together.
The movie he selected was Remember the Titans, a football drama starring Denzel Washington. It’s set in the South, and concerns the struggles of integrating a racially mixed team during the civil rights’ era. Cook was surprised by Jobs’ choice of movie — Jobs had little interest in sports — but he said they talked about it afterward.
Why would Jobs, who had recently stepped down as Apple CEO and appointed Cook in his place, want to watch this movie with his successor just a few days before he died? Was he trying to pass on some crucial knowledge?
I re-watched the movie last night and have a pretty good idea.