Apple Leadership – an Effective Leadership by Tim Cook that is Difficult to Sustain

Apple LeadershipDuring Steve Jobs era that covers the period 1997 – 2011, Apple leadership was known for autocratic leadership style with Steve Jobs micro-managing a wide range of business operations. It has been noted that “when Steve Jobs was in charge, everything flowed through him. Now that he’s dead, the company is taking on a more collaborative approach, according to various reports”[1]

Apple leadership practices have been changed dramatically under Tim Cook. Acknowledged as the World’s Greatest Leader by Fortune Magazine[2], Tim Cook proved to be effective, introducing Apple Watch, the first device developed form the scratch under his leadership. Moreover, it worth to be mentioned that Apple’s stock price “has soared from a split-adjusted USD54 to a recent USD126 since Jobs died, translating into a market capitalization well north of USD700 billion, the first company to cross that level”[3]. Moreover, Tim Cook has been praised by employees for inspirational leadership and helping his subordinates to become a better human being.[4]

At the same time, Tim Cook is occasionally criticized by analysts and industry watchers for the lack of ambition and vigour, his predecessor Steve Jobs used to have. For example, according to a report by BGC financial services firm, “under Cook, Apple has been cautious about entering new product categories. The Apple Watch, launched in April 2015, is the No. 1 smartwatch, but overall sales have disappointed. Apple Music, which debuted in June 2015, has grown rapidly to 15 million subscribers, but it’s seen as a low-margin business.”[5]

Currently, Apple Inc. faces a significant leadership challenges. It has been rightly noted that “Cook has set a standard of financial performance that is so high, it may be impossible to meet in the future.”[6] Inevitable decline in profitability, which has already been the case in financial year of 2016 with the decline of net sales by 8 per cent, is going to have negative effects on the overall valuation of the company.

Apple Inc. Report contains a full analysis of Apple leadership. The report illustrates the application of the major analytical strategic frameworks in business studies such as SWOT, PESTEL, Porter’s Five Forces, Value Chain analysis and McKinsey 7S Model on Apple. Moreover, the report contains analyses of Apple business strategy, organizational structure and organizational culture. The report also comprises discussions of Apple marketing strategy and addresses issues of corporate social responsibility.


[1] Yarrow, J. (2013) Apple’s New Organizational Structure Could Help It Move Faster, Business Insider, Available at:

[2]Lashinsky, A (2015) “Apple’s Tim Cook leads different” Fortune, Available at:

[3]Lashinsky, A (2015) “Apple’s Tim Cook leads different” Fortune, Available at:

[4] Bort, J. (2015) “Apple’s HR chief: Working with Tim Cook ‘actually helps you to be a better human being’” Business Insider, Available at:

[5] Seitz, P. (2016) “Apple Could Use New CEO Leadership, Analyst Suggests” Investor’s Business Daily, Available at:

[6] Colvin, G. (2016) “Tim Cook’s Epic Growth Challenge at Apple” Fortune, Available at: