Cook earned the 57th spot on TIME's 2012 list of the "100 Most Influential People in the World" -- and rightly so. Since he took over the role of CEO shortly before the death of Apple co-founder Steve Jobs last August, Cook has skillfully led the Cupertino company through the lows of a scandal in its overseas supply chain and the highs of record profits and sales.
To express his high esteem of Apple's leader, former U.S. Vice President and current Apple board member Al Gore penned a short, complimentary piece about Cook for the TIME 100 list, published on Wednesday. Gore shared many a kind word about Cook, as he's done in the past about Jobs.
Among other things, Gore praised Cook for not only successfully filling Jobs' shoes, but also for bravely following in his mighty footsteps. "[Cook is] [f]iercely protective of Jobs' legacy and deeply immersed in Apple's culture," wrote Gore.
"It is difficult to imagine a harder challenge than following the legendary Steve Jobs as CEO of Apple. Yet Tim Cook, a soft-spoken, genuinely humble and quietly intense son of an Alabama shipyard worker and a homemaker, hasn't missed a single beat," he went on to say.
Gore also spoke of Cook's understanding inherited from his predecessor, that "commitment to excellence is inseparable from the incredible ensemble he leads at Apple." Cook himself spoke of this commitment during a keynote speech at the Goldman Sachs Technology and Internet Conference in February.
"Steve grilled in all of us over many years that the company should revolve around great product, and that we should stay extremely focused on just a few things rather than try to do so many that we do nothing well," said Cook, according to Wired. "And so, these things, along with keeping excellence as an expectation of everything at Apple, these are the things that I focus on because I think those are the things that make Apple this magical place."
What do you think of Gore's words on Cook? How do you think Cook has been doing as Apple's CEO so far? Share your thoughts with us in the comments!
Flip through the slideshow to see some of Tim Cook's best quotes about Steve Jobs.
"Come on, replace Steve? No. He's irreplaceable." November 10, 2008 Source: Fortune
"Steve has been an incredible leader and mentor to me" August 25, 2011 Source: Internal Apple email via Ars Technica
"No more than five minutes into my initial interview with Steve I wanted to throw caution and logic to the wind and join Apple" May 14, 2010 Source: Auburn University Commencement via Edible Apple
"I share Steve's optimism for Apple's bright future." August 25, 2011 Source: Internal Apple email via Ars Technica
"We are all very happy with product pipeline and the team here has an unparalleled breadth and depth that Steve has driven in the company, and excellence has become a habit." January 18, 2011 Source: Q1 2011 earnings call via Mac Stories
"We are really looking forward to Steve's ongoing guidance and inspiration as our Chairman." August 25, 2011 Source: Internal Apple email via Ars Technica
"My intuition already knew that joining Apple was a once in a lifetime opportunity to work for the creative genius and be on the executive team that could resurrect a great American company." May 14, 2010 Source: Auburn University Commencement via Edible Apple