Following the death of Apple co-founder Steve Jobs last October, his predecessor and Apple's current CEO Tim Cook has time and again been compared to the man who brought the world the game-changing iPod, iPhone and iPad.
While it's been difficult for Cook to live up to Jobs' legacy, at least he's been making huge strides all on his own, as Fortune senior editor Adam Lashinsky points out in his recent piece, "How Tim Cook Is Changing Apple."
Since taking the helm at Apple last August, Cook has successfully steered the company through controversies at Foxconn factories overseas, several successful quarters and the releases of the iPhone 4S and the iPad. But aside from simply fulfilling his duties as Apple's new leader, Cook has used his short time as CEO to make a few changes within its walls, infusing a little more of himself into a company that has, for years, been Jobs' and Jobs' alone.
For example, as Lashinsky explains in his piece, under Cook's leadership of just nine months, Apple has become increasingly more corporate, putting more focus on operational efficiency while still striving to maintain the unique culture Jobs forged as its former CEO. And Cook himself seems to be a lot more approachable than Jobs had been; he has no problem meeting with investors and sometimes even eats lunch with employees, a few things Jobs rarely did. Writes Lashinsky:
[Cook] often sits down randomly with employees in the cafeteria at lunchtime, whereas Jobs typically dined with design chief Jonathan Ive. It is a small difference that speaks volumes about how employees can expect to interact with their CEO. At Apple, Jobs was simultaneously revered, loved, and feared. Cook clearly is a demanding boss, but he's not scary. He's well-respected, but not worshiped.
In slightly shifting Apple's focus, there is a worry that Cook may lead the company away from its usual goal of creating quality products, one that Jobs always had. As Steve Jobs' biographer Walter Isaacson pointed out in a recent interview, Jobs had been obsessed with perfection, even wanting the screws hidden inside of Apple's Macintosh computers to be "more beautiful."
While it's still yet to be seen where Cook will take the company in coming years, at least he can take comfort in the fact that he's made a mainly positive impact so far. Just last month, Cook won a spot on TIME's 2012 list of the "100 Most Influential People in the World." And, according to an employee survey conducted by career review and rating site Glassdoor.com, Cook has an employee approval rating of 97 percent, two percentage points higher than that of Jobs.
Read the rest of Lashinsky's story on Fortune's site, then let us know: How do you think Cook's been doing so far as Apple's CEO? Share your thoughts with us in the comments!
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