Tim Cook doesn't fear failure, plus 11 other facts you didn't know about Apple's CEO

Glen White
- Lean - Jan 05, 2015

When you think about Apple you automatically think of Steve Jobs, however Tim Cook, the tech giant’s current CEO is also an incredibly impressive businessman and character. Following in Jobs shadow, Cook is often perceived as the second best man for the position of CEO, however many investors, critics and Apple employees think otherwise.

Manufacturing Global takes a look at the man now in charge of the most influential technology company in the world and unveils 12 things you probably didn’t know about him, until now. 

  1. Cook’s first job was a paper round in his home state of Alabama.
  2. He studied industrial engineering in college and wanted to be an engineer.
  3. Cook attended Auburn University and during that time helped manage his first company, Reynolds Aluminum, alongside its president.
  4. He had his eye on the top job at Apple from day one. According to Mashable, Cook “broke with tradition for operations executives at the company and requested to have a small office kitty-corner next to Steve Jobs' office.” Few people thought much of it at the time but later looked back at it as an indication of his ambition.
  5. Cook referred to himself as the Attila the Hun of inventory.
  6. During the course of his career Cook has been offered the position of CEO at both Dell and Motorola. He declined both offers.
  7. According to reports Cook has a fierce management style (potentially gleaned from his predecessors approach to people management). He is known for grilling employees by asking the same question repeatedly and then waiting for long periods of time for an answer.
  8. Cook makes the effort to call his mother every week, even when travelling around the world on business.
  9. His parents never owned or indeed used a computer.
  10. He is very frugal both as a manager and in his personal life. Cook lived in a rental apartment for years without air conditioning and, apparently, buys his underwear at Nordstrom's half-yearly sale. As a manager, he is described as someone who “would haggle over a nickel to drive profits.”
  11. Cook is said to ‘shy away’ from employees on the ground, and uses a separate gym. However as CEO, he does sometimes eat lunch with employees in the Apple cafeteria, something Jobs rarely did.
  12. Cook claims to not have a fear of failing. “If you start fearing things, then you don't try anything new or different,” he once said in an interview with his alumni magazine. “If it doesn't work out, it's not the end of my world. I'll go ride my bike.”

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