In The Arena: Tim Cook’s Lifestyle
With Tim Cook’s lifestyle, we present to you the new piece of ARDOXSO’s Lifestyle section. Tim Cook is the CEO of Apple Inc., the most valuable tech company around the globe. Filling Steve Jobs’s shoes could be considered the world’s most intimidating position, but Cook has proven to be able to hold his ground. Under his management, Apple’s success has soared steadily, rendering Cook to be one of the most respected CEOs in the history of the business.
“The sidelines are not where you want to live your life. The world needs you in the arena.” – Tim Cook
Timothy Donald Cook was born on November 1, 1960. His father, Donald Cook, was a shipyard worker, and his mother, Geraldine Cook, worked at a pharmacy.
He got his Bachelor’s in industrial engineering from Auburn University in the year 1982. Later on, he earned an MBA as well from Fuqua School of Busines of Duke University.
“It’s been tough and uncomfortable at times, but it has given me the confidence to be myself, to follow my own path, and to rise above adversity and bigotry. It’s also given me the skin of a rhinoceros, which comes in handy when you’re the CEO of Apple.” – Tim Cook
Cook has always been in technology companies’ management game. He started his career in IBM and climbed the ladders in his 12 years there. He moved on to Intelligent Electronics’ computer reseller division as COO (Chief Operating Officer) and then to Compaq as the Vice President for Corporate Materials.
“It’s about finding your values and committing to them. It’s about finding your North Star. It’s about making choices. Some are easy. Some are hard. And some will make you question everything.” – Tim Cook
In 1998, Steve Jobs invited Cook to join his company. Cook describes the meeting as follows:
“Any purely rational consideration of cost and benefits lined up in Compaq’s favor, and the people who knew me best advised me to stay at Compaq… On that day in early 1998, I listened to my intuition, not the left side of my brain or for that matter even the people who knew me best… no more than five minutes into my initial interview with Steve, I wanted to throw caution and logic to the wind and join Apple. My intuition already knew that joining Apple was a once in a lifetime opportunity to work for the creative genius and to be on the executive team that could resurrect a great American company.”
Cook choose Apple based on a gut feeling. Intuitions play a significant role in Tim Cook’s lifestyle:
“There are times in all of our lives when a reliance on gut or intuition just seems more appropriate—when a particular course of action just feels right. And interestingly I’ve discovered it’s in facing life’s most important decisions that intuition seems the most indispensable to getting it right.” – Tim Cook
Cook began as Senior Vice President for worldwide operations in Apple. One of his most significant early accomplishments was reducing the company’s inventory from months to days. This resulted in faster response time and a considerable reduction in costs. As the saying goes, the rest is history.
“Our whole role in life is to give you something you didn’t know you wanted. And then once you get it, you can’t imagine your life without it. And you can count on Apple doing that.” –Tim Cook
After Jobs resigned as CEO due to his health, Cook was named the new chief executive officer of Apple, only six weeks before Jobs’ passing. Forbes wrote in 2011:
“One of the Jobs’ first acts as CEO was to hire Tim Cook as chief of Apple’s worldwide operations, setting the stage for the company’s spectacular turnaround. Jobs and Cook proceeded to forge a strong partnership and rescued the company from its death spiral, which took it from $11 billion in revenue in 1995 down to less than $6 billion in 1998. Jobs reinvented the company by practically disrupting the entire music industry and innovating wildly successful products. Meanwhile, Cook made the operations sing by streamlining facilities and the supply chain, all of which dramatically increased margins. Cook also had a test run as CEO in 2009 and then again in 2011 when Jobs was managing his health situation. Under their leadership, the company went from its nadir to a remarkable $100 billion today.”
Steve Jobs’ last advice to Tim Cook was “to never ask what [Steve] would do; just to do what’s right,” Business Insider reports. Cook’s decisions have proven to be right, and he has turned Apple into one of the most successful companies in history.
“Apple has a culture of excellence that is, I think, so unique and so special. I’m not going to witness or permit the change of it.” – Tim Cook
According to Wikipedia, Cook is also on the boards of directors of Nike, Inc. and the National Football Foundation. He is among Duke University’s board of trustees as well.
The USA Today reports the CEO’s wakeup hour to be as early as 3:45 am! HuffingtonPost has quoted Tim Cook to be having an 8-hour sleep routine. That puts his bedtime at around 9 pm.
Tim Cook’s lifestyle revolves around his work. The CEO attends work early, and he usually is “one of the last ones to leave the office,” Business Insider reports. He receives about 800 emails a day, which he reads through the early mornings.
Cook has been described as a demanding leader. Apple Gazette has asked Apple employees about Tim Cook’s work style:
“All of the respondents paint an image of a man who is very passionate and driven with his work, and expects his employees to be as well”
In 2008, CNN stated that Cook held Sunday-night staff meetings using the telephone.
Family And Friends
Tim Cook is the first fortune 500 CEO who is openly gay. He came out publicly in 2014 by publishing a note on Bloomberg:
“For years, I’ve been open with many people about my sexual orientation. Plenty of colleagues at Apple know I’m gay, and it doesn’t seem to make a difference in the way they treat me. Of course, I’ve had the good fortune to work at a company that loves creativity and innovation and knows it can only flourish when you embrace people’s differences. Not everyone is so lucky.
While I have never denied my sexuality, I haven’t publicly acknowledged it either, until now. So let me be clear: I’m proud to be gay, and I consider being gay among the greatest gifts God has given me.”
Cook is very private about his life. Cook discussed the reason behind his decision to publicly announce his orientation:
“I don’t consider myself an activist, but I realize how much I’ve benefited from the sacrifice of others. So if hearing that the CEO of Apple is gay can help someone struggling to come to terms with who he or she is, or bring comfort to anyone who feels alone, or inspire people to insist on their equality, then it’s worth the trade-off with my own privacy.”
Cook and Steve Jobs were good friends. According to The Register, Cook offered a part of his pancreas to Jobs, but he declined.
“He (Steve Jobs) is not given credit as a teacher. But he’s the best teacher I ever had by far. There was nothing traditional about him as a teacher. But he was the best. He was the absolute best.” – Tim Cook
According to Business Insider, Tim Cook’s lifestyle entails regular workout and “he takes fitness seriously”. He goes to the gym at around 5 am. to keep healthy and mentally alert for his tiring job. Cook has attributed the success in fitness for his use of Apple Watch.
He also likes hiking and riding a bicycle, Business Insider reports.
The CEO eats at Apple’s cafeteria with random employees. Business Insider stated that Adam Lashinsky has reported about Cook’s decision to share the table at lunchtime. This makes him more approachable, and I bet this mingling helps him to be on top of Apple’s wast operations.
Lashinsky wrote that Tim Cook and Jobs had not much in common, except for “a fondness for the rock-and-roll greats of the 1960s”.
Contrary to what you might think, TV is very much existent in Tim Cook’s Lifestyle. According to Reuters, Cook routinely watches CNBC and ESPN.
The CEO Library has listed the following books as Tim Cook’s recommendations:
- Trillion Dollar Coach: The Leadership Playbook of Silicon Valley’s Bill Campbell, by Eric Schmidt, Jonathan Rosenberg, Alan Eagle
- March: Books One, Two, and Three, by John Lewis, Andrew Aydin
- Bobby Kennedy: The Making of a Liberal Icon, by Larry Tye
- Gandhi: An Autobiography – The Story of My Experiments With Truth, by Mohandas Karamchand (Mahatma) Gandhi
- Competing Against Time, by George Stalk Jr., Thomas M. Hout
“History rarely yields to one person, but think and never forget what happens when it does. That can be you. That should be you. That must be you.” – Tim Cook