Five years ago, on August 24, 2011, Tim Cook was appointed CEO
of Apple after Steve Jobs had resigned due to his illness. So how did Tim Cook master the challenge of succeeding Apple’s charismatic co-founder and long-time CEO? After all, Jobs was one of the most iconic business figures of the past century and is still credited with Apple’s unprecedented rise following the iPhone
’s release in 2007.
Given that the most obvious indicator of how a public company such as Apple has fared in the eyes of private and institutional investors is its share price, we decided to take a look at the company’s stock performance under Cook’s watch. At first glance, Apple’s shareholders have nothing to complain about: adjusted for splits and dividends, anyone who invested in Apple stock the day of Cook’s appointment has more than doubled his initial investment. That’s only half of the story though, as our chart below illustrates: investing in Apple’s competitors Google, Microsoft and Amazon yielded significantly larger returns over the same period. Considering that the Nasdaq Composite Index, a market- cap-weighted index of roughly 2,500 companies, also doubled since 2011, Apple just barely beat the market, which isn’t great for a company of Apple’s ambitions.
One thing that most experts agree on is that Apple’s extreme growth
over the past decade wouldn’t have been possible without Tim Cook, who excels in logistics and supply chain management. Now that the iPhone business is slowing down though, he’s going to have to prove that he can do more than maintain and build on Steve Jobs’ legacy. He needs to find his own “one more thing”.