Thursday, August 25, 2011 at 12:58 pm.
Refreshing Apple’s org chart
The first thing that you notice is that Steve Jobs is no longer in the upper-left corner of the chart. Nor is his photograph shown at all on the page — perhaps to eradicate any doubt that Tim Cook is truly the one in charge now.
The second thing that you notice is all the empty space — with more to come, once retail boss Ron Johnson leaves to become CEO of JC Penney. Tim Cook has some recruiting ahead of him — the VP of Advertising role is open, too — and some decisions to make about how Apple executive ranks are organized going forward. (In theory, everyone else pictured is staying.)
There is a strong chance that most everything else will remain the same — it’s not like Apple needs a restructuring or anything. And Wall Street seems to really trust Cook now. But the big questions seem to be:
- Will Tim Cook name a new COO right away? He has been acting as both CEO/COO for a while now, so maybe not. And if he does…
- Will he elevate iOS software boss Scott Forstall or industrial design lead Jony Ive in any formal way? These are the guys — particularly Ive — that seem to personify Apple’s soul, now that Jobs is no longer CEO. But neither of them seems like a classic COO-type, either.
- One of Cook’s responsibilities as COO was to lead the Mac division. Will he hand that off to someone now, perhaps to Phil Schiller, Bob Mansfield, or Jeff Williams?
- Williams, by the way, is someone worth paying attention to. He hasn’t had face time at Apple events, but as SVP of operations, he seems to be Tim Cook’s Tim Cook. He is a supply chain guy, and could eventually become Apple’s next COO. Let’s see if he becomes more prominent publicly.
- Will Cook bring in any new blood? There was absolutely no chance that Apple would hire a CEO from outside. And in Apple’s case, in general, it seems to have its best luck promoting from within lately. But are there internal candidates to take over Retail and/or Advertising? (Does the iAd business even stick around?)
- Will Eddy Cue show up on this page? iTunes isn’t Apple’s profit center, but iCloud is very important to the future of the company. Perhaps if it launches successfully…
- Perhaps some diversity on this page? I obviously don’t think Apple planned it this way, but talk about a bunch of old white guys… (There is one woman, Avon CEO Andrea Jung, on Apple’s board.)
I don’t expect any drastic changes — keeping things consistent is important to keeping Apple stable internally and externally. But while I expect Jobs to continue to have a big influence on Apple, this is truly Tim Cook’s company to run now. It’ll be interesting to see what he changes and what he doesn’t.