Tim Cook Needs To Go: Apple Needs A Visionary, Not A 'Traffic Cop,' Says Analyst


It's hard to please everybody, especially if you're the CEO of one of the world's most successful companies. Apple CEO Tim Cook knows it all too well.

As soon as he assumed his position at the helm of the company, Cook was met with skepticism. He had huge shoes to fill, as late Apple co-founder and CEO Steve Jobs was viewed as an iconic figure, a visionary and a true leader. When Cook took over, most industry experts and analysts questioned whether he'd be up for the part — would he continue Jobs' legacy, or taint it?

One analyst now argues that Cook is not the right man for the job and should be ousted from the company.

In a lengthy blog post comparing Apple with legendary rock bands and discussing the importance of vision and innovation, among many other things, music and industry analyst Bob Lefsetz makes his case on why Cook should no longer be Apple's CEO.

Apple Without Jobs Is Like The Doors Without Jim Morrison

The analyst first draws a parallel between the late Steve Jobs and Bob Dylan, as both iconic figures kept exploring, changing and "rolling," always looking ahead. Apple under Jobs flourished, says Lefsetz, and it's tough to argue with that. However, the analyst believes those days are over, and expecting Apple to remain on that glorious path without Jobs is like expecting The Doors to make it without Morrison.

Lefsetz highlights that some bands may survive even without their frontman, but it's pretty much over once the "creative genius is gone." In Apple's case, the creative genius was Jobs. Without any sugarcoating, the analyst calls for Cook's bon voyage away from Apple.

"Tim Cook needs to be replaced. Apple doesn't need a traffic cop, it needs a visionary," Lefsetz argues. "Execution is important, but it's secondary to inspiration. The idea is king, never forget it."

However, the analyst reckons that this will not happen (ousting Tim Cook) because it would involve big risks, and nobody wants to revolutionize the scheme as long as it's working "reasonably well."

Lefsetz further offers Apple products as examples of Cook's unsatisfactory performance, mentioning the disappointing Apple Watch or how the phablet killed the iPad just like the iPhone killed the iPod. He goes on to argue that Tim Cook banked on the iPad by launching a stylus-equipped Pro version, but as impressive as it may be, most consumers simply don't need it. Lefsetz also attacks Apple's move to market the iPad Pro as a desktop replacement when in fact "it's nothing of the sort."

Truth be told, Lefsetz is not the only one to diss the iPad Pro's ability to replace computers. While it's a high-end, powerful tablet, most agree that the iPad Pro is hardly a PC replacement.

'Apple Is Over'

Thinking about what the future may hold for Apple, Lefsetz suggests that Apple without Jobs is headed to the gutter. The analyst says Apple is done, leaving Google, Amazon and Facebook as the three big players still in the game.

"[I]t hurts me to say this, being a Mac user since '86, but he who cannot see the writing on the wall is destined to a life of business illiteracy, never mind being left behind."

Analyst Doug Kass echoes Lefsetz' stance on the matter, also arguing that Tim Cook is no Steve Jobs and Apple would be better off without him as its leader. Kass highlights the "unprecedented success" the iPhone 6 had, noting that Apple is "unlikely to ever repeat that success."

The analyst further discussed the statements Cook recently made during a CNBC Mad Money interview but says he's not convinced that Cook's optimism is founded.

"I see Apple's competition as mounting in intensity – and representing a threat to sales, pricing, profits and margins," says Kass. "Stated simply, I don't see any present innovation or prospective creativity at Apple that will bring Cook's statements to reality for either the iPhone or the Apple Watch."

It remains to be seen what Apple's future will look like or whether Tim Cook will eventually manage to be seen as Tim Cook and not Steve Jobs' replacement. There's no doubt that Jobs cast a long shadow, but expecting Cook to act and lead Apple just like Jobs did is unrealistic.

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