The Wall Street Journal has published an extensive excerpt from the new book “Haunted Empire, Apple After Steve Jobs,” written by former WSJ reporter Yukari Iwatani Kane.
Passages from the book deliver some insight into Cook’s key mode of operation.
As a CEO, he was methodical and wanted his subordinates to see Apple as a company of $20 billion, while actually a worth $6 billion.
“To some, Cook was a machine; to others, he was riveting. He could strike terror in the hearts of his subordinates, but he could also motivate them to toil from dawn to midnight for just a word of praise,” one passage reads.
Among the things that are emphasized most is his preference for details, and the way he dealt with them, especially in operations meetings that could sometimes turn terrifying for employees.
“Meetings with Cook could be terrifying. He exuded a Zenlike calm and didn’t waste words. “Talk about your numbers. Put your spreadsheet up,” he’d say as he nursed a Mountain Dew. (Some staffers wondered why he wasn’t bouncing off the walls from the caffeine.) When Cook turned the spotlight on someone, he hammered them with questions until he was satisfied. “Why is that?” “What do you mean?” “I don’t understand. Why are you not making it clear?” He was known to ask the same exact question 10 times in a row.”
Kane’s “Haunted Empire, Apple After Steve Jobs” will be published on March 18.