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苹果新掌门走出乔布斯光环

Miguel Helft 2011年08月29日

伟大的科技先知史蒂夫•乔布斯终于从苹果CEO的宝座上退位,蒂姆•库克不得不接过权杖,开始执掌商业世界最庞大的王国。
商业图解:苹果的组织流程图

    随着苹果公司(Apple)饱受病痛折磨的首席执行官史蒂夫•乔布斯辞职,他的继任者和多年的合作伙伴蒂姆•库克将受到前所未有的考验。

    今年1月,乔布斯宣布因病短暂离岗。此后,作为苹果公司首席运营官的库克就一直负责公司的日常运营。此前也曾经出现过两次类似的情况,当乔布斯因健康问题离岗之际,库克都曾从他手里接过管理大权。

    和乔布斯一样,库克也是个要求严格的管理者和处处苛求的老板,一个执着于最微小细节的完美主义者。但是他和乔布斯的相似之处也仅限于此了。乔布斯是魅力超凡的领导人,脾气火爆,库克则在阿拉巴马州的小镇上长大,言语温和,举止保守,极度沉迷于自己的世界。乔布斯运用自己的创造性天才和眼光构想并设计出一款款一鸣惊人的产品,如iMac,iPhone和iPad时,而库克则专注于运用自己非凡的运营技巧确保苹果公司能生产出成千上万台的产品并将它们运往世界各地,满足消费者似乎永难餍足的需求。

乔布斯背后的天才

    这两个人优势互补,共同推动苹果公司成就了美国历史上最为非凡的大逆转之一。

    苹果的董事之一,阿特•列文森,也是基因泰克公司(Genentech)的董事长,在一份新闻稿中代表苹果公司董事会发言,表达了对库克的信心。他说:“董事会充分相信,蒂姆是我们下一任首席执行官的合适人选。”他还表示,乔布斯担任董事会主席后,“将继续以他独到的洞察力、创造性和激发众人灵感的能力为苹果公司效力。”

    不过,乔布斯的辞职出人意料,人们不禁再次纷纷猜测他的健康状况。在其辞职信中,乔布斯写道:“我常说,如果有那么一天,我无法再胜任苹果CEO,无法再达到大家的期望值,我会在第一时间告诉你们。不幸的是,这一天到来了。”

    从2004年开始,乔布斯就一直在和胰腺癌作斗争,两年前,他做了肝移植手术。他对自己的健康状况始终三缄其口,而苹果公司的一位发言人也拒绝就此发表看法。

    从目前各方意见看,年届50的库克在乔布斯离开期间非常成功地领导着苹果公司。但是,一旦他长期担任首席执行官,库克将必须证明,即便乔布斯不在身边,他也能干得一样出色。

    不过,这种考验或许并非迫在眉睫。尽管投资者可能对乔布斯的辞职感到震惊,苹果公司却凭借iPhone,iPad等热门产品以及麦金塔电脑(Macintosh)的复兴连续多年保持着高速增长,业绩惊人。这种局面不可能一夜之间戛然而止。

    With the resignation of Steve Jobs, Apple's ailing chief executive, his successor and collaborator of many years, Tim Cook, will be tested like never before.

    Cook, who was Apple's chief operating officer, has been running day-to-day operations since January, when Jobs announced that he was taking a medical leave. And twice before, Cook had taken the reins from Jobs, as Apple's founder stepped aside to focus on his health.

    Like Jobs, Cook is a relentless executive and exacting boss, a perfectionist who obsesses over minute details. But the similarities between the two men end there. While Jobs is a charismatic leader known for outbursts of temper, Cook, who was raised in a small town in Alabama, is soft-spoken, reserved and intensely private. And as Jobs used his creative genius and vision to conceive and design blockbuster products like the iMac, iPhone and iPad, Cook's considerable operational skills were focused on making sure that Apple could build millions of those products and deliver them to every corner of the world to meet customers' seemingly insatiable demand.

The genius behind Steve

    Their complementary skills, helped Apple (AAPL) engineer one of the most remarkable turnarounds in American history.

    In a news release, Apple director Art Levinson, the chairman of Genentech, speaking on behalf of Apple's board, expressed confidence in Cook. "The Board has complete confidence that Tim is the right person to be our next CEO," Levinson said. And he said that in his new role as chairman, Jobs "will continue to serve Apple with his unique insights, creativity and inspiration."

    Still, the unexpected resignation of Jobs is raising new questions about his health. In his resignation letter, Jobs said: "I have always said if there ever came a day when I could no longer meet my duties and expectations as Apple's C.E.O., I would be the first to let you know. Unfortunately, that day has come."

    Jobs, who has battled pancreatic cancer since 2004 and underwent a liver transplant two years ago, did not discuss his health, and an Apple spokesman declined to comment.

    By all accounts, Cook , who is 50, has done an admirable job of steering Apple in Jobs's absence. But as he assumes the CEO role on a more permanent basis, Cook will have to prove that he can succeed without Jobs at his side.

    The test, however, is not likely to come immediately. While investors may be spooked by Jobs's resignation, the company has been on a remarkable, multi-year streak, built on the success of the iPhone and iPad and the resurgence of the Macintosh. That's not likely to end overnight.

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