我们上一次提到道格•卡斯还是在今年 2 月，苹果年度股东大会的前一天。卡斯是一家小型对冲基金公司的经理，在美国全国广播公司财经频道（CNBC）颇有影响力。当时那篇文章提到了他在Twitter上玩的一个小把戏。
为了取悦华尔街，苹果应该炒掉库克，持这种观点者不仅仅只有卡斯一个人。数周以来，不满的股东们都在私下议论纷纷，大体意思都是要求库克下台。如今，距离苹果发布 2013 财年第二财季财报还有两天，这些不满情绪正在浮出水面。
• 《福布斯》网站上周日刊登了一篇题为《苹果是否正在寻找 CEO 库克的接班人》的文章。作为一家商业期刊的网络版，这个网站一度倍受尊敬。不过这篇文章被 Macworld 杂志指责为“代表反苹果作者的小丑表演”。
毫无疑问，希望库克下台的投资者并不是苹果的朋友。据我所知，了解苹果的分析师对库克仍然非常尊重。更重要的是，苹果董事会向库克提供了 100 万股受限股，作为吸引库克留在苹果的激励措施。它体现了董事会对库克的信心。
目前，苹果股价仍高于库克接替乔布斯出任苹果 CEO 时的价格。我认为，苹果股价上涨至 700 多美元，随后回落至 390 美元，更多的是因为股票市场的机能失调，与库克担任 CEO没有什么关系。
The last time we wrote about Doug Kass -- a small hedge fund manager with a large presence on CNBC -- it was to document a neat little trick he played on his Twitter feed in February, the day before Apple's annual shareholder meeting.
Apple's (AAPL) share price was down and Kass was long the stock. He tweeted a rumor that the company was about to announce a split, the stock went up, he sold his shares at a profit, tweeted that the rumor was baseless and then spent the rest of the day hurling insults at his critics. (See A day in the Twitter life of Doug Kass.)
Well, Kass is at it again. On Sunday, citing the same "Gnome" that was the source for his stock split story, he tweeted:
Kass, it turns out, is not alone in suggesting that the solution to Apple's woes on Wall Street is to fire its CEO. We've been hearing whispers to that effect from disgruntled shareholders for weeks, but now -- two days before Cook is scheduled to report Apple's March quarterly earnings -- they've come to the surface.
And who's doing that? Let's take a look:
• We've got the tweet from Doug Kass, whose main Apple-related claim to fame was to publish his "Bear Case for Apple" the day before the stock began a nosedive that lopped $300 billion off the market cap of the world's most valuable company.
• We've got The impossible task of fixing Apple by Rob Enderle, a consultant for Dell (DELL), Microsoft (MSFT), Hewlett-Packard (HPQ) and others, who has made a career of bad-mouthing Apple in print and on TV. (For background on Enderle, you can start with John Gruber's 2003 Putting the 'anal' in 'analyst'.)
• We've got Sunday's Is Apple Looking For A Replacement For CEO Cook? in Forbes.com, the online arm of a once-respected business publication whose experiment in what it calls "incentive-based, entrepreneurial journalism" has led to what Macworld calls "a relentless clown show of anti-Apple contributors."
Make no mistake, the people who want Tim Cook's head on a spike are not friends of Apple. As far as I know, he still has the deep respect of the analysts who know the company best and -- most important -- the confidence of the board of directors who granted a million restricted shares of Apple as an incentive for him to stick around for at least a decade.
For the record, Apple is still trading higher today than it was when Cook replaced Steve Jobs. The forces that drove the stock up to over $700 and then down to below $390 seem to me to have more to do with a dysfunctional securities market than anything Cook has done as CEO.