When Steve Jobs was CEO of Apple, its senior leadership was a two-headed monster. Steve put his touch on every product Apple released, while then COO Tim Cook made sure operations ran smoothly, and products were properly distributed. Using this model, Apple had unprecedented creative and financial success. With the recent moves made by now CEO Tim Cook, this model has returned, albeit slightly altered, with Cook leading, and Sir Jony Ive playing the role of Jobs, taking over creative control of the world’s largest company.
Give credit where it is due: Apple would have had plenty of success, and made a ton of money standing pat, but Cook realized the creative touch that once permeated throughout Apple had disappeared, and moves needed to be made. With Ive at the helm, creatively speaking, the light has been switched back on, and employees throughout Apple are moving around with expectations and morale unseen since Jobs unveiled the iPad.
Yes, Tim Cook is the right man for the job. He understands Apple at its core. He understands when there is an issue, changes need to be made, and quickly. He understands that no matter how high margins are, or how much cash they have in the bank, the true legacy of Apple is innovative design, and a proven design genius must lead them forward. He understands the two-headed model that Jobs installed after his return to Apple in the late 90’s can work when reversed.
We should see the first fruits of Ive’s creative control at WWDC ‘13, when the next iterations of iOS and OS X are due to be unveiled. The slate has been cleared for the beginning of the year. There will be no hardware releases, barring another unexpected iPad update. The stage has been set for a Sir Jony Ive showcase this summer, and we’ll all be waiting to see what the future of Apple’s software will look like.