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更新时间:2014-3-6 13:33:53 来源:华尔街日报中文网 作者:佚名

The Job After Jobs

Shortly after Tim Cook succeeded Steve Jobs as CEO of Apple in August 2011, he told a confidant that he got up every morning reminding himself just to do the right thing -- and not to think about what Steve would have done.

But Jobs's ghost loomed everywhere after he died from pancreatic cancer two months later. Obituaries of Apple's visionary founder blanketed the front pages of newspapers and websites. TV stations ran lengthy segments glorifying the changes he brought to the world.

In New York, publisher Simon & Schuster rushed out Walter Isaacson's biography of Jobs a month early -- with a sleek, Apple-esque cover featuring a photo blessed by the late CEO. Apple chose the same image as the tribute photo on its home page. The photo was so quintessentially Jobsian that his friends and colleagues marveled at how he still seemed to be orchestrating the narrative from beyond the grave.

Even the ritual remembrances unfolded as though Jobs had staged them himself. A memorial service on a Sunday evening at Stanford University was organized by his longtime event planner, and the guest list read like a Who's Who of notables in Jobs's life: Bill Gates, Larry Page, Rupert Murdoch and the Clinton family, among others. Joan Baez, Jobs's onetime girlfriend, sang 'Swing Low, Sweet Chariot.' Bono performed Bob Dylan's 'Every Grain of Sand.' Yo-Yo Ma brought his cello and played Bach -- a personal request from Jobs before his death. Jobs was gone but not gone. Somehow he had transcended death to obsess over the launch of one last product: his own legacy.

Tim Cook, whom Jobs had personally picked as Apple's new CEO, was at the service, but attendees gave the former chief operating officer little thought. Even as he took control of Apple's empire, Cook couldn't escape his boss's shadow. How could anyone compete with a visionary so brilliant that not even death could make him go away?

The genius trap had long been set for Jobs's successor. Apple had been defined by him for more than a decade. Design, product development, marketing strategies and executive appointments -- all hinged on his tastes. Apple's accomplishments weren't Jobs's alone, but he had taken credit for most of them, which further fed his legend. One employee even owned a car with the vanity plate 'WWSJD': What Would Steve Jobs Do?

The next CEO didn't have the quasi-religious authority that Jobs had radiated. Cook's every decision would be examined by current and former employees and executives, investors, the media and Apple's consumers. He would also have to contend with the sky-high expectations that Jobs had conditioned the public to have for Apple.

Cook was a seasoned businessman and arguably a better manager than Jobs. He was organized, prepared and more realistic about the burdens of running a company of Apple's size. But no one could beat Jobs at being Jobs -- especially Cook, his polar opposite.

If Jobs was the star, Cook was the stage manager. If Jobs was idealistic, Cook was practical. But without Jobs, Cook had no counterweight to his dogged pragmatism. Who would provide the creative sparks?

The succession was complicated by the fact that no one knew who Cook really was. The new CEO was a mystery. Some colleagues called him a blank slate. As far as anyone could tell, Cook had no close friends, never socialized and rarely talked about his personal life.

The quiet, self-contained Cook grew up as the second of three brothers. In his early years, the family lived in Pensacola, Fla.; his father worked as a shipyard foreman, and his mother was a homemaker. They later moved to Robertsdale, Ala., a small, predominantly white town near the Gulf of Mexico that was quiet, stable and safe. In high school, he was voted 'most studious.' He represented his town at Boys State, an American Legion mock legislature program, and won an essay contest organized by the Alabama Rural Electric Association on the topic of 'Rural Electric Cooperatives -- Challengers of Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow.' Outside of class, Cook was appointed the business manager of the yearbook because he was meticulous and good with numbers.

Cook began his career at IBM after graduating from Auburn University with a degree in industrial engineering. Later he added an M.B.A. from Duke. After 12 years, he moved to a small Colorado computer reseller called Intelligent Electronics Inc., where he nearly doubled the firm's revenues. He was plucked by Compaq and moved to Houston. One day a headhunter called: Apple was looking for a senior vice president of world-wide operations. 'Why don't you come and meet Steve Jobs?' the recruiter asked.

Cook joined Apple's executive team in the spring of 1998, while the company was in the throes of restructuring and desperate for a capable executive who could make Apple's manufacturing process more efficient. Unlike his predecessors, who sat with the operations team, Cook asked for a small office cater-cornered to Jobs's on the executive floor. It was a shrewd strategy -- staying close to the boss to be attuned to his thinking.

From the start of his Apple tenure, Cook set colossally high expectations. He wanted the best price, the best delivery, the best yield, the best everything. 'I want you to act like we are a $20 billion company,' he told the procurement team -- even though Apple then had only about $6 billion in annual revenues and was barely eking out a profit. They were playing in a new league now.

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.

Those who interacted only passingly with Cook saw him as a gentle Southerner with an aura reminiscent of Mister Rogers. But he wasn't approachable. Over the years, colleagues had tried to engage him in personal conversations, with little success. He worked out at a different gym than the one on Apple's campus and didn't fraternize outside of work.

Years earlier, when Apple was about to ship its movie-editing software, iMovie, Jobs wanted his executives to test it out by making home movies. Cook made his about house hunting and how little one got for one's money in the late 1990s in Palo Alto real estate. While amusing, the movie revealed nothing about him.

Apple under Jobs was a roller coaster, but Cook's operations fief was orderly and disciplined. Cook knew every detail in every step of the operations processes. Weekly operations meetings could last five to six hours as he ground through every single item. His subordinates soon learned to plan for meetings with him as if they were cramming for an exam. Even a small miss of a couple of hundred units was examined closely. 'Your numbers,' one planner recalled him saying flatly, 'make me want to jump out that window over there.'

Cook had made a particular point of tackling Apple's monstrous inventory, which he considered fundamentally evil. He called himself the 'Attila the Hun of inventory.'

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.

Cook also knew the power of silence. He could do more with a pause than Jobs ever could with an epithet. When someone was unable to answer a question, Cook would sit without a word while people stared at the table and shifted in their seats. The silence would be so intense and uncomfortable that everyone in the room wanted to back away. Unperturbed, Cook didn't move a finger as he focused his eyes on his squirming target. Sometimes he would take an energy bar from his pocket while he waited for an answer, and the hush would be broken only by the crackling of the wrapper.

Even in Apple's unrelenting culture, Cook's meetings stood out as harsh. On one occasion, a manager from another group who was sitting in was shocked to hear Cook tell an underling, 'That number is wrong. Get out of here.'

Cook's quarterly reviews were especially torturous because Cook would grind through the minutiae as he categorized what worked and what didn't, using yellow Post-its. His managers crossed their fingers in the hopes of emerging unscathed. 'We're safe as long as we're not at the back of the pack,' they would say to each other.

Cook demonstrated the same level of austerity and discipline in his life as he did in his work. He woke up at 4:30 or 5 a.m. and hit the gym several times a week. He ate protein bars throughout the day and had simple meals like chicken and rice for lunch.

His stamina was inhuman. He could fly to Asia, spend three days there, fly back, land at 7 a.m. at the airport and be in the office by 8:30, interrogating someone about some numbers.

Cook was also relentlessly frugal. For many years, he lived in a rental unit in a dingy ranch-style building with no air conditioning. He said it reminded him of his humble roots. When he finally purchased a house, it was a modest 2,400-square-foot home, built on a half-lot with a single parking spot. His first sports car was a used Porsche Boxster, an entry-level sports car that enthusiasts called the 'poor man's Porsche.'

Even his hobbies were hard-core: cycling and rock climbing. During vacations, he never ventured far. Among his favorite spots were Yosemite and Utah's Zion National Park.

Cook placed Robert F. Kennedy and the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. among his heroes, and photos of both men hung in his office. In a statement that hinted at how Cook viewed his relationship with Jobs, he said that he admired the way RFK had been comfortable standing in his brother's shadow. The martyred senator embodied everything that Cook strove to be -- hardworking, principled and charitable.

As tough as Cook was reputed to be, he was also generous. He gave away the frequent-flier miles that he racked up as Christmas gifts, and he volunteered at a soup kitchen during the Thanksgiving holidays. He had also participated in an annual two-day cycling event across Georgia to raise money for multiple sclerosis; Cook had been a supporter since being misdiagnosed with the disease years before. 'The doctor said, 'Mr. Cook, you've either had a stroke, or you have MS,' ' Cook told the Auburn alumni magazine. He didn't have either. His symptoms had been produced from 'lugging a lot of incredibly heavy luggage around.'

In August 2011, a few months before Jobs died, Cook sent his first email as CEO to employees. 'I want you to be confident that Apple is not going to change,' he wrote. 'Steve built a company and culture that is unlike any other in the world and we are going to stay true to that -- it is in our DNA.' He added, 'I am confident our best years lie ahead of us and that together we will continue to make Apple the magical place that it is.' He signed the memo simply, 'Tim.'

After Jobs's death, Apple's employees rallied around Cook. But privately, many were anxious. Employees in departments that had heretofore had little to do with Cook worried about how their jobs might change. The operations team, familiar with his tough management style, worried about life becoming even more intense.

In his first days as CEO, Cook made two key moves. First, he promoted Eddy Cue, Apple's enormously popular vice president for Internet services. Cue had been Jobs's guy, managing the iTunes group and eventually all of Apple's Internet services. He was Jobs's deal maker as well, negotiating with music labels, movie studios, book publishers and media companies. When Cook finally made him senior vice president, it generated goodwill inside and outside the company -- and turned an important Jobs loyalist into a key Cook ally.

Cook's second decision was to start a charity program, matching donations of up to $10,000, dollar for dollar annually. This too was widely embraced: The lack of an Apple corporate-matching program had long been a sore point for many employees. Jobs had considered matching programs particularly ineffective because the contributions would never amount to enough to make a difference. Some of his friends believed that Jobs would have taken up some causes once he had more time, but Jobs used to say that he was contributing to society more meaningfully by building a good company and creating jobs. Cook believed firmly in charity. 'My objective -- one day -- is to totally help others,' he said. 'To me, that's real success, when you can say, 'I don't need it anymore. I'm going to do something else.' '

The moves signaled a shift to a more benevolent regime. Though still shuttered to the outside eye, Apple felt more open internally. The new CEO communicated with employees more frequently via emails and town-hall meetings. Unlike Jobs, who always ate lunch with the design guru Jonathan Ive, Cook went to the cafeteria and introduced himself to employees he didn't know, asking if he could join them. Without Jobs breathing down their necks, the atmosphere was more relaxed. Cook was a more traditional CEO who infused Apple with a healthier work environment.

Cook proved a methodical and efficient CEO. Unlike Jobs, who seemed to operate on gut, Cook demanded hard numbers on projected cost and profits. Whereas Jobs had reveled in divisiveness, Cook valued collegiality and teamwork. Cook was also more visible and transparent with investors.

Not everyone was so enamored. The changes Cook made were perceived as signs of increasing stodginess. The yearning for more subversive days was also palpable. Skeptics soon began expressing doubts about Apple's future, especially after the rocky launch of Siri, its virtual personal-assistant feature.

'Without the arrival of a new charismatic leader, it will move from being a great company to being a good company,' George Colony, the CEO of technology research firm Forrester Research, wrote in a blog. 'Like Sony, Polaroid, Apple circa 1985, and Disney, Apple will coast and then decelerate.'

Above it all, the specter of Steve Jobs still hovered -- somewhere beyond reproach and accountability, beyond the tangle of human fallibility. His successors remained stuck here on Earth.

2011年8月份接替史蒂夫·乔布斯(Steve Jobs)当上苹果公司(Apple)的CEO之后不久,蒂姆·库克(Tim Cook)对一位密友说,他每天早上都提醒自己,只管把事情做对就行了,不要去想换作史蒂夫会怎么做。


纽约西蒙与舒斯特出版公司(Simon & Schuster)提前一个月赶制出沃尔特·艾萨克森(Walter Isaacson)的乔布斯传记,简洁大气的苹果式封面上印着一张获得这名已故CEO认可的照片。苹果在其网站主页上也采用同一张照片作为遗照。这张照片是典型的乔布斯风格,以至于朋友和同事都惊叹:他似乎在墓穴中仍在引领着故事的进程。

就连悼念仪式好像也都是乔布斯自己筹划的。斯坦福大学(Stanford University)在一个周日晚上举行的追思会,是由乔布斯长期以来的活动策划人组织的,来宾名单就像是一个在乔布斯的人生中扮演过重要角色的名人录,如比尔·盖茨(Bill Gates)、拉里·佩奇(Larry Page)、鲁珀特·默多克(Rupert Murdoch)和克林顿夫妇等。乔布斯曾经的女友琼·贝兹(Joan Baez)吟唱了《战车轻摇》(Swing Low, Sweet Chariot),波诺(Bono)演唱了鲍勃·迪伦(Bob Dylan)的《每粒细沙》(Every Grain of Sand)。马友友带来他的大提琴,演奏了巴赫的乐曲──这是乔布斯生前亲自提出的请求。乔布斯走了,却又没走。他以某种方式摆脱了死亡的束缚,将其转化为自己最后一件产品的发布──他自己的精神遗产。


这个天才陷阱早就为乔布斯的继任者布置好了。苹果被他定义了10多年。设计、产品开发、营销策略、高管任命,什么都围绕着他的口味而转。苹果的成就不只是乔布斯一个人的成就,但大部分成就的功劳都归在了他的身上,这又进一步加重了他的传奇色彩。一名员工的自选车牌甚至是“WWSJD”,即“乔布斯会怎么做?”(What Would Steve Jobs Do?)





稳重、沉默寡言的库克在家中的三兄弟中排行老二。早年他们家生活在佛罗里达州的彭萨科拉(Pensacola),父亲在船厂当领班,母亲是个家庭主妇。后来他们搬到亚拉巴马州的罗伯茨代尔(Robertsdale)。那是墨西哥湾附近一座以白人为主的小城,宁静,稳定,安全。上高中的时候,他被投票评为“最好学”的学生。他曾代表罗伯茨代尔参加美国退伍军人协会(American Legion)举办的模拟议会项目“Boys State”,并在亚拉巴马地方电力协会(Alabama Rural Electric Association)举办的一次作文比赛中夺得冠军,比赛题目是“电力合作社:昨天、今天和明天的挑战者”。在课堂之外,库克被任命为学校年鉴的业务主管,因为他做事一丝不苟且擅长跟数字打交道。

库克毕业于奥本大学(Auburn University),拿到了工业工程学位,步入职场的第一份工作是在IBM。后来他又在杜克大学(Duke University)拿到了MBA学位。12年过后,他跳槽到科罗拉多州一家名叫“Intelligent Electronics Inc.”的电脑经销公司工作,将该公司的营业收入提高了将近一倍。后来他被康柏(Compaq)挖走,搬到了休斯顿。一天一位猎头打电话过来说,苹果在找一名高级副总裁负责全球运营。那位猎头说:“何不过来见见史蒂夫·乔布斯呢?”




只是偶尔跟库克打交道的人觉得他是一位和蔼的南方人,有一股电视节目主持人“罗杰斯先生”(Mister Rogers)那样的气质。但他不是一个平易近人的人。多年来,同事们曾经试图与他进行私人的交往,基本上都没有成功。他去锻炼的健身房并不是苹果园区里的那一家,在工作之外,他也不跟人套近乎。

多年之前,在苹果的影片编辑软件iMovie即将推出的时候,乔布斯希望手下的高管通过制作家庭电影来进行测试。库克的影片讲的是找房子的过程,以及在90年代末的帕洛阿尔托(Palo Alto)房地产市场房价是多么贵。虽然很搞笑,影片却没有揭示有关他自己的任何东西。



跟库克开会有时候让人害怕。他表现出一种带有禅意的平静,不多说一句话。他会一边喝激浪汽水(Mountain Dew)一边说:“说说你的数字,把表格打开来。”(有些员工很好奇,他摄入那么多咖啡因为什么没有变得躁动起来。)当库克把注意力对准某个人的时候,他会用各种问题敲打他们直到满意。“为什么?”“什么意思?”“我不明白。为什么不说清楚?”很多人都知道,他会把同一个问题连续问上10遍。







甚至他的爱好也属于硬派:骑行和攀岩。度假期间他从不远游,最喜欢去的地方包括优山美地国家公园(Yosemite National Park)和尤他州的宰恩国家公园(Zion National Park)。

库克崇拜的人包括罗伯特·F.肯尼迪(Robert F. Kennedy)和马丁·路德·金(Martin Luther King Jr.),他的办公室悬挂着两人的照片。在一份暗示库克如何看待他与乔布斯关系的声明中,他说他敬佩罗伯特·肯尼迪如何坦然地站立在哥哥的阴影之下。这位被刺杀的参议员展现了库克努力争取的所有品质:刻苦,自律,慈悲。

尽管库克的严厉是出了名的,他也是一个慷慨的人。他把自己积累的常旅客里程当作 诞礼物送给别人,并在感恩节假期去食物救济站当义工。他还曾参加一场横跨佐治亚州的年度两日骑行活动,为多发性硬化患者捐款。自从多年前被误诊为多发性硬化以来,他一直是此类活动的支持者。库克对奥本大学校友杂志说:“医生讲,库克先生,你要么是得了中风,要么是得了多发性硬化。”结果他两样病都没有。他的症状产生于“携带重得不得了的行李”。



在当上CEO的头几天,库克采取了两项至关重要的行动。一是提拔苹果人望极高、负责互联网服务业务的副总裁埃迪·库伊(Eddy Cue)。库伊是乔布斯的得力助手,曾管理iTunes小组,最后负责管理苹果所有的互联网服务业务。他也是乔布斯的交易撮合者,跟音乐公司、制片公司、图书出版商和传媒企业谈判。当库克最后把他提拔为高级副总裁的时候,此举在公司内外都释放出善意,并把一位重要的乔布斯追随者变成了库克的关键盟友。


这两项举措标志着苹果转向一个更加亲切的机制。虽然外界仍然知之甚少,但在内部苹果给人的感觉是开放了很多。新CEO通过电子邮件和恳谈会与员工交流得更加频繁。乔布斯总是跟设计大师乔纳森·艾夫(Jonathan Ive)一起吃午饭,而库克总是去食堂,向他不认识的员工作自我介绍,问能不能跟他们一起吃饭。没有乔布斯紧紧盯着,气氛变得更加放松。库克是一名更加传统的CEO,给苹果注入了一种更加健康的工作环境。



科技研究公司Forrester Research的CEO乔治·克朗尼(George Colony)在一篇博客里写道:“如果没有一个魅力四射的新领导人上台,苹果就会从一家了不起的公司变成一家还算不错的公司。跟索尼(Sony)、宝丽来(Polaroid)、1985年前后的苹果以及迪士尼(Disney)一样,苹果将会空档滑行,然后减速。”