CEO — NEW YORK (AP) — "Those jobs aren't coming back."
That's what Steve Jobs reportedly told President Obama when asked at a dinner in early 2011 whether Apple would consider moving some of its manufacturing from China to the United States.
Jobs' successor, CEO Tim Cook, might have another response for Obama: Yes, we can.
Though the metal edges of its PCs and mobile devices are as sharp and severe as ever, Apple is emerging under Cook's leadership as a kinder corporate citizen. Cook's announcement this week that the company is moving the production of one of its Mac computer lines to the U.S. is just the latest step in a softening of the company's image following the October 2011 death of CEO and co-founder Jobs.
"Cook is a gentler being in terms of how he projects himself," says Gartner analyst Carolina Milanesi. That's partly of necessity, she says — few people would tolerate Jobs-like arrogance in a newbut it's also a reflection of Cook's personality.
Cook was born in Alabama and at age 52 it seems he is still very much a southern gentleman. He joined Apple Inc. in 1998 from IBM Corp., where he worked for 12 years. Starting out as Apple's senior vice president of worldwide operations, he rose through the ranks to become chief operating officer. He made a name for himself as an expert organizer of manufacturing processes and a deft manager of supply chains. Cook ran Apple's day-to-day operations for years before he was named CEO in August 2011, but stayed in the background while Jobs commanded the spotlight.
Cook didn't say which computers Apple would make in the U.S., or where the company might locate new facilities. But bringing assembly-line jobs back to the U.S. lights a symbolic beacon of hope for working-class Americans who worry that the global economy has no use for them.
Cook's reforms have been both internal and outward-facing. Earlier this year, he visited the Chinese factories where Apple products are assembled, amid an Apple-financed audit of working conditions. Shortly after, Foxconn promised to limit working hours and raise wages.
U.S. workers are getting a better deal too. The Wall Street Journal reported in early November that the company will let some employees take up to two weeks of paid leave to work on pet projects that might benefit the company. The program is similar to a famous perk available to Google employees, who get to devote 20 percent of their time to entrepreneurial "hobbies."
In addition, the company now matches employee donations up to $10,000 a year. Tim Cook himself made $100 million in charitable donations early in the year, another contrast to Jobs, who had little interest in philanthropy.
Under Cook, Apple has also become more investor-friendly. Jobs, perhaps scarred by Apple's lean years in the 1990s, was opposed to Apple parting with its cash reserves. That lead to the company accumulating a rainy-day fund of nearly $100 billion in cash by the end of his tenure — a hoard that investors would have liked for themselves.
This year, Apple has begun sharing its wealth with investors for the first time in two decades, by paying dividends of nearly $10 billion a year.
Cook's diplomacy has extended into enemy territory. Jobs was furious that phones running Google Inc.'s Android software mimicked Apple's iPhone so closely and vowed to wage "thermonuclear war" against the company through patent infringement lawsuits. The worldwide onslaught of litigation is still ongoing, but in early November, Apple agreed to a ceasefire on one front: It settled all its patent suits against Google partner HTC Corp., a struggling Taiwanese maker of smartphones.
The terms were not disclosed, but company watchers believe HTC will be paying Apple royalties on the phones it makes, and some saw it as a sign that Apple was taking a more rational stance and starting to put Jobs' take-no-prisoners fury behind it.
CEO — NEW YORK (AP) — "Those jobs aren't coming back."
- Poll: Should Snyder veto Senate Bill 661?
Real estate sales record in sight
The Grand Traverse region’s residential real estate market is on pace for its best sales year since officials began to track sales data.Continued ...
Official votes to grant new county powers to housemate
A Grand Traverse County commissioner ignored a campaign promise and raised questions about a possible conflict of interest when he voted to expand the county's drain commissioner's powers.Continued ...
Chargers down Titans
It took a trip to Traverse City to answer one of Dick Blasy’s most important questions.Continued ...
Cyclists Plow Ahead
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Editorial: Snyder has opportunity to act for transparency
The issue: Senate bill 661 has gone to Gov. Snyder. Our view: For the sake of transparency, Snyder should veto the bill.Continued ...
Prep Sports Roundup: Reps upend Tri-Valley Titans
Chase Joppich scored two goals and assisted on a third as the Bay Reps upended the Tri-Valley Titans 5-1 Saturday night at Centre ICE. (Plus more)Continued ...
Letters to the Editor: 12/15/2013
Picking pockets; Rules to silence critics.Continued ...
Not an easy road to provide shelter for homeless man
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Historian fills niches of local history
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Forum: Fracking, more harm than good
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Nearly 100 chronically homeless in Traverse City
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TC chamber board finalized
The Traverse City Area Chamber of Commerce announced several new appointments to its board of directors, including the appointment of Mark Eckhoff as board president.Continued ...
Cyclists plow ahead on sidewalks
Ty Schmidt and Bob Otwell don’t see snowy sidewalks as an obstacle to climbing onto their bikes and taking a ride.Continued ...
Area runners place at nationals
Several area runners placed Saturday in the Junior Olympics Cross Country Championships in San Antonio.Continued ...
Garret Leiva: Maybe Santa doesn't have it that easy
Santa Claus seems like an ideal job: summers off, free cookies and flying around the world without airport pat downs.Continued ...
Fred Goldenberg: SNAP and corporate responsibility
We all know that black Friday occurs right after Thanksgiving, rolls into cyber Monday and the shopping frenzy continues right up until Christmas.Continued ...
Koon to serve up to 15 years
Rodney Koon once stood triumphant over Grand Traverse County in a case that changed Michigan’s medical marijuana laws. But Friday he left a 13th Circuit courtroom in handcuffs on his way to serve a maximum 15-year prison sentence for felony sex crimes.Continued ...
Counties oppose oil and gas tax exemption
Brad Heikkila worries about Kalkaska County’s finances. Heikkila heads the county’s equalization department, and used to be excited about an oil and gas boom in the county, particularly by five deep wells spread across the county and another 30 pending permits.Continued ...
Best Sellers: 12/15/2013
Best-selling books across northwest Michigan and the country:Continued ...
Business Memoranda: 12/15/2013
Jeremy Martinchek recently joined the condo/homeowner association management team at Schmidt-Rogers Management of Traverse City.Continued ...
Generous donations will help family rebuild
Christy Wiesen won’t soon forget the generosity of strangers who’ve stepped forward with donations to help her rebuild her family’s home in Medellin, Philippines.Continued ...
Books in Brief: 12/15/2013
Author signings; Book launch.Continued ...
Business in Brief: 12/15/2013
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Lifelines: Two poems for Christmas
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