Fuqua alum succeeds Steve Jobs as head of Apple

✔✔ Timothy D. Cook, a Fuqua MBA graduate '88, has been named Chief Executive Officer and a director of the world's most valuable tech company -- Apple.

This after Steve Jobs, a cancer survivor who has had a liver transplant, stepped down from the company he founded at age 21. "I have always said if there ever came a day when I could no longer meet my duties and expectations as Apple's CEO, I would be the first to let you know," he wrote. "Unfortunately, that day has come."

The news stunned the tech world, but election of Cook, who has filled in for Jobs three times since 2004 when his health broke, was no surprise. Jobs was elected chair of the board, a part-time position that is considerably less demanding.

Cook: age 50. Undergraduate degree from Auburn. Huge Auburn football fan. Fitness fanatic, gym at 5 AM. Joined Apple in 1998 as senior vice president of world-wide operations. Previoiusly with IBM for 12 years and a brief stint at Compaq. Earnings last year: $59 million.

Wall Street Journal: "People who know him at Apple say he is polite but persistent and unyielding in his demands. They also say he can absorb a huge amount of data and quickly pinpoint any problems."

And this: "Mr. Cook isn't the showman that Mr. Jobs is, but people who know him call him an "operational genius" who was responsible for crafting Apple's current supply-chain system and helping to transform the company into one of the most efficient electronics manufacturers today."

Biggest challenge: having grown by leaps and bounds, the big challenge now is to sustain the momentum.

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