Tim Cook has had a stellar run at Apple — even without another mega-smash like the iPhone – CNBC

Tim Cook has had a stellar run at Apple — even without another mega-smash like the iPhone – CNBC

Elon Musk
Apple CEO Tim Cook takes a selfie with an attendee during a special event on September 10, 2019 in the Steve Jobs Theater on Apple's Cupertino, California campus. Justin Sullivan | Getty Images Apple was in a sour spot shortly after Tim Cook took over as Apple's CEO. After the death of Steve Jobs in 2011, critics began questioning if the company could continue to produce breakthrough products like iPod, iPhone and iPad. That pessimism continued into 2012 and 2013 as rivals like Samsung pushed forward with iPhone alternatives that had bigger screens and wild features. Apple was doomed, according to the naysayers. The company lost its spiritual leader, and an "operations" guy like Cook didn't have the instincts to create another disruptive product. The company continued to beat earnings expectations, but the longer term outlook didn't look great. The naysayers were wrong. Apple under Cook hasn't invented a new, game-changing product like the iPhone. Instead, he's leveraged the iPhone's success into new areas of growth. Under Cook, the iPhone has become the linchpin for the entire Apple ecosystem. .

Even though unit sales have fallen over the last couple years, the company has built a compelling system of accessories and services around it. Cook has convinced investors that its story reaches far beyond how many iPhones it can sell each quarter. Apple's stock is up about 480% since Cook took over in August 2011. It became the first publicly traded company to reach a $1 trillion market cap in 2018. And even after a rough start to 2019 when Apple shocked investors by revising its holiday quarter guidance down, the stock completely recovered by the end of the year, blowing past a $1 trillion market cap once again. It's up about 45% since the unveiling of the iPhone 11 last September, adding about $400 billion in market value. .

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