How Tim Cook placated Elon Musk

Apple CEO Tim Cook is known to be an excellent communicator, and that was on full display this week as he navigated the wave of accusations from Elon Musk against Apple. A new report from the FinancialTimes this weekend offers a deeper look at how former Apple executives view Cook’s skills, with the caveat that there’s a problem he has yet to address…

The past week has been a whirlwind when it comes to the relationship between Elon Musk and Apple. Twitter’s new owner started the week with a series of quick tweets accusing Apple and Tim Cook of halting its ad spending on Twitter, suggesting they “hate free speech”.

For Apple, it was something of a public relations nightmare, as Musk encouraged his army of followers to start a “revolution against online censorship in America” ​​and called on Apple to “publish all censorship actions that it has taken and which affect its customers”.

Musk also said that Apple had “threatened to remove Twitter from its App Store”, but did not explain why. Rather than commit publicly, Tim Cook Musk privately invited to Apple Park for a meeting. Musk then took to Twitter to thank Cook for the meeting and the visit to Apple Park, adding that it was all a “misunderstanding”.

The FinancialTimes spoke to a “10+ year Apple veteran” regarding Cook’s ability to appease someone like Musk:

“I’m sure Tim charmed him,” the person said. “He wanted to hear [Musk] out. And I’m sure Tim gave his point of view. That’s what Tim does: he rolls up his sleeves and solves problems. He’s not into major public disputes, whether it’s a PR dispute or something more controversial. It’s not his MO. He’s not like Elon.

Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak added that “Cook’s best skill is simply understanding the need to take care of everyone” and “to be multi-disciplinary and have no favorites”.

John Sculley, who stepped down as CEO of Apple before Steve Jobs returned to the company, said:

“The first trillion came from Jobs and Ive, the next trillion came from what Tim Cook did. He does it in a low key way and doesn’t draw attention to himself, but he does a job When you hold an iPhone in your hand, the names that immediately come to mind are Steve Jobs and Jony Ive, but Tim Cook’s contributions are just as relevant.

China’s problem

But with all that said, the FinancialTimes takes note of the biggest crisis that Tim Cook has yet to address – or even publicly comment on. Apple relies heavily on China for manufacturing, and as we’ve covered over the past few weeks, its main “iPhone City” has been rocked by Covid shutdowns and protests.

Apple also made the controversial decision to limit functionality from AirDrop in China after protesters used the feature to spread materials against the Chinese government.

A report from the wall street journal said that Apple continues its efforts to diversify its supply chain outside of China. However, China will remain an incredibly important market segment for Apple in terms of iPhone sales.

During a visit to Washington DC this week to meet lawmakers and attend the White House state dinner for French President Emmanuel Macron, a reporter asked Cook “if he supports the right of Chinese citizens to protest “. He did not answer.

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