Cook : Apple :: Ballmer : Microsoft ?

Paul Thurrott:

And I think there are some parallels to draw between this event (Cook’s taking over day-to-day operations at Apple, expected to be permanent) and Steve Ballmer’s ascension at Microsoft. And not to ruin the surprise, but this may be bad news for Apple. The simplest way to explain this is to simply provide the closing quote in the article: “He will not be the visionary, but that’s O.K. because there are other talented people around him.” Sure. That’s what they said about Ballmer too. Just a thought.

I’m not linking to this to be inflammatory, and, I don’t think Thurrott posited this analogy to be inflammatory. There are some parallels: an operations executive succeeding a visionary product-oriented founder. But, I’d say Cook-as-Ballmer is pretty much the worst case scenario for Apple.

The warnings signs with Ballmer have been there for years. He’s been out of touch for a long time. Remember when he laughed at the iPhone? Said it had “no chance”? Let’s not worry about Tim Cook until he starts saying dumb things.

Monday, 24 January 2011