Author Yukari Kane, whose work we’ve touched upon before, has done an interview with The New York Times to promote her new book Haunted Empire: Apple After Steve Jobs and she drops some interesting insights into the differences between current Apple CEO Tim Cook and late Apple cofounder Steve Jobs. Kane says that it’s just not true that Cook is laid back and she says that he’s a very intense person who is simply quieter than his famous predecessor. However, she also says that Cook has definitely eased up in some key areas and that unlike Jobs he “understands people need to take vacations.”
“Jobs routinely made a habit of calling people back midvacation,” explains Kane, who also goes on to say that Jobs also made employees “work on Christmas Day because he decided he wanted a different color iPod shuffle at the last minute.”
But while such changes have definitely been welcomed by employees, Kane isn’t sure they’re so good for Apple in the long run. In fact, she seems to imply that in order to remain a disruptive company, Apple needs a visionary dictator like Jobs to keep pushing people to their absolute limits.
“While it’s nice for employees to get more flexibility with vacations and such, you lose the intensity that is required to keep hitting home run after home run,” she tells the Times. “It’s not a surprise that one of Jobs’s first acts upon returning to Apple back in the 1990s was to eliminate its sabbatical program.”
Of course, stories we’ve read from a designer who recently quit Apple suggest that Cupertino is still a hugely demanding place to work where employees are held to extremely high standards. And recent interviews with Apple design boss Jony Ive suggest that he and his team have lost none of their fire to be the best in the business, so it seems questionable whether Apple’s future success hinges on whether or not Tim Cook lets employees take vacations.