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Apple is stronger than ever under Tim Cook, whose seventh anniversary as CEO comes tomorrow

Tim Cook Apple

Apple has unquestionably enjoyed an epic run under CEO Tim Cook’s leadership so far, even as it experiments with products and services that move it incrementally away from being dependent almost entirely on the success of the iPhone. Under Cook, Apple has branched out into everything from a popular new line of wearables with the Apple Watch, the fourth series of which will likely be revealed at the company’s September event, to commissioning scripted TV series exclusive to Apple customers.

Regarding the latter, Variety reported today the iPhone maker has given a series order to a drama based on Isaac Asimov’s novel Foundation, which will “revolve around the thousand year saga of the Foundation, a band of exiles who discover that the only way to save the Galactic Empire from destruction is to defy it.” Apple has also already inked tons of other deals with creators to seed its Netflix-like video service. Separate from all of this, of course, there’s also the fact Cook has helped steer Apple toward the monumental achievement of being the first U.S. company to be worth $1 trillion.

Friday, meanwhile, is a big day for Apple’s somewhat reserved chief executive, in that he’s set to get a $120 million performance-related payday for the results he’s produced. Friday also marks the seventh anniversary of Cook taking over as CEO, and it’s probably safe to say Apple expects (and hopes) the trillion dollar man isn’t going anywhere for a while.

Be that as it may, a Bloomberg report out today offers a quick rundown of some of the other top executives at Apple likely in the running to replace Cook if he leaves or needs to be replaced anytime soon. Some of whom you may already be familiar with thanks to their relatively high profiles.

“If Cook were to leave his post in the near term,” Bloomberg notes, “potential successors would include Chief Operating Officer Jeff Williams, whose profile has risen steadily inside and outside Apple, and marketing boss Phil Schiller.

“Other skilled leaders include services head Eddy Cue, software leader Craig Federighi, top chip engineer Johny Srouji, hardware leader Dan Riccio, semi-retired car project chief Bob Mansfield and, of course, Ive. Chief Financial Officer Luca Maestri, retail head Angela Ahrendts and General Counsel Kate Adams, a relative newcomer, all brought leadership experience from other companies.”

Cook’s tenure at Apple so far should be regarded as all the more successful given the suddenness around Steve Jobs’ illness and ultimate passing. Cook has previously said, for example, that when he took over as CEO in 2011, he’d expected to be able to work under a chairman Steve Jobs “indefinitely.”

Sadly, that was not to be. The time he did have working under Apple’s legendary co-founder, though, certainly made a mark. Bloomberg has more about their relationship here:

“I found it to be liberating, is the way I would describe it. Because you could talk to Steve about something really big, and if it resonated with him, he would just say ‘Ok’ — and you could do it! It was like a total revelation for me that a company could run like this, because I was used to these layers and bureaucracies and studies … I realized that if I couldn’t get something done, I could just go to the nearest mirror and look at it and that was the reason.”

Andy Meek profile photo

Andy Meek is a reporter who has covered media, entertainment, and culture for over 20 years. His work has appeared in outlets including The Guardian, Forbes, and The Financial Times, and he’s written for BGR since 2015. Andy's coverage includes technology and entertainment, and he has a particular interest in all things streaming. Over the years, he’s interviewed legendary figures in entertainment and tech that range from Stan Lee to John McAfee, Peter Thiel, and Reed Hastings.