I learned a lot from Steve. It was one of the saddest days of my life when he passed away. Maybe as much as you should see or predict that… I really didn’t. At some point late last year, someone shook me and said, it’s time to get on. So that sadness was replaced with this intense determination. What did I learn from him? We could be here all night. I learned that focus is key — in a company and your personal life. You can only do so many things great, and you should cast aside the rest. I learned that owning the tech is important. Doing things great — not accepting good, but only the very best. That’s embedded in Apple. We have a culture of excellence that’s so unique. I’m not going to witness or permit the change of that. He also taught me that the joy is in the journey, and he taught all of us that life is fragile. We’re not guaranteed tomorrow, so give it all you got.
Not everyone knows it, but three months after I came back to Apple, my chief operating guy quit. I couldn’t find anyone internally or elsewhere that knew as much as he did, or as I did. So I did that job for nine months before I found someone I saw eye-to-eye with, and that was Tim Cook. And he has been here ever since.
Tags: tim cook