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MIGUEL HELFT

New YorkThe New York Times News Service

On an 18-hour flight from California to Singapore a few years ago, Timothy D. Cook, Apple’s (AAPL-Q337.4510.733.28%) chief operating officer, had little time for small talk with a colleague. Glued to his business class seat, Cook had his nose in spreadsheets, preparing for a thorough review of Apple’s Asian operations.

 Apple’s 2011: What to expect over the coming months

The two landed at 6 a.m., took time to shower and headed into a meeting with Apple’s local executives. Twelve hours later, and well past dinnertime, the local executives were ready to call it quits.

“They were absolutely exhausted,” said Michael Janes, the Apple executive who accompanied Cook. “Tim was not. He was ready to jump to the next slide and the next slide after that. He is absolutely relentless.”

That relentlessness could be indispensable in the months ahead, because Cook may be tested as never before. He has been charged with running Apple’s day-to-day operations while his boss, Steve Jobs, the company’s visionary chief executive, is on medical leave.

Cook has done that twice before, briefly and successfully. Yet if Jobs’ health does not improve, Cook could be on the job for a long time. And while Apple’s succession plans are closely guarded, Cook is widely believed to be the most likely candidate to permanently replace Jobs.

In Silicon Valley, Jobs is also known for relentlessness. Yet on many levels, he and Cook are opposites. While Jobs is mercurial and prone to outbursts, Cook is polite and soft-spoken. While Jobs obsesses over every last detail of Apple’s products, Cook obsesses over the less glamorous minutiae of Apple’s operations.

Their complementary skills have helped Apple pull off the most remarkable turnaround in American business, and made it the world’s most valuable technology company. When Cook is on his own, he will have to compensate for the absence of Jobs – and his inventiveness, charisma and uncanny ability to predict the future of technology and anticipate the wishes of consumers.

“He is going to have to look to others to provide the creative vacuum left by Steve,” said A.M. Sacconaghi Jr., an analyst with Sanford Bernstein & Co.

Cook and Apple declined to comment for this article. From his first days at Apple in 1998, Cook, who is known as intensely private, worked in the shadow of Jobs and other prominent leaders. Although his job – making sure Apple could produce, assemble and ship its breakthrough products around the world, and do so profitably – was not considered sexy, he quickly removed inefficiencies from Apple’s supply chain.

As Cook delivered results, he earned more respect from Jobs. More important, because he was focused on areas that Jobs knew little about, he rarely butted heads with him, former Apple executives said.

Cook eventually took on oversight of Apple’s sales and of its Macintosh division. In 2007, he became chief operating officer, and two years later, he stepped in to run Apple when Jobs went on medical leave for nearly six months. During that time, he improved the company’s financial performance in the middle of an economic downturn.

“Without Steve, Apple will be a different company,” a former Apple executive said “But Tim knows what he knows and what he doesn’t know, and will trust other guys to do a good job.”

The executive added, “He will not be the visionary, but that’s OK because there are other talented people around him.”

Posted by: Olgen K. Ifti | January 19, 2011

Coke’s Vitamin Water – What do you think?

Macro photograph of coca-cola bubbles.

Image via Wikipedia

Olgen Ifti wrote: Coke’s Vitaminwater should not be labelled ‘nutritious‘. It’s misleading the consumers.

Read more on Globe and Mail’s post:

Coke’s Vitaminwater can’t be called ‘nutritious’: U.K. watchdog

Tralee Pearce

A British advertising watchdog has ruled that Coca-Cola must stop using the word “nutritious” in its ads for Vitaminwater – because it has too much sugar.

The Advertising Standards Authority said it thought consumers would understand the word “nutritious” as a claim that Vitaminwater had added ingredients needed by the body in order to stay healthy, according to the Telegraph.

The ruling came after three people complained that the poster for Vitaminwater was misleading, with one of them claiming that each 500ml bottle contained more than 30g of sugar.

Coke said the product is clearly labeled as having 23g and defended itself, saying it contained “nutritionally meaningful quantities of several nutrients including 25 per cent of the recommended daily allowance of four B vitamins” and “100 per cent of the recommended daily allowance of vitamin C,” according to the Telegraph piece.

Coca-Cola is facing similar heat on this side of the pond, too.

In the United States, consumers and health advocacy group Center for Science in the Public Interest are suing over claims that Coca-Cola is using deceptive labeling to sell the drinks, according to the Associated Press.

In July, a district court judge wrote that Vitaminwater’s use of the word “healthy” violated Food and Drug Administration labeling rules.

Posted by: Olgen K. Ifti | January 17, 2011

Me? An Entrepreneur?

Sis, Coon, Pen (dog), and Aunt Mary Foust in Foust Hollow, Anderson Co., Tennessee

I have thought about starting my own business many times. I don't know what's holding me…. may be lack of experience. It is uncharted waters for me.

May be some days.

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Apple Says Steve Jobs Will Take a New Medical Leave

 

Steven P. Jobs, the co-founder and chief executive of Apple, is taking a medical leave of absence, a year and a half after his return from a liver transplant, raising questions about both his long-term prognosis and the future of the world’s most valuable technology company.

Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

The Apple C.E.O. Steve Jobs at Apple’s headquarters in Cupertino, Calif., last October.

Related

Jobs’s E-mail to Apple Employees (BusinessWire.com)
  • Times Topics: Steve Jobs | Apple Incorporated
  • Readers’ Comments

    Mr. Jobs, who recovered from pancreatic cancer after surgery in 2004, is going on leave at a critical time for Apple.

    While the company has outflanked most of its rivals in the technology industry, creating a string of products like the iPhone and the iPad that have been blockbuster hits with consumers, it is also facing ever more intense competition from giants like Google, Microsoft and Samsung. Some of those rivals have narrowed Apple’s lead or even surpassed the company by some measures.

    Mr. Jobs’s leave is certain to cause anxiety with investors and even consumers. Perhaps more than any other chief executive, he is seen as inseparable from his company’s success.

    “He may be the most vital C.E.O. of our era,” said Michael Useem, a professor at the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania and director of its Center for Leadership and Change Management.

    Mr. Jobs is known for his hands-on management style and his obsessive attention to the most minute details of Apple’s products. He is also credited with anticipating the needs of consumers time and again, leading Apple to create one breakthrough product after another.

    Mr. Jobs, who is 55, announced his leave on Monday in an e-mail to employees that said he was stepping aside “so I can focus on my health” but would continue to be involved in major strategic decisions at the company.

    “I love Apple so much and hope to be back as soon as I can,” Mr. Jobs wrote in the message, which was made public by Apple.

    Posted by: Olgen K. Ifti | January 12, 2011

    Joseph Strauß, Waltz – Vienna Philharmonic 2011

    Posted by: Olgen K. Ifti | January 12, 2011

    Radetzky Marsch (Johann Strauß)-Wien (Wiena) 2010

    Posted by: Olgen K. Ifti | January 12, 2011

    Marcha Radetzky 2011

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