CEO — NEW YORK (AP) — "Those jobs aren't coming back."
That's what Steve Jobs reportedly told President Obama when asked at a dinner in early 2011 whether Apple would consider moving some of its manufacturing from China to the United States.
Jobs' successor, CEO Tim Cook, might have another response for Obama: Yes, we can.
Though the metal edges of its PCs and mobile devices are as sharp and severe as ever, Apple is emerging under Cook's leadership as a kinder corporate citizen. Cook's announcement this week that the company is moving the production of one of its Mac computer lines to the U.S. is just the latest step in a softening of the company's image following the October 2011 death of CEO and co-founder Jobs.
"Cook is a gentler being in terms of how he projects himself," says Gartner analyst Carolina Milanesi. That's partly of necessity, she says — few people would tolerate Jobs-like arrogance in a newbut it's also a reflection of Cook's personality.
Cook was born in Alabama and at age 52 it seems he is still very much a southern gentleman. He joined Apple Inc. in 1998 from IBM Corp., where he worked for 12 years. Starting out as Apple's senior vice president of worldwide operations, he rose through the ranks to become chief operating officer. He made a name for himself as an expert organizer of manufacturing processes and a deft manager of supply chains. Cook ran Apple's day-to-day operations for years before he was named CEO in August 2011, but stayed in the background while Jobs commanded the spotlight.
Cook didn't say which computers Apple would make in the U.S., or where the company might locate new facilities. But bringing assembly-line jobs back to the U.S. lights a symbolic beacon of hope for working-class Americans who worry that the global economy has no use for them.
Cook's reforms have been both internal and outward-facing. Earlier this year, he visited the Chinese factories where Apple products are assembled, amid an Apple-financed audit of working conditions. Shortly after, Foxconn promised to limit working hours and raise wages.
U.S. workers are getting a better deal too. The Wall Street Journal reported in early November that the company will let some employees take up to two weeks of paid leave to work on pet projects that might benefit the company. The program is similar to a famous perk available to Google employees, who get to devote 20 percent of their time to entrepreneurial "hobbies."
In addition, the company now matches employee donations up to $10,000 a year. Tim Cook himself made $100 million in charitable donations early in the year, another contrast to Jobs, who had little interest in philanthropy.
Under Cook, Apple has also become more investor-friendly. Jobs, perhaps scarred by Apple's lean years in the 1990s, was opposed to Apple parting with its cash reserves. That lead to the company accumulating a rainy-day fund of nearly $100 billion in cash by the end of his tenure — a hoard that investors would have liked for themselves.
This year, Apple has begun sharing its wealth with investors for the first time in two decades, by paying dividends of nearly $10 billion a year.
Cook's diplomacy has extended into enemy territory. Jobs was furious that phones running Google Inc.'s Android software mimicked Apple's iPhone so closely and vowed to wage "thermonuclear war" against the company through patent infringement lawsuits. The worldwide onslaught of litigation is still ongoing, but in early November, Apple agreed to a ceasefire on one front: It settled all its patent suits against Google partner HTC Corp., a struggling Taiwanese maker of smartphones.
The terms were not disclosed, but company watchers believe HTC will be paying Apple royalties on the phones it makes, and some saw it as a sign that Apple was taking a more rational stance and starting to put Jobs' take-no-prisoners fury behind it.
CEO — NEW YORK (AP) — "Those jobs aren't coming back."
EU, U.S. agree to start free trade talks
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Food companies work to make products look natural
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Car show will offer tour of grave sites
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Wineries find efficiencies
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Doug Luciani: Our youth can come home now
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Business in Brief: 06/16/2013
Health care reform; Biz after hours; NCMC program.Continued ...
Jason Tank: Economics a dizzying display of acronyms
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Business Memoranda: 06/16/2013
Traverse City-based EverywhereUGo has expanded, with board locations in the Van Andel Arena in Grand Rapids and the Great American Ball Park (home of the Cincinnati Reds) in Cincinnati, Ohio.Continued ...
- Saturday, June 15, 2013
Ag Forum: Tent caterpillars aren't hanging around
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Futures File: Corn grinds lower despite poor conditions
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Rural U.S. losing population
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- Friday, June 14, 2013
Horizon Books co-owner wins Lyle DeYoung award
Amy Reynolds always believed in downtown Traverse City’s retail corridor, even when the trend was for business owners to race off and set up shop at the nearest mall.Continued ...
Building Permits: 06/14/2013
Building permits issued in Grand Traverse County:Continued ...
The Record: 06/14/2013
Assumed names filed in Grand Traverse County:Continued ...
Grocers allege potato price fixing
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- Thursday, June 13, 2013
National magazine recognizes TC for boating opportunities
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Post to invest $30M in Battle Creek plant
Cereal maker Post Foods says it plans to invest $30 million in a West Michigan facility, creating 92 jobs.Continued ...
Wet spring means reduced corn crop estimate
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AAA study: Voice-operated dashboard tech still risky
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- Wednesday, June 12, 2013
Rotary gives $241K in grants
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Farm Bill debate moves to contentious House
The last time Congress passed a farm bill, Democrats had control of the House and the food stamp program was about half the size it is today.Continued ...
- Tuesday, June 11, 2013
Mancelona upgrades water lines
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Apple revamps software look
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Exide files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection
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U.S. probes Honda minivans for air bag trouble
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- EU, U.S. agree to start free trade talks