Bloomberg: John Ternus emerging as the most likely successor to Tim Cook as Apple CEO – 9to5Mac

Bloomberg: John Ternus emerging as the most likely successor to Tim Cook as Apple CEO – 9to5Mac

A new report from Bloomberg today gives an in-depth look at who could replace Tim Cook as Apple’s CEO, who has held the title since 2011 and turns 64 this year. While the report says there’s “no reason to assume that a change at the helm is imminent,” there are multiple possibilities as to who could eventually take over.

The report, which is based on conversations with “several people familiar with Apple’s inner workings,” says that if a change was made soon, Chief Operating Officer Jeff Williams would almost certainly take the reins as CEO:

If Cook were to step down soon, these people say, he would almost assuredly be replaced by Chief Operating Officer Jeff Williams, who emerged as the top candidate to be Cook’s successor a few years ago.

But Williams, who’s 61 this year, is only two years Cook’s junior, and company insiders say they think it’s now unlikely he’ll be the new long-term chief. Apple’s board would probably want an executive who, like Cook and Jobs, would stick around for at least a decade. “If you asked me five years ago, it was very clear Jeff was leading the pack to become CEO,” says one longtime Apple executive. “But the slowness to refresh the C-suite leaves a problem with who you can bring on board.”

But the report says that “people close to him” believe that Cook will be Apple’s CEO for “at least another three years.” If that pans out, John Ternus is the “most likely successor” to Tim Cook for Apple CEO.

Ternus is currently Apple’s Senior Vice President of Hardware Engineering, and has taken an increasingly visible role at Apple over the last several years.

The report describes Ternus as “well-liked inside Apple,” with praise from Tim Cook, Eddy Cue, and many others. One key factor, too, is that Ternus is 49 years old. This makes him “more likely than other members of the executive team to stick around for a long time.”

Ternus is well-liked inside Apple, and he’s earned the respect of Cook, Williams and other leaders. “Tim likes him a lot, because he can give a good presentation, he’s very mild-mannered, never puts anything into an email that is controversial and is a very reticent decision-maker,” says one person close to Apple’s executive team. “He has a lot of managerial characteristics like Tim.”

Christopher Stringer, a former top Apple hardware designer, called Ternus a “trustworthy hand” who’s “never failed with any role he’s been elevated to.” Eddy Cue, the Apple executive known as Cook’s closest confidant, has privately told colleagues that Ternus should be the next CEO, according to a person with knowledge of the matter.

What about other Apple executives? Bloomberg says that people such as Craig Federighi and Deirdre O’Brien are “unlikely successors” to Cook, despite being well-liked. Others, such as Phil Schiller and hardware chief Dan Riccio “are at the end of their tenures” at Apple.

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2024.05 9to5mac 750x150 1 - Bloomberg: John Ternus emerging as the most likely successor to Tim Cook as Apple CEO - 9to5Mac

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