The Management of Apple Company

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Apple, a multinational technology company, which is worth more than $1 trillion dollars today; wasn’t always this successful. According to Chuck Williams (2018) In the late 1980’s, Apple lost billions after firing their CEO, Steve Jobs. After leaving Apple, Steve started and cultivated his own business ideas such as NeXT computers, a portion of Lucas films where graphics were designed, as well as what is now known as the current multibillion-dollar company, Pixar Studios. In the mid 1990’s Steve Jobs after Apple suffered large profit loss and market shares plummeted, he returned to Apple as the CEO, where he completely turned the company around (Williams, 2018).

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Jobs was able to do this by developing an operation system, OS simplistic in nature, which put Apple in a position to stabilize its share in the financial market. Today Apple’s market is no longer just a personal computing retailer, but a market that delves into more personal and helpful items like phones, tablets, music, media services, such as, Apple TV, as well as a launch into the home assistant market in hopes to compete or surpass Google and Amazon.

Jobs, was a leader with a unique approach; a CEO with an influential, high demanding, micro-management approach which lead to him to have high expectations for his staff. He was known for his high expectations and helped to foster an environment where employees were able to be creative thinkers, to create a simplistic and unique product easy for the consumers to understand and use.

In 2011, Jobs was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, shortly after he started his medical leave, but was always very transparent with Apple employees regarding his health issues and diagnosis, stating he would return after medical treatment. However, in 2011 Jobs decided to turn his position to the COO, Tim Cook as his health declined.

Jobs was the directive leader that Apple needed in the 90’s to help turn Apple into the company it is today. He set high expectations for all employees, and was involved in every aspect of design starting with the design of the iPod, down the aesthetics of the retail stores and the specific angle in which the product was displayed for customers. After Jobs’ death, Tim Cook was challenged in creating his own leadership style. Unlike Steve Jobs, Tim Cook took on the achievement-oriented role as his management style with Apple employees and other management. He allowed for with trust that they would make the right decision. This created an environment which allowed for employees to be empowered. Furthermore, this empowerment allowed for Apple to acquire other very successful companies like the personal speaker and studio quality headphone company, BEATS by Dr. Dre. The acquisition of BEATS has been a large profit booster for the company’s profit margin in a growing market. (

Apple still runs under the Jobs era culture when working on new product as an environment of need-to-know, meaning staff without direct involvement in the project are not in the loop on research and development or advertising. This allows for the public and most employees to still be surprised when Apple releases its latest and greatest products. Controlled information is the best way to minimize leaks to the public and competitors.

The approach I would take in the management of Apple as CEO would be to take a hybrid approach, meaning I would use the most successful tactics of proceeding CEOs Steve Jobs and Tim Cook. Then incorporate my own style of leadership that encourages confidence, open communication, and empowerment from all levels of employees. Steve Jobs was very charismatic and had buy in from employees in times of trouble. This made mitigation of any issues easier since the employees had trust in his resolutions.

I feel I have a charismatic and outgoing personality that allows people to communicate any issue with me without feeling intimidated. It’s been proven in research studies that employees will produce more work when the environment is supportive, and they are happy. My approach would include leading by example instead of merely giving direct instruction. When a leader is willing to get in the trenches with their employees, direction is better received. It displays that a leader is not going to ask of them something they would not do themselves. Incorporation of Tim Cooks methods of allowing employees to be confident in making decisions at the appropriate level without the CEO’s sign off, also gives the employees and line level managers the feeling of being personally invested in the success of a company. Furthermore, it creates more consistent, less bureaucratic, and immediate decision making to continue with production and minimize time lost while trying to receive approvals from tier structured management.

I would adopt the approach of root cause analysis and distribute the tools for problem solving to all members of the workforce. In an article written by Lisa Eadicicco, (2019) for Business Insider, this process is similar to questions asked by Tim Cooks as an approach to engage employees in analytical thinking. However, root cause analysis provides you a series of steps referred to as the 5 whys to find the single point of error in a process and used to resolve and reduce issues further along in workflow after the specific point of cause has been determined. It is meant for completion by a team with varying job duties to analyze the problem from all functional roles in the process and engage as many people as possible


  1. Lee, T. B. (2015, September 10). How Apple became the world’s most valuable company. Retrieved from
  2. Monica, P. R. (2006, January 25). Retrieved April 15, 2019, from
  3. Williams, C. (2018). MGMT: Principles of management. Australia: Cengage.
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The Management of Apple Company. (2020, Sep 01). Retrieved from