Tim Cook is Apple’s chief operating officer. He makes sure that their products are made as well and as efficiently as possible.
Tim Cook arrived at Apple in 1998 from Compaq Computer. He was a 16-year computer-industry veteran—he’d worked for IBM for 12 of those years—with a mandate to clean up the atrocious state of Apple’s manufacturing, distribution, and supply apparatus. One day back then, he convened a meeting with his team, and the discussion turned to a particular problem in Asia.
“This is really bad,” Cook told the group. “Someone should be in China driving this.” Thirty minutes into that meeting Cook looked at Sabih Khan, a key operations executive, and abruptly asked, without a trace of emotion, “Why are you still here?”
Khan, who remains one of Cook’s top lieutenants to this day, immediately stood up, drove to San Francisco International Airport, and, without a change of clothes, booked a flight to China with no return date, according to people familiar with the episode. The story is vintage Cook: demanding and unemotional.
Original link (cnn.com)
What interests me about this story is not so much Tim Cook, who is obviously a spectacular leader. It’s Sabih Khan, who booked his flight to China and left without hesitation. I can’t think off the top of my head of a better story illustrating what it means to be responsible (in both senses of the phrase).
© 2008 Scott Wiersdorf