More MBAs at Apple under Tim Cook

June 5, 2012
Lucas Weingarten

GMAT BlogNo one can deny that Steve Jobs changed everything.  His vision and leadership of Apple, Inc. shifted the course of history and the future that precedes it.  While Jobs’ success at the helm of this lauded tech company cannot be understated, he did have certain idiosyncrasies and character traits that some may have wanted to change.  For example, APPL investors would have liked a few more conversation with him over the years; something Steve Jobs was notoriously uninterested in.  This lack of accessibility, however, is not a trademark of Jobs’ successor, Tim Cook.

As described in a recent Fortune article, Mr. Cook is continuing one of his past duties as COO—that of being an ear and voice to high value investors—on into his current role as CEO of the staggeringly wealthy tech company.  Accessibility is just one of the colors within the new picture more clearly emerging as Cook closes in on his one year mark in the captain’s chair.  And, in the end, an uptick of $140 billion in market cap since Cook ascended has a lot to say about the effectiveness of his leadership.

Tim Cook was hired fourteen years ago for his operational expertise and unique ability to mend broken systems.  An impressive tenure as COO solidified Cook’s skills in identifying and rectifying Apple’s operations.  Yet, the changes at apple over the last ten months might lay bare the constraints Cook perceived when he was not the company’s No. 1.  “In general, Apple has become slightly more open and considerably more corporate.”1

Of course, such words of current portraiture will leave many diehard Mac-folk clenching their jaws and hugging their stomachs.  Any threat to engineering creativity might be seen as the pebble that could bring down Goliath or at least the spice that could spoil the soup.  Yet Tim Cook appears steadfast in his decisions without any sign of relenting and every indication he will deepen his mark on the company.  One characteristic of this mark may be heartening to both MBA holders and aspirants interested in joining the ranks of the tech juggernaught.

From the Fortune article:

“Steve Jobs basically ran M&A for Apple. Today[Adrian] Perica heads a department with three corporate-development professionals under him and a staff supporting them, so that Apple can work on three deals simultaneously. Indeed, the vibe, in the words of a former employee, is of an Apple that is becoming “far more traditional,” meaning more MBAs, more process, and more structure. (In point of fact, 2,153 Apple employees reference the term “MBA” in their LinkedIn profiles out of a nonretail workforce of nearly 28,000. More than half the employees who reference “MBA” have been at Apple less than two years.)”

Though the implication of such a shift in the HR decisions at Apple will not have much of an impact on the overall job numbers for MBAs, it is nice to see your name in the press along-side that of a Pharaoh.  What’s more, any nerve rattling that the prospect of more MBAs on the company payroll may engender is arguably misplaced.  A graduate degree in business does not preclude one from being cut from the cloth characteristic of the company culture Steve Jobs so brilliantly created.

So…Anyone out there planning to take Tim Cook up on his offer?

Lucas Weingarten Lucas Weingarten teaches students how to beat the GMAT, GRE, and LSAT for Kaplan Test Prep and is proud to have earned “elite instructor” status. Lucas writes extensively for Kaplan’s GMAT blog, and in addition to the GMAT and business school as primary subject matter, he regularly explores topics within higher education, economic systems, sustainability, and current events. Lucas spent his formative years in North Carolina and currently resides in Milwaukee, WI, though he has not yet found the part of the world wherein to bury his roots. He has an MBA with a dual concentration in entrepreneurship and finance from DePaul University in Chicago and is fortunate to have secured an adjunct teaching position there out of the department of management. Family, friends, and a seemingly endless stream of new hobbies keep Lucas busy and happy outside of the classroom. You can reach out any time by email ( or through the comments thread after his blog posts.

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