It’s been just a little over a year since Tim Cook officially took the reigns as Apple’s CEO, and thus far, he has looked like a genius. Apple has set a number of records in the last 12 months, and recently released a slew of new  products.

But “genius” isn’t the word that David Sobotta, a former director of Apple’s federal sales group, would used to describe Mr. Cook. In a recent interview with ReadWriteWeb, Sobotta painted a very grim picture of the chief executive…

Sobotta worked at Apple for 20 years, from 1984-2004 when he was asked to leave the company. He didn’t report directly to Cook, but as director of Apple’s federal sales group he had a lot of contact with Apple’s current CEO.

Shortly after last week’s announcement that Scott Forstall was leaving Apple, Dan Lyons of ReadWriteWeb emailed Sobotta about his thoughts on the management shakeup. Below are some excepts from their conversation.

“Well, for starters, Cook is not a people person,” Sobotta writes. “He certainly will not stand behind someone if the going gets rough. He is not that kind of guy. I sense no personal loyalty in him, and I suspect employees already understand that…

…I would expect that Tim is having a hard time herding the chickens. From what I saw of him, he was something of a loner. He is not a warm guy nor is he the type to go wandering the halls or Caffe Mac to find out what is happening. His preference is to tinker with spreadsheets and numbers. He is not a natural leader. He’s a manager…

…Technology-wise, I think Tim Cook is a lightweight. I never felt passion for technology from Tim like I did from Steve and some of the great engineers.”

Yikes. Those are some strong words for a former employee that hasn’t worked at Apple in more than 8 years. Sobotta says he still talks to people inside the company, but who knows what departments they’re in or where they stand.

It’s hard to imagine that if Tim Cook’s really like this, Steve Jobs would have left him in charge of Apple. Remember, Jobs handpicked Cook to be the company’s CEO after resigning last year. And that’s after several years of working next to him.

I do agree, though, that Tim probably doesn’t have a technological mind. I don’t see him in his office dreaming up Apple’s next big hit. He’s a numbers guy, the former head of operations, and he obviously did that well enough to get noticed.

Besides, Cook has enough talented minds around him — Jony Ive, Bob Mansfield, Eddy Cue, etc. — that he doesn’t have to dream up new products. He just has to steady the ship and make sure Apple keeps churning out awesome stuff.

So far so good.

What do you think about Sobotta’s comments?

  • CollegiateLad

    Tim Cook is no Steve Jobs? What a shocking revelation.

    • I could not stop laughing when I read this

    • James

      not only that…

  • Tim Cook is Tim Cook, not Steve Jobs. Tim Cook worked at IBM and was with Steve Jobs for 10 years, he knows what he is doing. Combining the OSX and iOS teams was genius of him, and Bob Mansfield came back which is excellent I think apple has a good future ahead of them

    • Kurt

      not when they are making the same product each year and others are advancing their OSes. Thats apples problem. No company stays on top for long.

  • mervynraj

    Tim probably doesnt have that passion that Job had… but he defo knows how to run Apple in profit which is what Steve would want at the end of the day… if Jony Ive comes up with new design, Tim would probably say ‘yes go ahead with it’ unlike Jobs who would think deeeeeep before nodding!!

    • Kurt

      what does jony ive really do? each year the products look the exact same. so he doesnt seem very busy

      • syntax_error

        Do you really think its only the outside of a product ? Theres much much more for him…

      • ReanimationXP

        Dumbest comment I think I’ve ever read on here.

        Sure, Ive is doing nothing. Meanwhile at Microsoft, Windows has been literally identical since 2007, until this year when they released.. wait for it.. colored squares. Real progress elsewhere.

      • Kurt

        you butt hurt bro? iOS is nothing compared to wp8 os. its a fact. accept it. ok troll? good.

      • ReanimationXP

        lmao yea I’m “butt hurt” over how stupid you are. makes sense. and i’m definitely the troll too.

      • Kurt

        look up the definition of a troll. its a little gay boy who likes to start trouble, in hopes of getting a spanking…go away you little queen.

      • ReanimationXP

        Haha, I can’t.. you’re hilarious.

        “queen”? “spanking”? calling others “dork”?

        Using the new-age brilliantly-devised troll defense mechanism of calling your target a troll first?

        Super sick skills brah!

        If I’m the troll then you’re clearly upset.. so 10/10, would troll again.

  • tim cook sucks

    • CollegiateLad

      Hey, no gay jokes!!

      • Guest

        your a fag. are you offended

      • You mean: You’re a fag, are you offended? Good luck next time.

      • 4p0c4lyps3

        Off topic. But u were an Elim Pro beast!! Oh how I miss those days. Infils, mag rails, rippers poppin heads. Good times.

      • Thanks, I miss that game. To bad the devs abandon that game. Now i just pwn’d on the xbox.

      • 4p0c4lyps3

        Ya no doubt. Was best online fps on iPhone.I’m pretty sure it was a $ generating juggernaut too. A true shame. I proly dumped a few hundred into tht bitch. Oh well…

      • Same here. I spent a few giftcards and many hours. That game was addictive.

      • Kurt

        You mean: “TOO bad…” and “abandonED” …and “pwn’d the xbox” no need for a preposition. Why mock the other guy when your English blows.

        As you would say, “Good luck next time.”

      • Kurt

        you dork

      • 4p0c4lyps3

        Sad u never played, I wlda luved owning ur pathetic troll ass. Son

      • Kurt

        you would like ass little gay boy

  • Lordthree

    I believe Tim has a engineering degree…

  • chjode

    Wait, a former employee who was fired or forced out 8+ years ago has only poor things to say about his past company? No way…

  • MagicDrumSticks

    Steve jobs “how can we make the most innovative product thy our customers will love”

    Tim cook “how can we make a product that wil earn us the most profit?

    • JustinBinder

      Spot on!

    • Kurt

      other way around. steve jobs was all about money. why do you think he would dismantle a philanthropist office?

  • sheetheadj

    His comments sound spot-on to me. Jobs was an empowered nerd that still wanted to be in the trenches. Cook’s a businessman that would fire his own mother if it meant more cash for his company. Regardless, he’s got a long road ahead. Apple will only be able to rest on its innovation-diminishing laurels for so long…

  • Steve , Full of vision , Woah,innovation,thinker and try to make it real,or make it better?

    Tim, money-minded , $$$$ << What he sees

  • It could have been worse-Steve may had picked forstall instead.

  • MSiqueira

    Cook’s comment: ‘Sobotta who?’

  • iamnotfan

    Cook what ?

  • Kurt

    why are people calling tim cook a genius? isn’t that word allotted to the high schoolers working at the apple stores?

    • ReanimationXP

      sure is asspain in here..

  • Javier Gore

    Jobs: “Lets make a great product and profit will be a result of it”
    Cook: “Lets make a great profit by making a great product”.

    Subtle but strong differences.

  • Mohammad Ridwan

    Firing Scott was a major mistake… He should have handled the situation in different way..

    • i agree he shood have tacken him out the back and givn him a eduction in the form of a yelling at

      • ReanimationXP

        ^This same dude says:

        “and if i was microsofts ceo i wood be hiring scot win phone 7 needs help a lot of help, stilll better than fucking ios”

        So.. you want the guy who needs a good “yelling at” to come make Windows Phone 7 better, because it’s already better than iOS, which he was working on.

        Makes sense.

      • troll sucses

  • and if i was microsofts ceo i wood be hiring scot win phone 7 needs help a lot of help
    stilll better than fucking ios

  • ReanimationXP

    My god the dumbasses are thick out today.

  • NP

    After IOS7, Itunes11, iPhone5c, etc the overall user experience I used to love about apple has almost completely disappeared in less than two years; mainly due to Jony Ive’s surprisingly bad taste in OS design; it is clear that Tim Cook is just a yes man and has no vision of what Apple should be other than what everyone tells him it should. OSX 10.10 will be very similar ios7 and that will be the nail in the coffin for me and many others. Apple will still be in the game but if they don’t replace Tim Cook they will have a good 10 years of overpriced phones and laptops they don’t do very much. Apple is now the follower and it didn’t have to be. Jony Ive Sucks!!

  • beatles

    flop apple watch will go down with gay tim

  • Seashell

    Cook sucks. Literally.

  • mickrussom

    I want to buy a new iPad to replace my old iPad 2. I want to buy an iPhone 6/6s just to get a good camera and camera app.

    I have a fundamental aversion for giving this smarmy mealy mouthed jerk faced Tim Cook any of my money. And all the post-Steve-Jobs gear and OSes have STUNK, changes for the sake of change. I just got a replacement force-touch retina and I wish I had my old retina back. They tweaked the touch pad and tweaked the keyboard and its not as nice.

    And that watch – it looks like garbage. Tim Cook himself gets caught wearing a Nike FuelBand. Even he wont wear the crap iWatch.

    And the saddest joke of all is I still use a TiVo – I can’t believe Apple has sat by and let the set top market fester this bad while instead choosing to take on pandora/spotify/etc with their horrible music service?

    I will enjoy the day when Apple starts to fail and fall. Its a burnt out husk of what it once was. They are drifting on the huge momentum built up and now its teetering.

    Also Tim Cook is a vile CEO. He is also hyper-political and highly opinionated but all he has done is make billions in super-high-margin gouging profit and not innovated at all.

    Again I mainly wont replace my old Apple gear or get into an iPhone because Time Cook makes me sick.

  • oh god

    Icars, Icondoms, ifarts, Ibrains, irobots,and iplanes.OK got it. I think most of modern electronics are kinda of redundant.Transitioning to the other industries is impossible.

  • Sam Ib

    Tim Crooks is the worst CEO ever I would say he better goesvshine shows as gays are good st this . He hikes prices on faulty products like MBP that has a magic pproblem with the battery life . He acts like he is unaware of this big problem with the 23″ and 15″ Lemons they are selling consumers and keeps advertising up to 10 hours of a battery life . I had one replacement of a lemon I bought on Dec23 /2016 and the newer one turned to be the same
    So I opened a case again at Apple and wasting many hours for nothing and so far for the next 2 weeks they are egnorting me the senior advisor send him 4 emails no respond but nearly next week will crab my MBP and some midea and go straight to Tim Crooks office and see who will take care of my issue and fine a complaint against the senior advisor A. A that’s supposedly working with me . Apple is not the one that I know st Steves Zhongshan times . Apple turned to be like a zoo
    I went last week to Town Square bought an iPhone 7 128gb with a leather case spend over $900 when asked for a bag they said you have to carry it like this we have no bags , when I aproched an ignorant one of the managers asking him he turned his face telling me let me see if I can get you one but never came back
    So imbarrasing I was sitting out watching people buying items walking with no bags
    This manager should be fired along with others for poor performances
    But today is Monday March the 39th this phone is going back to Apple as I felt that I was treated like shit at the Spple store by the staff and one of there managers as he talks to you like you need him and not him needing your. Her if I get contacted I can come point to this manager so he should get fired go work at the 711 maybe that’s where you belong . Apple stores are gone way down after Tim Crooks took overs
    I hope to see him out by the board of directors bad news for Apple
    So far never herd a word from Tim Crooks his engineers or anyone else about the bad battery where there are hundreds of thousands of posts all over the net
    Soon a class action would be talked against Apple give us back our money and condensate the hours manny hours talking to advisors online hey my time is money