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Operations Expert Takes Lead at Apple

By APICS CEO Abe Eshkenazi CSCP, CPA, CAE | 0 | 0 | September 02, 2011

Last week, news sites and social media locales alike were buzzing with news of the departure of Apple CEO Steve Jobs, who will become chair of the company's board. Tim Cook will take over as the company's chief executive officer. 

Who? You might be asking yourself. Cook was Apple's chief operating officer, and he has run the company in the past: In 2004, when Jobs was recovering from pancreatic cancer surgery; in 2009, when Jobs required a liver transplant; and, most recently, earlier in 2011 when Jobs took another medical leave.

According to a August 25, 2011, Wall Street Journal article, "Cook isn't the showman that Mr. Jobs is, but people who know him call him an 'operational genius' who is responsible for crafting Apple's current supply chain system and helping transform the company into one of the most efficient electronics manufacturers today."

While many industry experts have voiced concern that Jobs is a tough act to follow, Cook brings his own brand of smarts to his new position. In a Bloomberg article, Adam Satariano and Peter Burrows write: "Cook's operational skills have served as the backbone of Apple's expansion since he joined the company from Compaq Computer Corp. in 1998. His inventory management skills allowed Apple to sell iMac computers in a broad palette of colors instead of just beige. The company keeps up with demand for its iPods, iPhones, and iPads, with new products delivered to the customer's doorstep often in less than 48 hours." 

Moving to the C-suite

Now more than ever, companies are relying on supply chain and operations management experts to guide them through the labyrinth of this post-recession market. Tim Cook is a prominent example of this reliance__and, in his case, he earned elevation to Apple's top executive spot. 

How does your industry knowledge assist your company's top decision makers? Are you ready to become one of those decision makers yourself? Earning your APICS Certified Supply Chain Professional (CSCP) designation is the preeminent way to demonstrate significant commitment to your profession and your career, distinguish yourself as an industry expert, and excel with your newly acquired specialized knowledge.

APICS is working to launch enhanced CSCP courseware for 2012, which includes more detailed information on risk, strategy, sustainability, and global supply chain. If you have been contemplating earning your CSCP designation, 2012 is a great time to start your studies. The new courseware, like the CSCP courseware of the past, will position you to most effectively lead your company into a new era of business. 

In other news

How APICS Operations Management Now relates to you

Operations management is everywhere. Today, operations management professionals have unprecedented impacts on the global economy. Consider these questions and how today's edition of APICS Operations Management Now relates to you and your career. 

  • Is there an "operational genius" at your company? What does it take to become one?

  • How is Apple able to remain successful at delivering products on time and with minimal defects? How can you apply these lessons at your organization?

  • How can operations and supply chain management professionals become leaders in business?

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