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Business News/ Companies / People/  Apple after Tim Cook? A look at the likely next CEO John Ternus

Apple after Tim Cook? A look at the likely next CEO John Ternus

Speculation arises about Tim Cook's successor at Apple, with John Ternus seen as the frontrunner per Bloomberg. Ternus, known for leading Apple's hardware engineering, is favoured due to his managerial characteristics and Cook's respect.

Apple CEO Tim Cook at an event at the company's headquarters in Cupertino, California (Reuters / Loren Elliott)Premium
Apple CEO Tim Cook at an event at the company's headquarters in Cupertino, California (Reuters / Loren Elliott)

As Apple CEO Tim Cook is set to turn 64 this year, speculation has emerged about who could likely replace him at the helm of the tech giant. As per a recent Bloomberg report, the candidate most likely to take the post is long-time loyalist and hardware engineering chief John Ternus.

Known for spearheading the Apple iPad, AirPods and latest iPhone series, Ternus' name popped up from among other suitable candidates at the company, including Chief Operating Officer (COO) Jeff Williams, Bloomberg reported.

Cook filled in large shoes as CEO, taking the post from founder Steve Jobs in 2011. The Bloomberg report noted that change of leadership was not "imminent", but Jobs had handpicked his successor, and we could expect the same from Cook. Sources told the publication they expect Cook to remain for at least another three more years.

Who is John Ternus?

According to Apple's official website, Ternus is the company's senior vice president of Hardware Engineering. He oversees all hardware engineering efforts, including those for iPhone, iPad, Mac, AirPods, and other products. He reports directly to Cook, it added.

Ternus joined Apple's Product Design team in 2001 and has held the position of vice president of Hardware Engineering since 2013. During his time at Apple, Ternus has supervised the engineering of products, such as all generations and models of iPad, the latest iPhone series, and AirPods. He has played a crucial role in leading the Mac's transition to Apple silicon, the website added.

Before his tenure at Apple, Ternus served as a mechanical engineer at Virtual Research Systems. He earned a bachelor's degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Pennsylvania.

Why John Ternus? Who Are the Other Candidates?

While Williams was dismissed as the next CEO after Cook due to his age (61 this year), the Bloomberg report noted that any immediate change could see him take the reigns. It cited sources saying that long-term the Apple board would favour an executive who could take the post for at least a decade — similar to Jobs' and Cook's tenures.

Similarly, other "unlikely" candidates include Craig Federighi (Senior Vice President - Software Engineering), Deirdre O’Brien (Senior Vice President - Retail), Phil Schiller (Apple Fellow) and Dan Riccio (Senior Vice President - Hardware Engineering), the report cited sources saying.

So, why is Ternus favoured? He is currently Apple’s Senior Vice President of Hardware Engineering and is "well-liked inside Apple and earned Cook's respect", the report said.

“Tim likes him a lot because he can give a good presentation, he’s very mild-mannered, never puts anything into an email that is controversial and is a very reticent decision-maker. He has a lot of managerial characteristics like Tim," one source told the publication.

The report also cited sources saying that Cook's closest executive, Eddy Cue, has also hinted at Ternus taking the CEO spot next.

"Everything that I have learned while reporting the story points to John Ternus. He is not even 50 years old. He's Apple's senior vice president of Hardware Engineering. He joined Apple's executive team in 2021. He has quickly risen through the ranks ... And he's become an increasingly important face at the company. He's been increasingly promoted in their marketing. He's dealing with regulators in terms of right-to-repair laws. So, he's becoming a bigger part of the Apple story. And just this week, Apple unveiled some new tech, and Cook called on Ternus at that event to introduce those new products to the public," Bloomberg's Mark Gurman said.

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Published: 09 May 2024, 01:11 PM IST
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