Apple CEO Tim Cook gave an extremely long interview to Bloomberg Businessweek, which was published Thursday. He mostly talks about his year-plus at the helm of Apple, including the biggest changes and his values; why he hates litigation; admits, yes, the Samsung situation is awkward. He also reflects a bit on Steve Jobs’ charge to him, and even made a bit of news. The TL;DR version: Tim Cook loves Apple, it is basically his life, and he will do anything to protect its legacy.
A lot of what he said was straight from Tim Cook Public Comments Greatest Hits Vol. 1 — the interview shows an executive that is strictly on message. But he actually said some new stuff we haven’t necessarily heard yet, including his plan to bring some Apple manufacturing back to the U.S. next year. Here are some of the other interesting points he made, pulled from the Q&A:
On why he got rid of Scott Forstall and John Browett: He said Apple was already good at collaboration, but needed “to be an A-plus at collaboration. And so the changes that we made get us to a whole new level of collaboration.”
On that note, he values humility and detests internal office politics: “We admit when we’re wrong and have the courage to change. And there can’t be politics. I despise politics. There is no room for it in a company. My life is going to be way too short to deal with that.” And he will not put up with turf-grabbing: “There is nothing I won’t do to guard that. Let me just put it like that.”
Why Jony Ive gets to be responsible for the look of iOS devices and iOS now: “I don’t think there’s anybody in the world that has a better taste than he does. So I think he’s very special. He’s an original.”
He doesn’t really care that you keep saying he’s not a product guy: “I’ve never felt that I had to know it all, do it all, any of those things. I think you could have an S on your chest and a cape on your back and not be able to do all those things. I know of no one that can do all that. Maybe there are, but I’m not. So I rely on a lot of people for a lot of different things.”
Why he’s made such an effort to be more open about things: “We decided being more transparent about some things is great—not that we were not transparent at all before, but we’ve stepped it up in places where we think we can make a bigger difference, where we want people to copy us. So there are things that are different, but the most important thing by far is, the fiber of the place is the same.”
He was actually surprised by the public attention that comes with being the CEO of Apple: “This has been different. So I have had to adjust to that. I’m a private person, so that’s been a bit of a surprise for me, not something I would have predicted. Maybe I should have.”
He sort of forgets about Apple TV sometimes: When describing the breadth of Apple product line, he says, ”I mean, if you really look at it, we have four iPods. We have two main iPhones. We have two iPads, and we have a few Macs. That’s it.”
He might be the only person on the planet who likes email: “I get e-mails all day long, hundreds, thousands per day from customers who are talking like you and I are talking, almost like I’ve gone over to their home and I am having dinner with them. They care so deeply about Apple they want to suggest this or that or say, ‘Hey, I didn’t like this,’ or, ‘I really love this…’” “I love it. I don’t know if there’s another company on earth this happens with. It’s just not people from the U.S. These are people from all over the world. I look at it, and I go, ‘This is a privilege.’”
There’s much, much more. You can read the rest of the interview here.