Are Tim Cook's days at Apple numbered? The gadget giant is secretly headhunting for a new CEO, anonymous "Wall Street sources" tell Gene Marcial at Forbes, though Marcial cautions that there's "yet no available evidence" to back the claim up. Even if the rumor is false, Marcial says that "big stakeholders" are beating the drum urging Apple to do so, given the company's recent stock woes.
Douglas Kass threw some gas on the speculation, tweeting, "From my Gnome, high above the Alps—'Is Apple's Tim Cook… Cooked?'" The rumor has generated a lot of chatter in the financial press. Here's what people are saying:
- Rocco Pendola at The Street is surprised it took this long, gloating that he predicted that a "Fire Tim Cook Bandwagon" would get rolling more than a week ago.
- Philip Elmer-Dewitt at Fortune says he's been "hearing whispers" of an ouster for weeks. But "the people who want Tim Cook's head on a spike are not friends of Apple," he cautions, adding that Cook still has "the confidence of the board of directors."
- The real question, writes Tom Bemis at MarketWatch, is "who in their right mind would want to take on such a thankless task as trying to turn Apple around, given the inevitable comparisons with Steve Jobs"? He also points out that Marcial botched a basic fact, stating that Apple had lost half its share price since Cook took over (it's actually up slightly).
- There's no way Cook deserves the boot, writes Ashraf Eassa at Seeking Alpha. Apple's problem is that in the end, it sells cell phones, and margins will erode. "There's nothing Tim Cook, Steve Jobs, or anybody else can really do about it."