Ever since Tim Cook succeeded legendary Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) co-founder Steve Jobs as CEO, various industry pundits have criticized the new CEO’s leadership style and accused the iPhone maker of losing its innovative edge. After all, unless the iPad mini is considered a “new” product category, all of the products released since Cook assumed control of Apple have essentially been refreshes of previously existing products. Other critics of Cook’s leadership have noted that the iPhone — the company’s primary cash cow — has seen its share of the worldwide smartphone market decline under Cook’s tenure as more low-cost Android-based competitors flood the market.
However, don’t count UBS analyst Steven Milunovich among the anti-Cook crowd. The analyst recently reiterated his faith in the Apple CEO’s leadership abilities in a research note issued to investors on Monday. According to Barron’s, Milunovich cited passages from three recently published articles that he believes illuminate how Cook is the “right man for the time” to lead Apple. Based on the information that he highlighted in these articles and insights that he gained from a meeting with the Apple CEO last week, Milunovich argued that Cook is the ideal leader for the company at this stage in its development. “We think Cook-doubters will be proven wrong,” wrote the UBS analyst in a note obtained by Barron’s.
The first article cited by Milunovich was a blog posting written by well-known Apple commentator John Gruber. In the piece posted on his Daring Fireball blog, Gruber noted how Cook is improving Apple’s operational efficiency by bringing previously disparate teams in the company’s organization closer together, which allows the growing company to speed up the development and production of multiple products at the same time. “Jobs was a great CEO for leading Apple to become big. But Cook is a great CEO for leading Apple now that it is big, to allow the company to take advantage of its size and success,” wrote Gruber.