Who Would Replace Tim Cook At Apple? Gurman Weighs In On 'Broader Succession Challenges' At The Tech Giant

Zinger Key Points
  • The executive team at Apple has barely changed over the last two decades.
  • Gurman notes that Apple's hardware engineering chief, John Ternus, has been taking on a more prominent role within the company.

Cook’s Replacement: Apple’s executive team has remained largely unchanged over the past twenty years, with many members aging alongside CEO Tim Cook. Mark Gurman highlighted this challenge in his recent “Power On” newsletter, pointing out the need for a successor once Cook steps down.

“That means Apple faces a broader succession challenge than just finding a replacement for Cook. Many of its top leaders could step down around the same time,” he said.

The Apple specialist referred to his earlier reporting about Apple’s hardware engineering chief John Ternus potentially taking over from Cook.

“He’s become an increasingly public face of Apple,” Gurman said, adding that Ternus was set to deliver the commencement speech at UPenn’s engineering school on May 18, close on the heels of his participation at the iPad unveiling event last week.

Another factor working in Ternus’ favor would be his age, given he isn’t yet 50, Gurman said.

The columnist also did not rule out Chief Operating Officer Jeff Williams taking over if Cook were to quit.

See Also: Everything You Need To Know About Apple Stock

Next Leadership Rung: Gurman also assessed potential successors for key leadership roles across critical departments like engineering, marketing, services, and finance.

  • Operations: Williams could be replaced by his top deputy, Senior Vice President Sabih Khan, who currently oversees the entire supply chain. Khan’s role could be taken over by Priya Balasubramaniam.
  • Finance: Finance Vice President Kevan Parekh could eventually take over from CFO Luca Maestri.
  • General Counsel: Kate Adams, who joined Apple in 2017, could ultimately pass the baton to her deputies Kyle Andeer and BJ Watrous.
  • Software Engineering: Craig Federighi, Apple's top software executive since 2012, may not leave any time soon. But when he does, Jon Andrews, who runs some of Apple's underlying software technologies, could be a fit.
  • Hardware Engineering: If Ternus were to replace Cook in the CEO job, he has a host of deputies, including Kate BergeronDeniz Teoman and Eugene Kim, to potentially replace him in his current role. Mike Rockwell, who just launched the Vision Pro, may also make the cut.
  • Hardware Technologies: Johny Srouji, who runs the hardware technologies organization, may pass the baton to Sri Santhanam, who is responsible for the main chips that go into all of Apple's devices. There is a remote chance that Tim Millet, who introduced the M4 chip during Apple's presentation for the new iPad Pro, could also be an option.
  • Marketing: Marketing head Greg Joswiaks no. 2 Bob Borchers, could take over from the former. Since Borchers is only slightly younger than Joswiak, Kaiann Drance, a vice president overseeing iPhone marketing, could also be in contention.
  • Artificial Intelligence: John Giannandrea, who is heading the AI initiatives, does not strictly have a top deputy, but, if a non-AI software executive were to take over, Vice President Kevin Lynch could be a good bet.
  • Retail: The replacement for Deirdre O'Brien, who has been overseeing retail operations since 2019, could be an outsider. Vanessa Trigub will likely at least run the group on an interim basis.
  • Services:  Eddy Cue‘s responsibilities might be divided into entertainment and services, with Oliver Schusser taking charge of the former, while Jeff Robbin would expand his current engineering role to include applications, iCloud and Maps.

Apple ended Friday’s session down 0.69% to $183.05, according to Benzigna Pro data.

Read Next: Apple Inches Closer To Choosing Sam Altman-Led OpenAI To Integrate ChatGPT On iPhones: Report

Photo: Shutterstock

Market News and Data brought to you by Benzinga APIs
Posted In: EquitiesNewsTop StoriesTechMediaartificial intelligencejohn ternusMark GurmanStories That MatterTim Cook
Benzinga simplifies the market for smarter investing

Trade confidently with insights and alerts from analyst ratings, free reports and breaking news that affects the stocks you care about.

Join Now: Free!