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In brief: Tim Cook is one of those rare types: a CEO who not only does a good job but is also liked by most of his employees and the general public. So, it shouldn't be surprising to learn that the Apple boss isn't leaving his position for at least the next few years, but when the time does come, there is a "very detailed" succession plan in place.
Cook confirmed the succession plan and his intention to stay as Apple CEO for the immediate future during an interview for the BBC Sounds podcast Dua Lipa: At Your Service, hosted by singer Dua Lipa.
Cook said that Apple believed in working on detailed succession plans in case something unpredictable happened. "I could step off the wrong curb tomorrow. Hopefully, that doesn't happen. I pray that it doesn't," he said.
When asked if he could say who is in line for succession, Cook said he couldn't reveal the details but that his job is to prepare several people for the ability to succeed, and that he really wants the next CEO to come from within Apple.
"So that's my role: That there's several [candidates] for the board to pick from," Cook explained.
The Apple boss said that he couldn't imagine his life away from the Cupertino company, and while he didn't know how long he'd be there, he wasn't planning on leaving anytime soon. Cook did admit that staying until 2050 to see Apple's promise of a 90% reduction in emissions come true was a bit of a "stretch." He would be 89 by then, though that's still younger than 93-year-old Berkshire Hathaway CEO Warren Buffett.
Since Cook took over from Steve Jobs in 2011, Apple's share price has increased from just under $13 to over $191. Its current market cap of $2.98 trillion is the largest in the world.
Cook also spoke about Jobs. "Steve was an original," he said. "I think only Steve could have created Apple and we owe him a debt of gratitude. There's no doubt in my mind that if he were still alive today the company would be doing outstanding, and he would still be CEO."
The role of big tech companies' CEOs has been under the spotlight recently following the chaos at OpenAI, which fired Sam Altman on Friday, installed Mira Murati as an interim CEO, then appointed Emmett Shear as interim chief executive, before finally rehiring Altman as CEO five days after he was let go (and seemingly about to be hired by Microsoft).