Former Apple sales exec David Sobotta recently discussed what it was like to work for Apple in a new book titled The Pomme Company, which covers his 20-year tenure at the firm until 2004. He worked with Tim Cook, but never reported to him directly and wasn’t at Apple while he was the chief executive officer. ReadWrite had a chance to interview him and he didn’t resist tossing a few jabs at Cook.
Sobotta goes over several issues at Apple, such as the fear of being wrong and said employees never get a second chance if they make a mistake within the company’s walls. He seems to suggest Cook himself is making several mistakes. “I haven’t followed the saga of the new retail guy so he might have been a terrible hire, but that would also fit the Cook pattern,” Sobotta told ReadWrite. “The people I saw him hire were not good ones. I don’t think he relates well to people. Based on some of the people he has stuck with, I think he is poor judge of character.”
He said that Apple doesn’t have a way of making “disciplined decisions” and that anyone who has the CEOs “ear” will likely get his or her way. “Technology-wise, I think Tim Cook is a lightweight. I never felt passion for technology from Tim like I did from Steve and some of the great engineers.”
We won’t quote the whole interview, you should check it out for yourself, but Sobotta calls Tim a “loner,” and also argues that “he is not a natural leader.” It’s a compelling read, but is it fair to judge a CEO if you’ve never worked for him in that position?