Is Apple secretly CEO shopping? That’s what anonymous “Wall Street” sources tell Forbes writer Gene Marcial. Of course, a healthy dose of skepticism is always warranted whenever unnamed sources are involved, and concrete evidence of a Tim Cook–overthrow is hard to come by. Even so, there’s little doubt that shakeholders are growing restless with the tumbling stock prices. And, says Marcial, even if they’re not actively seeking a change in leadership, they’re at least mulling over the prospect.
When it comes to rumors, the financial press could give the tech pundits a run for their money. Here are some of the sentiments making the rounds:
The Street’s Rocco Pendola can’t believe Tim Cook hasn’t been fired already. He brags that he thought the “Fire Tim Cook Bandwagon” would get under way over a week ago.
Fortune’s Philip Elmer-Dewitt has been hearing that Cook was finished for weeks now. But, he notes, the exec still has people on his side, particularly those on the board of directors. He says that the ones who are calling for his dismissal “are not friends of Apple.”
MarketWatch’s Tom Bemis seems to have some empathy for Cook. “Who in their right mind would want to take on such a thankless task as trying to turn Apple around…?” Following in Steve Jobs’ footsteps is no easy task, he notes, and he can’t help but point out that Marcial screwed up a key fact — Apple didn’t lose half its share price since Cook’s ascended to the role. (It was actually up slightly at press time).
Another show of Cook support came from Seeking Alpha’s Ashraf Eassa, who cited mobile’s inevitable erosion of margins. “There’s nothing Tim Cook, Steve Jobs, or anybody else can really do about it.”
What do you think? Can Tim Cook ride out this downturn, or is Cook’s leadership — as Douglas Kass puts it — “cooked”? Weigh in below.