Technology journalists have flocked this week to Palos Verdes, Calif., for the D11 conference of All Things D.
The main attraction Tuesday evening was Apple CEO Tim Cook.
Last week, Cook appeared at Congress to talk about Apple’s tax procedures and gobs of offshore cash.
In about two weeks,. Cook will likely kick off Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference, with a glimpse at the next iteration of iOS and — gasp! — the promise of information abut new products.
But first, the world waited breathlessly for Cook to drop a bomb at D11 — or something like that. I seriously doubt that any news organization actually thought that Cook would say anything remotely inspiring or original. Reporters know it, too, but hey, a free trip to sunny LA isn’t a bad price to pay to be bored silly by Tim Cook.
So, what did Cook say?
For the umpteenth time, he conceded that Apple’s distressing stock-market performance lately “has been frustrating.” Not exactly worthy of “hold the presses,” eh? “What we have to do is focus on new products,” Cook said.
Cook once again didn’t tip his hand, though. An iWatch? Hmmm.
Cook basically mouthed the same sorts of vague comments that he has always offered. Itmust be very disappointing to the journalists who do their live blogs and realize that Cook is simply toying with them.
I won’t bore you by quoting at length from Cook’s remarks. It must have been maddening for the D11 organizers to have Cook in their presence and see him put an audience to sleep.
The possibility that he will make actual breaking news is remote. Things about it from Cook’s perspective. Why should he make any news at someone else’s conference when he can drop a news bomb next month at his own meeting?
I wouldn’t tip my hand and you wouldn’t either.
But Cook shouldn’t be so glib.Apple’s stock has tumbled because nobody has seen any evidence that Cook is capable of taking the kinds of calculated risks that his predecessor, the late, great Steve Jobs, did.
A company’s stock price is a nearly direct line to the effectiveness of the CEO. If Wall Street is willing to give the executive the benefit of the doubt on the future, the stock will perform nicely.
If the stock-pickers have their doubts about the vision, strategy and capability of the CEO, the stock will, at best, languish.
Apple’s stock has been languishing. Do the math.