Speculation mounts on future of CEO Tim Cook ahead of Apple quarterly results

Apple Inc CEO Tim Cook. (Stephen Lam/Reuters)

Apple is scheduled to release its second-quarter earnings Tuesday amid some speculation that current CEO Tim Cook’s days could be numbered.

This speculation comes, mainly, from blogger Gene Marcial, who says people who know executives who work at Apple say those executive are thinking it’s time for a shakeup at the company. Investors saw Apple’s stock price hit a record-high under Cook in September, but have then watched that price fall by about half.

However, others are raising questions as to just how accurate Marcial’s report at is. At CNN Money, Philip Elmer-Dewitt points out that the Forbes business model — based on “incentive-based, entrepreneurial journalism” — is driven by clicks and anti-Apple posts get those clicks. Others who are suggesting Cook is on his way out also have something to gain, writes Elmer Dewitt. “As far as I know, he [Cook] still has the deep respect of the analysts who know the company best and — most important — the confidence of the board of directors who granted a million restricted shares of Apple as an incentive for him to stick around for at least a decade,” he writes.

Wired takes a middle ground. While pointing out that there is debate about whether Apple’s peak stock price was rational, Wired editor Michael V. Copeland notes that Cook will need to take actions to appease investors Tuesday. He has five points for Cook to address, including: “Give us the damn Apple TV, or something new.” At this point, small moves in the company can only boost the stock so much. Copeland writes: “incremental moves like dividend increases won’t send Apple stock soaring to previous heights. Shares don’t get back to that level, if they ever do, unless Apple can create new markets with new devices like it did with the iPhone and the iPad.”

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