Apple Chief Tim Cook May Take a More Private Role as CEO

Since Apple lost its iconic chief Steve Jobs last October, the equally-iconic tech giant has continued to grow and thrive under the leadership of Tim Cook.

But, by all accounts, Tim Cook isn’t quite the showman that Steve Jobs was on days like today – WWDC, where Apple will roll out no shortage of new software and hardware offerings.

As a result, Apple may trust a different executive with the role of showman-in-chief. That’s according to a new report from Bloomberg, which suggests that Phil Schiller, Apple’s veteran senior vice president of product marketing, will better fill Jobs’ shoes than Cook does in the spotlight.

Schiller “often hammed it up onstage as the lower-brow counterweight to Apple’s cool, polished chief executive officer. In 1999, Schiller jumped off a 15-foot platform to show off Apple’s new iBook. In 2007, he demoed new videoconferencing features by superimposing his mouth on a photo of Steve Ballmer. ‘I love my Mac!’ Schiller had the Microsoft chief declare.”

According to a person who met with Schiller recently to discuss Apple’s future, the marketing executive knows he’ll get more than his fair share of blame if the new products aren’t hits. Schiller has the daunting task of keeping Apple cool. And that’s harder to do now that the company is a $535 billion behemoth, subject to antitrust reviews and labor-practice criticisms, rather than the underdog he rejoined in 1997.

Sources tell Bloomberg that Schiller will “increasingly be Apple’s public face, a role that should be evident at the company’s annual Worldwide Developers Conference starting on June 11.”