Is this the next Apple CEO when Tim Cook finally steps aside?

Apple CEO Tim Cook will turn 64 later this year and it's been suggested that John Ternus could be the man to take over the role within the next few years.

1 minute & 45 seconds read time

Apple CEO Tim Cook has been Apple CEO since 2011 when then-CEO and co-founder Steve Jobs stood aside as a result of the ill health that would ultimately kill him. Since then Apple has seen unprecedented success including huge iPhone sales, the entry into new markets like the Apple Watch and now Apple Vision Pro, and more. But it's a fact that Tim Cook won't be able to stick around forever and Apple is likely already starting to look at who could be a likely replacement. According to one report, there's one man in particular that seems most likely to take over.

Writing for Bloomberg, Mark Gurman suggests that while any imminent change could see the arrival of Chief Operating Officer Jeff Williams in the top job, Apple is making plans beyond then - and it doesn't expect that Cook is going away any time soon.

Is this the next Apple CEO when Tim Cook finally steps aside? 02

Gurman says that Apple does have Jeff Williams in line should Cook step aside sooner rather than later, citing people familiar with Apple's inner workings. However, Williams is 61 this year which means that he isn't all that much younger than Cook who turns 64 later in 2024. That means that Williams is unlikely to be a long-term replacement for Cook, which means that Apple will have plans for a more permanent solution.

That solution, it seems, is Apple's Senior Vice President of Hardware Engineering and a key figure during this week's iPad event, John Ternus. The profile of Ternus has continued to be raised in recent years and Apple has used him more liberally when announcing new products. He's also been put in front of various members of the press more often than was previously the case, too.

Gurman says that Tim is a fan of Cook, citing one person close to Apple's executive team. Ternus is seen as someone who is capable of giving a good presentation while being mild-mannered. The source suggested that Ternus has a lot of the same characteristics as Cook, adding that he isn't one for making controversial statements.

Christopher Stringer, a former top Apple hardware designer, reportedly called Ternus a trustworthy hand that Apple may turn to, saying that he's never failed at a new role when he has been asked to fulfill one.

Notably, it's been suggested that popular figures like Craig Federighi and Deidre O'Brien are unlikely to be involved in any reshuffle, while Phil Schiller and hardware head Dan Riccio are thought to be coming to the end of their time at Apple rather than looking to take over the company.

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Based in the UK, Oliver has been writing about technology, entertainment, and games for more than a decade. If there's something with a battery or a plug, he's interested. After spending too much money building gaming PCs, Oliver switched to Apple and the Mac - and now spends too much on those instead.

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