Apple Spring Event 2021

As part of an interview with Kara Swisher, Tim Cook addresses his succession. As the interview concludes, Swisher asks Cook if he will still be at Apple in 10 years’ time.

Cook says that he probably won’t be running Apple in 10 years, although the “date is not in sight.” He obviously gave no hints about whom is set to replace him as CEO.

There has been renewed focus on Apple’s leadership plans, with the company seeing long-time executives like Jony Ive, Dan Riccio, and Phil Schiller depart their executive roles over the last couple of years.

Tim Cook has been working at Apple since 1997 and became CEO in 2011 following the death of founder Steve Jobs. Cook celebrated his 60th birthday last year, and there is naturally much speculation about how much longer he will be running the world’s biggest company.

Cook’s answer seems to suggest that he will remain in the position for a while yet, with no date in sight. Last year, Bloomberg said that Apple was increasingly focused on succession planning with CEO candidates including Jeff Williams and John Ternus.

Here’s the transcript of Cook’s latest comments, which you can hear in full at the end of the latest episode of the Sway podcast:

Cook: Ten more years? Probably not. But I can tell you that I feel great right now and the date is not in sight. But ten more years is a long time — and probably not ten more years.

Swisher: What would you do if you weren’t running Apple?

Cook: I don’t have a clue because I love this company so much, that it is hard to imagine my life without it. And so I don’t think I will know that until after I’m not here. Because I think I will run so fast that I’ll never really think about it until I’m not running anymore. Does that make any sense?

Swisher: Maybe just go on vacation?

Cook: [laughs]

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Benjamin Mayo

Benjamin develops iOS apps professionally and covers Apple news and rumors for 9to5Mac. Listen to Benjamin, every week, on the Happy Hour podcast. Check out his personal blog. Message Benjamin over email or Twitter.