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Tripp Mickle details how Apple conquered the tech world — and what it lost in the bargain

How Southern is Tim Cook, the CEO of Apple? One time, when he flew to Singapore to check on the company’s operations there, the locals made sure to stock up on his drink of choice: Mountain Dew.

Tripp Mickle
Court Leve/Court Leve
Tripp Mickle

Cook made it all the way from small-town Alabama to the top job at a company that has transformed our culture, and along the way, became a staggering money machine. In January, it became the first publicly traded company with a value of $3 trillion. That’s more than Walmart, Disney, Netflix, Nike, Exxon Mobil, Coca-Cola, Comcast, Morgan Stanley, McDonald’s, AT&T, Goldman Sachs, Boeing, IBM and Ford combined.

Apple co-founder Steve Jobs handpicked Cook to take over the company before Jobs died in 2011. What happened after that is the subject of a new book by New York Times reporter Tripp Mickle, who grew up in Charlotte. Mickle’s book is called “After Steve: How Apple Became a Trillion-Dollar Company and Lost Its Soul.”

I learned so much from this book, and from my talk with Tripp, about how Cook made Apple such an incredible financial success — and what he gave up, personally and professionally, in return.

Show notes:

Other music in this episode:

  • Paddington Bear, "Cloud 9"
  • Kai Engel, "Idea"
Tommy Tomlinson has hosted the podcast SouthBound for WFAE since 2017. He also does a commentary, On My Mind, which airs every Monday.