It's been a monumental few months for Apple, with the release of the iPhone X -- the biggest redesign of Apple's most important product since it launched in 2007 -- plus the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus, a new Apple Watch with cellular connectivity, a new Apple TV, new Macs, and the forthcoming HomePod "smart" speaker.
All of these products were hatched under the watch of Apple's understated CEO, Tim Cook. But Cook, who took over in August 2011 after a couple of interim-CEO stints, has not inspired the same level of devotion as his predecessor, Apple co-founder Steve Jobs.
Jobs did bring Apple back from the brink of bankruptcy to turn it into the most valuable company in the world. But Cook's job in some ways is harder. Jobs was starting almost from zero. Cook has to maintain Apple's growth from an absolutely massive revenue and profit base, while answering critics who long for another world-changing product like the iPhone turned out to be.
An Alabama native with both business and engineering degrees, Cook spent 12 years at IBM in its heyday and is known as a tough negotiator with strong senses of discipline and integrity who relies on both logic and intuition to make decisions. In his biography, Jobs said he and Cook "wanted the same thing" and had "the same vision" for Apple at a high strategic level.
So how's he doing?