Tim Cook: Accusations Against Apple Are ‘Total Political Crap’

23 Dec 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Apple’s Tim Cook fills key role he once played for Steve Jobs.

SAN FRANCISCO/BENGALURU — Apple Inc Chief Executive Tim Cook dismissed as “total political crap” the notion that the tech giant was avoiding taxes. Cook’s remarks, made on CBS’ 60 Minutes show, come amid a debate in the United States over corporations avoiding taxes through techniques such as so-called inversion deals, where a company redomiciles its tax base to another country.Cook on Thursday announced that Jeff Williams will be promoted to the position of chief operations officer, a job that has been vacant since Cook became Apple’s CEO in 2011. The appointment was part of several management changes at the world’s most valuable company, including the elevation of a top engineer who has been in charge of designing chips that are at the heart of the iPhone and iPad.

The Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations probed Apple’s tax strategies and found that Apple in 2012 alone avoided paying US$9 billion (S$12.7 billion) in US taxes, using a strategy involving three offshore units with no discernible tax home, or “residence”. Rebecca Lester, assistant professor of accounting at the Stanford Graduate School of Business, thought Cook’s colorful language might reflect frustration about the lack of movement on tax reform in Washington. “Companies and the government are in a game of chicken, waiting to see which one moves first,” she said. Williams also vets potential acquisitions, coordinates with Foxconn Technology Group and other manufacturers, and oversees the logistics needed to get millions of devices from Asian factories to stores around the world. Williams has been called “Tim Cook’s Tim Cook.” As part of the management shuffle, Johny Srouji was promoted to senior vice president for hardware technologies, and Phil Schiller, senior vice president of worldwide marketing, will take on leadership of the App Store, the company said in a statement. Apple has been investing heavily in semiconductors and unlike many other handset makers, it designs its own chips instead of buying whatever the latest product is from outside suppliers.

Apple declined to comment on succession, but has said in the past that it has a plan in place and that different members of its executive team could step in. “These strategic moves fit like a glove as Apple needed to fill the COO vacancy heading into a pivotal 2016,” said Daniel Ives, managing director at FBR Capital Markets. “They really need to boost that bench behind Cook.” The appointments come at a critical time for Apple.

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