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Saudi Prince: Wait Two Years Before Judging Tim Cook’s Performance

Saudi Prince: Wait Two Years Before Judging Tim Cook’s Performance

Saudi billionaire Prince Alwaleed bin Talal says the time to judge Apple Inc. CEO Tim Cook will be in two years because the next five to six quarters will be mainly under the influence of founder Steve Jobs.

Businessweek reporter Dakin Campbell:

“The strength of Steve Jobs is that he established a company that’s clearly moving on all cylinders and clicking very well,” Alwaleed, 56, who owns Apple shares, said in an interview airing today on public television’s “Charlie Rose” program. “For the next five, six quarters, this will be still the legacy of Steve Jobs. I think maybe two years from now, we will see what happens with the new management.”

Tim Cook, chief executive officer of Cupertino, California- based Apple, hasn’t signaled any major departures from the strategy laid out by Jobs, who died in October. The company last month reported the best quarter in its history, with profit doubling to $13.1 billion on record sales of the iPhone, iPad and Mac computers.

Cook had demonstrated more flexibility in use of Apple’s balance sheet. The company has $97.6 billion in cash and investments, money it is “actively” discussing how to use, the company has said. Jobs had actively opposed suggestions from shareholders for a dividend or stock buyback.

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