David Sobotta was a sales executive at Apple from 1984 to 2004, and, though he hasn't worked under Tim Cook's leadership or reported directly to him, claims to have had a lot of contact with the new CEO, who took over from the company's late co-founder Steve Jobs in 2011.
Sobatta, who has also recently published 'The Pomme Company,' a memoir of his time at Apple, told ReadWrite in an interview this week that Cook once humiliated his team as a sales conference by "putting up a slide with a picture of a toilet plunger as a commentary on the group's performance."
When asked what he thought about the recent executive shake-up at Apple, which involved SVP of iOS Scott Forstall and recently appointed retail head John Browett announcing their departure from the company, Sobotta replied: "Well, for starters, Cook is not a people person. He certainly will not stand behind someone if the going gets rough."
"I sense no personal loyalty in him, and I suspect employees already understand that," Sobotta continued. "Tim will react to the numbers or his fear of being wrong quickly. Fear of being wrong is a managerial trait that runs strong and deep in Apple because of the way Steve ran the company. "
"You don't make mistakes at Apple and get a second chance. That often hinders decision-making and creates a lot of passive-aggressiveness between teams that should be cooperating."