Apple (AAPL) CEO Tim Cook is one of the most respected and influential figures in the tech industry. Under his leadership, the iPhone and Mac maker has quadrupled its sales over the past decade and become the world’s most valuable company with a market cap of nearly $3 trillion. This year marks Cook’s 12th anniversary as Apple’s CEO and 25th working at the company. Though he does not intend to retire anytime soon, he has a “very detailed” succession plan, the 63-year-old executive revealed in a recent interview.
Speaking to the singer Dua Lipa for the BBC Sounds podcast Dua Lipa: At Your Service earlier this month, Cook said Apple is “a company that believes in working on succession plans.”
“So we have very detailed succession plans. Because something that’s unpredictable can always happen. I can step off the wrong curb tomorrow, and hopefully, that doesn’t happen. I pray that it doesn’t,” Cook said in the episode that aired Nov. 17.
He added, “My job is to prepare several people for the ability to succeed, and I really want the person to come from within Apple, the next CEO. So that’s my role, is to make sure there’s several for the board to pick from.” Cook wouldn’t give any names of his potential successors, though.
Apple’s board has nine members, including Cook himself. The board is chaired by billionaire Arthur Levinson, the founder and CEO of Calico Life Sciences, a biotech company Alphabet owns.
But for now, Cook has no plan to retire. “I love it there, and I can’t envision my life without being there. So, I’ll be there a while,” he told Lipa.
Cook is one of the highest-paid CEOs in the world, with an estimated net worth of $1.8 billion—a rare status achieved by an executive who doesn’t have founding shares in the company he runs. Cook has been with Apple for 25 years. Before becoming CEO in 2011, he worked alongside the company’s late founder, Steve Jobs, for 13 years and oversaw Apple’s global supply chain. Cook has accumulated a large stake in Apple shares through his compensation package over his long tenure.