After a number of tweets from Tim Cook over the past month, other executives at Apple have grown increasingly worried about the companyâ€™s CEO.
Many assumed Cook would be following up with an announcement of record Apple services revenue, a new initiative in services revenue or some kind of services bundling deal, but no announcement was forthcoming.
Then, a week later, Cook tweeted:
As one of Cookâ€™s go-to phrases on Appleâ€™s quarterly conference calls with analysts, many did not take it as particularly odd, other than the capitalization indicating that he was shouting it.
Then things got weird.
On June 15th Cook tweeted:
This prompted a scramble within Apple PR and Legal as teams fielded questions from journalists and government officials while Cook was reportedly golfing, an activity no one knew he undertook.
Finally, things came to a head yesterday.
On a group video call late Tuesday, Senior Vice President of Worldwide Marketing Phil Schiller, Senior Vice President and General Counsel Katherine Adams and Senior Vice President of Retail and People Deirdre Oâ€™Brien shared their concerns.
â€œWhat the actual hell?â€ Adams asked as the three joined the call.
â€œI donâ€™t know,â€ an exasperated Schiller said.
â€œDo you think he meant â€˜Mac feverâ€™?â€ Oâ€™Brien asked.
â€œI have no idea!â€ Schiller shouted. â€œHeâ€™s totally off book here! And golf? Thatâ€™s my thing! Everyone knows that!â€
â€œDid he look sortaâ€¦â€ Adams hesitated. â€œYou knowâ€¦ bronzedâ€¦ on the last call we were on?â€
â€œYESSS,â€ Oâ€™Brien exclaimed, her eyes widening.
â€œOh, my god, totally,â€ Schiller added.
The executives vowed to keep an eye on Cook and keep notes on his increasingly erratic behavior in case they wanted to write a tell-all book on working with him after leaving Apple.