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Apple’s Tim Cook era in five charts

It’s been five years since Steve Jobs resigned as Apple CEO.

Apple Unveils iPhone 6
Big iPhones and the Apple Watch: Two artifacts from the Tim Cook era
Justin Sullivan / Getty

Five years ago today, Steve Jobs resigned as the CEO of Apple, passing the torch to his longtime deputy Tim Cook. (Jobs died less than three months later.)

Since then, Cook has presided over Apple’s continued meteoric rise — and its first speed bumps.

Here is the Tim Cook era, as illustrated in five charts.

Doubling revenue and profit

Under Cook, Apple has built its biggest business — by far. The company he inherited from Jobs was just about to pass $100 billion in annual (fiscal 2011) revenue and $25 billion in profit. By fiscal 2015, it would more than double, to $234 billion in revenue and $53 billion in profit.

Growth — and shrinkage

Apple’s incredible revenue growth streak lasted more than a decade, peaking — percentage-wise — in the Jobs-era March 2011 quarter at 83 percent year-over-year growth and then continuing for several years under Cook.

In terms of year-over-year dollar growth, that peaked in the Cook-era December 2011 quarter, when sales grew $19.6 billion over the prior December quarter. It came close again in the December 2014 quarter, when Apple’s sales grew $17 billion over the December 2013 quarter.

Still, slowing iPhone sales — which now represent the majority of Apple’s revenue — recently ended Apple’s growth streak. It has now declined in revenue (on a year-over-year basis) for two quarters in a row, with a third expected this current quarter.

iPhone No. 1 billion

How long is five years? When Cook took over as CEO, Apple was just about to unveil the iPhone 4s — meaning we hadn’t even switched to Lightning cords yet.

Apple’s iPhone business initially flourished under Cook’s leadership, growing from 72 million shipments in fiscal year 2011 to almost 75 million shipments in a single quarter last December.

This summer, Apple shipped its billionth iPhone — not bad for a business that didn’t exist a decade ago. But sales are currently declining as the smartphone market has matured. It’s possible there will never be as good a business run for Apple as the iPhone has been over the first half of this decade.

Managing Wall Street

As Apple has matured, Cook has done a pretty good job signaling to Wall Street that it was no longer a hyper-growth story. Apple started doing things that big, slower, blue-chip-type companies tend to do: Dividends, buyback, etc.

And while some worried that Apple’s stock price would collapse after Jobs’s death, the opposite has happened: Apple’s adjusted share price has more than doubled in the Cook era, outpacing the broader market.

Less clear: What Cook’s long-term growth story is, if he has one. The Apple Watch hasn’t made up for the iPhone’s declines, and Apple’s supposed electric car project is still years from launch — if it even materializes.

Growing Apple

As Apple’s business has grown, so too has its staff. Apple currently has about 125,000 employees, according to recent reports. (Its last annual report claimed 110,000 full-time employees at the end of last September.)

That’s up from 60,000 employees around the time Cook became CEO.

This article originally appeared on

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