COO

Rethinking Apple's org chart

August 29, 2011: 7:51 AM ET

It was a wheel that revolved around Steve Jobs. How will it change under Tim Cook?

Click to enlarge. Source: Fortune Magazine

One of my favorite elements in Adam Lashinsky's How Apple Works -- the "inside" story that created a sensation when it appeared in the May 23 issue of Fortune but was made fully available online only last week -- was the organization chart assembled by Fortune's graphics team under the guidance of senior research editor Doris Burke. (Click to enlarge the high-res version at right.)

It's a bit out of date. Retail chief Ron Johnson, for example, announced in June that he was leaving for J.C. Penney (JCP).

But now the chart is about to change in a more substantive way, and how Apple (AAPL) reorganizes itself under Tim Cook  is one of the central issues the company faces in the post-Steve Jobs era.

Jean-Louis Gasseé, in a "Monday Note" entitled Steve: Who's going to protect us from cheap and mediocre now?, suggests that Cook's name will move to the center. But it's not going be that simple. Tim Cook is not Steve Jobs, and he's the first to admit it.

"Come on, replace Steve? No. He's irreplaceable," Cook is quoted as saying in Lashinsky's 2008 Fortune profile The genius behind Steve. "That's something people have to get over."

So what kind of organization will Cook create? His official bio on Apple's leadership page offers some clues:

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