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TheStreet Open House

Why Tim Cook Won't Kill Apple's Mystique

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Apple (AAPL - Get Report) CEO Tim Cook is significantly more open than his predecessor, the company's iconic co-founder Steve Jobs. But will this hurt the tech giant?

Since taking over permanently from Jobs in August 2011, Cook has been highly visible, appearing at investor conferences and has also espoused increased transparency in Cupertino. The new CEO has also been more approachable than Jobs, according to an article in Fortune.

A key part of Apple's mystique, though, was the secrecy with which Jobs shrouded both the company's products, and himself. Apple even prompted comparisons with the CIA.

In fact, Kara Swisher of AllThingsD recently asked Cook whether it was his goal to create his own version of the CIA, in a clear nod to the secrecy of the Jobs era.

Jobs was intent on keeping details about the latest Apple products secret, something that will continue under Cook. "We're going to double down on secrecy on products," he recently said at a conference. The new CEO, however, wants Apple to be more transparent in other areas such as supplier responsibility and environmental issues. Cook was also vocal about his plans to rethink the company's dividend strategy, which he achieved earlier this year.

There's intense interest in how Apple runs its ship, with countless Web sites devoted to the company's news and rumors. This phenomenon, of course, contributes to Apple's mystique as much as the firm's products.

Cook's changes, though, may not hurt Apple in the long run, despite being more open than his predecessor. Ironfire Capital's Eric Jackson (a contributor for TheStreet) believes that Cook is shaping Apple for a changing world. "I'm actually in favor in Tim being his own man, rather than trying to put himself into the box of 'what Steve would have done,'" Jackson noted in an email. He is long Apple shares.

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