Why This Apple 'Fanboy' Must Defend Tim Cook

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- I'm a long-time Apple (AAPL) shareholder. I value high-quality electronic products that come stamped with a commitment to excellence, also known as the Apple logo.

All told, I'm an unabashed "Apple fanboy," which, by definition, also makes me an "elitist." This is the scarlet letter worn by anyone who dares to state publicly they like Apple.

But I got mad reading what Yukari Iwatani Kane had to say about Apple CEO Tim Cook and the company he was entrusted by Steve Jobs to lead.

In her new book Haunted Empire: Apple After Steve Jobs, Kane, a former Wall Street Journal reporter, described Cook as "stage manager" and Jobs as the star. In her book, Kane determined, "Without Jobs, Cook had no counterweight to his dogged pragmatism," suggesting there would be no one to provide Cook with a creative spark.

In an email to CNBC, Cook offered this response:

"This nonsense belongs with some of the other books I've read about Apple. It fails to capture Apple, Steve or anyone else in the company. Apple has over 85,000 employees that come to work each day to do their best work, to create the world's best products, to put their mark in the universe and leave it better than they found it. This has been the heart of Apple from day one and will remain at the heart for decades to come. I am very confident about our future. We've always had many doubters in our history. They only make us stronger."

First, it's disappointing that Cook had to defend himself from someone who obviously knows very little about the company. From my vantage point, Kane had a rusty ax to grind against Cook. Whatever was her motivation, she got her 15 seconds of fame. I shouldn't add to the attention paid her but I'll take one for the team.

Second, in Kane's attempt to denigrate Cook she failed to acknowledge that Apple had has several record-breaking quarterly performances including the most recent quarter, during which Apple sold 51 million iPhones. Under Cook, Apple's stock reached its all time high of $705. This represented 90% gain since Steve Jobs' death.

From Oct. 5, 2011, to Tuesday's closing price of $531.26, Apple shares are up 43%. Under Cook, Apple is offering a dividend. Steve Jobs was notably against the idea for years. Cook got Apple's deal with China Mobile (CHL) done. We can only speculate whether Jobs could have eventually sealed the deal. But we know for certain it was not on his resume of accomplishments.

Comparing "legacies" make for good debates at barber shops and at the corner pub. But she's not seeing what's in front of her. Has Cook's execution been flawless? No. But it's been his "stage-managing" talents that have kept Apple focused through the company's transitional period.

Kane is not breaking new ground here. She's not the first to complain about Apple's lack of vision and predict its eventual demise. But in her long diatribe she failed to understand there is a "new Apple" on the horizon.

I think it was grossly irresponsible for her to pretend she was somehow a voice from Steve Jobs' grave. Cook was hand-picked by Jobs. How could she possibly know if Jobs would be second-guessing himself?

This is Cook's Apple now. Steve Jobs is not coming back. And Kane should be ashamed of herself for thinking that she knows Tim Cook better than did Steve Jobs.

At the time of publication, the author was long AAPL.

This article was written by an independent contributor, separate from TheStreet's regular news coverage.

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