A trio of tech snippets—with my take—to start your day:
Businessweek’s estimable Apple reporter Mark Gurman has a
piece in the current issue that calls Chief Operating Officer Jeff Williams
the heir apparent to his longtime boss, Tim Cook. It reminded me of the
feature I wrote in Fortune in 2008
calling Tim Cook the most likely replacement for Steve Jobs. I quoted an
unnamed source in that article—still a prominent Silicon Valley
personage—calling Cook’s ascension “laughable.” While old-school Apple
aficionados will similarly argue vociferously that Williams shouldn’t succeed Cook, Gurman makes a
textured and forceful argument why he will.
The reason: Smooth operations and profitable services define Apple today more
than nifty products and outside-the-box thinking. If I were placing bets, I’d
guess that Apple’s board will not choose the next CEO in the mold of the
current one, just as Cook couldn’t have been more different than Jobs. Seeing
as Cook doesn’t appear to going anywhere, the argument seems to be more parlor
game than urgent analysis. Apple reports earnings this afternoon.
* An IBM government-affairs official has published a post supporting changes to the key legislation that allows Facebook, YouTube, and others to avoid being regulated and otherwise legally treated like the publishers that they are. (Policy wonks will recognize the law in question as Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act.) IBM CEO Ginni Rometty has spoken favorably on this topic before, including in a meeting with journalists in San Francisco in February. Breakingviews has a good take on the nuances of IBM’s position.
* We’ll look back one day on the era when travelers paid extra for a service that allowed biometric identification to unlock special access to get through airport security. But for now Clear is a game-changing offering, and my only fear about it is that it will become too popular—because I love it. As mentioned in Monday’s Data Sheet, there were two pieces of great news for coast-to-coast United customers (like me!): discounted memberships for United frequent flyers and the expansion of Clear to Newark.
On Twitter: @adamlashinsky
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