The List

5 ways Tim Cook is changing Apple

Apple's new CEO is already making small but noticeable changes, from emailing the "Team" to a charitable giving program

When Tim Cook took over as Apple's CEO in August, he promised he wouldn't change the company. But Cook is already making subtle tweaks and leaving his "operational mark" on Apple, according to a new report in The Wall Street Journal. Less than a month after Apple founder Steve Jobs' death, "it looks as if Cook won't mess much with Apple's winning formula," says Damon Poeter at PC Mag, "but he will depart from Jobs' playbook in a few key areas." Here are five:

1. There is more communicationCook has "been more communicative with employees than his predecessor," says Jessica E. Vascellaro in The Wall Street Journal. He's sent out a number of emails to the whole company, addressing employees as the "Team."

2. It is a kinder, gentle Apple"Cook's changes so far, though not major, are making the company a pinch, well, nicer," says Rebecca J. Rosen in The Atlantic. One way Cook has done that, The Wall Street Journal says, is by launching a charitable giving plan for Apple employees. The company will now match employee donations to nonprofits of up to $10,000 in a year. Reportedly, Jobs was opposed to "giving money away."

3. Cook is more involved in administrative matters In recent weeks Cook has tackled a number of administrative tasks, promoting some employees and restructuring various departments, Vascellaro reports. He has split Apple's education arm into sales and marketing divisions to better incorporate them into the rest of the company.

4. There is more transparency"Steve thought he had all the answers," analyst Toni Sacconaghi tells The Wall Street Journal. "I am not sure Tim thinks he has all the answers." Consequently, he has been "surprisingly candid" about certain aspects of Apple — the expansion plan for the iPhone, for instance.

5. This is only the beginningThere's chatter that Cook might find a way to spend Apple's $81.6 billion stockpile, says Vascellaro. "Cook seems open to more traditional options for Apple's cash hoard, such as dividends or a buyback."

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