Yukari Kane is a former Wall Street Journal technology reporter. She was privy to many controlled leaks from Apple and covered the tail-end of the Steve Jobs’ era. Her first book, Haunted Empire, which focuses on Apple’s fate post-Jobs, debuted yesterday and has since caused a lot of buzz.
The book addresses “one of the most pressing questions in the tech and business worlds: Could Apple stay great without its iconic leader?” Kane spent two years on the project, conducting over two hundred interviews with Apple executives and associates as well as others outside the company. She looks at the last few years before Jobs’ death, how Tim Cook has handled the company, and the scrutiny and criticism Apple has received. “Hard-hitting yet fair” is in the book’s description, and maybe this is so. Nonetheless, sources are saying that the book slams Cook and implies that he “lacks the charisma and vision of his predecessor.”
Unsurprisingly, Tim Cook did not appreciate this outlook. He made a statement to CNBC yesterday that Haunted Empire is “nonsense” and “fails to capture Apple, Steve, or anyone else in the company.” Another reporter stated that “the last two thirds are infected with an almost toxic bias.” But any book that suggests the decline of an empire is sure to be met with negativity. Yukari Kane is a reputable journalist and knows how to do good research. If her opinions are scathing, her facts are–in all likelihood–still rock solid. And reader bias is, after all, just as distorting as author bias.
It’s hard to say where Apple will end up, especially since Jobs died only two and a half years ago. With the technology industry more competitive than ever, a smooth transition from one CEO to another can’t really be expected. As things stand, Apple’s fate is still up in the air.