“If your nose is particularly big on an issue that they care about, your odds go up to get punched,” he said. “They got punched in the nose on this one.”
Next month, the company begins a court battle in New York with the U.S. Justice Department, which has accused the company of violating antitrust laws by colluding to raise electronic book prices.
Cook is attempting to put a fresh public face on Apple after the 2011 death of Jobs, said Regis McKenna, a marketing consultant who worked with Apple through several crises in the past.
“The company has put its mark on so many social and economic aspects of life,” said McKenna. “It’s a huge, huge job. I think he’s the right person for the moment.”
Cook will probably have the opportunity to play that role again, said Daniel Diermeier, professor at Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University.
“Apple is such an iconic brand that they are more exposed,” said Diermeier, who has studied reputation management. “This is part of the repertoire that a CEO has to deal with, and if you have a more high-profile position then there is more of that.”