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Inside Apple describes Scott Forstall as Apple's CEO-in-waiting

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Apple CEO Tim Cook is an excellent business manager and responsible for much of the company's success in low-cost manufacturing and skinny inventories. But as we saw with Cook's first product announcement on October 4, he lacks a lot of the charisma that marked the Steve Jobs era. A new book is now saying that senior vice president Scott Forstall is the most likely person on the Apple executive team to become CEO after Cook's reign ends.

The book by Adam Lashinsky, Inside Apple: How America's Most Admired -- and Secretive -- Company Really Works, is a deep dive inside of the operation of the company by a Fortune magazine columnist. The book is scheduled to be released next week (appropriately during Macworld | iWorld) and is based on scores of interviews with "collaborators, competitors, and former employees."

Lashinsky notes that Forstall has many of the traits that would make him an excellent choice for the next CEO. He's young (currently 43), comfortable on stage, worked at Jobs' NeXT before moving to Apple, and shares the Jobs obsession with small details. One entrepreneur told Lashinsky that Forstall is "...a sharp, down-to-earth, and talented engineer, and a more-than-decent presenter. He's the total package."

Of course, it could be years before Cook decides to step down, but in the meantime Forstall has time to hone his skills and build even more influence inside the company. Considering that he runs the highly-successful iOS software division, that influence is accumulating quickly.

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