Tim Cook and Steve Jobs
Monica M. Davey/EPA/Landov
08/25/2011 at 10:00 AM EDT
With Steve Jobs's resignation as Apple's CEO
, the question arose: Who will step into his signature New Balance running shoes and run the technology behemoth?
On Wednesday, Jobs announced he is handing the reins over to current Apple Chief Operating Officer Tim Cook, 50, who first served as the company's CEO in 2004, while Jobs was recuperating from surgery for pancreatic cancer.
What is known about this a soft-spoken Alabaman? Here are five things about Apple's new leader, who reportedly favors Nikes (he's on the sportswear company's board) as his dress shoe of choice:
1. He's a fitness nut and a workaholic
Cook is an early riser, the kind of guy who starts sending out emails at 4:30 a.m. He's also an avid hiker, cyclist and gym rat, regularly hitting the local health club at 5 a.m. He's generally the first person to arrive at Apple headquarters in the morning, the last to leave at night – and is said to subsist on energy bars.
2. He's a big fan of Lance Armstrong's
One of Cook's heroes is seven-time Tour de France winner Lance Armstrong, whom he reportedly enjoys quoting during Apple staff meetings. There are even rumors that Cook's closely cropped coif is based on Armstrong's cut.
3. He once experienced a life-changing health scare
In 1996, Cook was misdiagnosed with multiple sclerosis. Friends have said the experience forever changed his outlook on life. Since then, he has been active in helping to raise money to fund research into the disease.
4. He doesn't possess Steve Jobs' legendary temper, but …
Cook isn't prone to workplace rages the way Jobs was. In fact, should he encounter an employee who doesn't know his stuff, he never resorts to raising his voice. Instead, he's known to lapse into a frown, then begin staring at the unfortunate Apple staffer in silence.
5. He's a fan of Bob Dylan's and a diehard Auburn University football fanatic
Similar to Jobs, Cook is a Bob Dylan zealot. Yet one of his biggest passions is the Auburn Tigers football team. (Cook graduated from the university with a degree in industrial engineering.) The walls of his home and office are reportedly filled with War Eagle knick-knacks.