Tim Cook Has Some Thoughts on Who Will Be the Next Apple CEO

October 24, 2017, 5:41 PM UTC

Apple CEO Tim Cook isn’t going to leave the succession question to chance. Instead, Cook says he is preparing many people to be the next CEO of Apple.

“I see my role as CEO to prepare as many people as I can to be CEO,” Cook said during an interview that aired Tuesday with BuzzFeed News. “That’s what I’m doing, and then the board makes a decision at that point in time,” Cook said.

BuzzFeed was interviewing Cook and Apple retail chief Angela Ahrendts in Chicago for the opening of the company’s first next-generation retail stores. The new retail store, which opened Oct. 20, sits on the banks of the Chicago river.

Ahrendts has called this new location, “the first in a new generation of Apple’s most significant worldwide retail locations.”

Ahrendts, who was persuaded by Tim Cook to leave British fashion brand Burberry and join Apple (AAPL) in 2014, has been rumored to be the next likely choice of CEO (when that day arrives). But Ahrendts called that “fake news” and “silly” in the interview.

The executive, who is No. 13 on Fortune’s Most Powerful Women list, oversees 60,000 retail employees and is responsible for the in-store experiences of a more than a million daily customers.

The Chicago store opening, and Cook’s succession comments, come as Apple prepares to release its iPhone X on Oct. 27.