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Apple CEO Tim Cook Says Working for Steve Jobs Was ‘Liberating’

Apple CEO Tim Cook is clear about one thing: Apple co-founder Steve Jobs was a great person to work for.

Speaking to Bloomberg in an interview published in June (but resurfaced on Thursday), Cook said that working for Jobs was “liberating.” He described how he would approach his former boss with a “really big” idea. And if Jobs found the idea to be a good one, he’d simply say, “OK” and let Cook run with it.

“It was like a total revelation for me that a company could run like this, because I was used to these layers and bureaucracies and studies—the sort of paralysis that companies could get into—and Apple was totally different,” he said, according to a transcript from 9to5Mac.

Cook’s comment comes on the eve of his seventh anniversary as Apple’s chief executive. He took over the company in 2011 when Jobs was ill and has presided over its continual growth.

Jobs, who died in 2011 after a long battle with cancer, had a reputation for being very clear in how he managed the company. Some have said he was at times a tough boss. Cook, along with many of Apple’s current and former employees, found him to be inspirational.

Cook was one of Jobs’ chief lieutenants and Jobs’ choice to run Apple follow his resignation and death. In the last seven years, Cook has proven to be an exceedingly effective chief executive, who has swelled the company’s profits. He’s also presided over Apple being the first American company to reach $1 trillion in value.

Correction, Aug. 23, 2018: An earlier version of this article misstated the publication date of Cook’s interview with Bloomberg. It occurred in June.