The reaction to Tim Cook, Apple’s former chief operating office, taking over as CEO of the company after Steve Jobs stepped down on Wednesday has been almost overwhelmingly positive.

There weren’t any realistic candidates for CEO other than Tim Cook, Fred Anderson, who served as chief financial officer until 2004, told “Bloomberg BusinessWeek” (
“He knows the soul of Apple, and he makes the trains run on time,” Anderson said. “It would be very risky for the board to go outside unless they had a real superstar, and I don’t know of anybody.”

Cook led the company when Jobs was out during his three medical leaves since 2004. Though he’s a counterpoint to Jobs’s more emotional personality, the men are two sides of the same coin, Mike Janes, who used to run Apple’s online store, told “BusinessWeek.” Both are demanding leaders with an attention to detail.

“Despite their style differences, their intensity is basically equal,” said Janes, now the chief executive officer of tickets search engine “They are both perfectionists.”

People who have known and worked with Cook over the past two decades use terms like “brilliant” and “phenomenal” to describe him. He is also called a supply chain genius at a company that values operational efficiency nearly as much as design, notes “Reuters” (

“Tim has been de facto CEO for some time and the company has been hugely successful,” Colin Gillis, an analyst at BGC Financial, told “Reuters.” “The vision and the road map are intact.”

One of the things Cook shares with Jobs is sheer competitiveness. “He’s not in it for the fame or the ego or the money. He’s in it to win,” Greg Petsch, who was Cook’s boss at Compaq Computer in the late 1990s, told “Reuters.” “… They call him an operational genius, but Tim’s a lot more strategic than he’s been getting credit for.”

What’s more, Cook is “very highly regarded internally at Apple,” Ashok Kumar, an analyst at Rodman & Renshaw, told “Reuters.” “From a succession perspective, they could not possibly identify a better candidate. He has a track record to back it up.”

Besides Jobs isn’t exactly gone from Apple. He’s now chairman of its board of directors and will certainly be involved in major company decisions.

“[Steve] has this higher level of mind that he can see the future clearly in a way that few people can. That rubs off on people,” Apple co-founder Steve “Woz” Wozniak, told “The LA Times” ( “But Apple’s a lot of people. And in the meantime, he’ll still be there, still watching over it and within reach if needed.”

Plus, Apple has its product roadmap laid out for years to come.

“Apple does not create products on a quarter by quarter basis,” said Tim Bajarin, president of Creative Strategies, who has followed Apple for more than three decades, told “Fortune” ( “It has products in development through 2013 and a roadmap through 2015. Everything that is in the works for the next five years has Steve’s imprint and blessing.”