By Ryan Buxton, EnStarz | Sep 12, 2012 01:53 PM EDT
This afternoon's unveiling of the iPhone 5 is the first big test for Tim Cook, Apple's CEO who took over after the death of the legendary Steve Jobs.
All eyes are on Cook, and critics will be looking to evaluate whether he can create the same energetic hullabaloo around a product as Jobs did with his magnetic presentations.
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Cook is also in the spotlight because his job as Apple CEO makes him one of the most visible gay men in the technology industry. Gawker called him "the most powerful gay man in America."
"He is one of the most powerful corporate executives in the world, to say nothing of being the most powerful gay person in tech by a mile," the website wrote.
Cook was long described as "intensely private" and a "lifelong bachelor" in profiles, but Gawker reported that well-placed sources inside Apple confirmed Cook's sexuality and that it had been a topic of discussion in the company as employees vowed to support him.
How Cook compares to Jobs remains to be seen. New York Magazine spoke with two Silicon Valley presentation coaches to get their take on Cook's style, which they said is completely different from Jobs'.
After watching Cook's iPhone 4S presentation, "Presenting to Win" author Jerry Weissman said Cook seemed a little closed off.
"Cook is wrapped tight," he said. "He's got his arms crossed in front of him, looking very defensive. He never smiles. Very serious. Not much vocal dynamic. He's not blessed with a strong voice, and it has a little bit of a rasp, which is fixable. But he paces constantly."
But "The Charisma Myth" author Olivia Fox Cabane saw promise in the new CEO.
""There's not one form of charisma," she said. "Here, in Cook, you have a guy that is not from the tech side of Apple, and maybe acting excited about the technology itself will give him the nerd cred he needs. He can counteract the impression of the smooth-talking sales guy and win over the early adopters."
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