Prior to his death on Oct. 5, 2011, Steve Jobs made sure that the elevation of Tim Cook—his longtime head of operations and trusted deputy—to Apple chief executive officer would be drama-free. “He goes, ‘I never want you to ask what I would have done,’” recalls Cook. “‘Just do what’s right.’ He was very clear.” In Cook’s first 16 months on the job, Apple has released next-generation iPhones and iPads and seen its stock price rise 43 percent. Though it hasn’t yet expanded into new product categories (still no Apple TV set), the company has changed in significant ways, largely because of Cook’s calm and steady influence. In his most wide-ranging interview as CEO, Cook explains how Apple works now, talks about the perception that he’s “robotic,” and announces the return of Apple manufacturing to the U.S.