The Wall Street Journal has published a profile exploring Apple's number two manager, chief operating officer Tim Cook.

Cook was hired to Apple in 1998. He's previously been described as the "quiet man" at Apple, focused on making sure things run smoothly behind the scenes.

The COO isn't thought to have been implicated in the stock options debacle, and though he is often asked to join other firms as a CEO, the 45-year old hasn't hopped yet.

Cook's achievements include applying logicistical changes across Apple supply lines, and bringing inventory levels down to managable levels.

"I think he's wickedly smart and he doesn't have a big ego, which is useful at Apple," John Landforce, a former executive at a chain of computer stores who for years dealt with Mr. Cook when he sat on an Apple advisory board, told the Wall Street Journal.

Cook is described as analytical, detail-focused, highly intelligent and in possession of excellent memory skills. He's single, a cyclist, and works long hours.