Timothy Cook, who earned his master’s in business at Duke University’s Fuqua School, is taking over day-to-day operations at Apple (Nasdaq: AAPL).

Chief Executive Officer Steve Jobs announced in an e-mail to employees on Monday that he was taking a second medical leave. (Read more coverage here.

Cook is Apple’s chief operating officer and is a former IBM executive.

And he is up to the task, sayssPeter Misek, an analyst at Jefferies & Co.

“He’s a star, just a different kind of star from Steve,” said Misek in an interview with Bloomberg news.

“He’s arguably one of the best supply chain managers in the world, if you look at working capital management, cash-flow management, cash conversion cycles — all those great metrics,” Misek added.

Age 50, Cook graduated from Auburn with a degree in engineering.

A director at Nike, Cook joined Apple as senior vice president for worldwide operations. He also took over for Jobs in 2004 and 2009. He worked at IBM for 12 years.

Cook’s bio from Apple:

“Tim Cook is Apple’s chief operating officer and reports to Apple’s CEO. He is responsible for all of the company’s worldwide sales and operations, including end-to-end management of Apple’s supply chain, sales activities, and service and support in all markets and countries. Cook also heads Apple’s Macintosh division and plays a key role in the continued development of strategic reseller and supplier relationships, ensuring flexibility in response to an increasingly demanding marketplace.

“Before joining Apple, Cook was vice president of Corporate Materials for Compaq and was responsible for procuring and managing all of Compaq’s product inventory. Previous to his work at Compaq, Cook was the chief operating officer of the Reseller Division at Intelligent Electronics.

“Cook also spent 12 years with IBM, most recently as director of North American Fulfillment where he led manufacturing and distribution functions for IBM’s Personal Computer Company in North and Latin America.”

“Cook serves on the board of directors for Nike, Inc. and the National Football Foundation.

“Cook earned an M.B.A. from Duke University, where he was a Fuqua Scholar, and a Bachelor of Science degree in Industrial Engineering from Auburn University.”

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