Born November 1, 1960, Cook is an American business executive, industrial engineer, and developer.
Cook is the Chief Executive Officer of Apple Inc., previously serving as the company's Chief Operating
Officer, under its founder Steve Jobs.
Cook joined Apple in March 1998 as senior vice president of worldwide operations and then served
as Executive Vice President of worldwide sales and operations. He was made Chief Executive on
August 24, 2011 prior to Jobs' death in October of that year. During his tenure as the Chief Executive
he has advocated for the political reformation of international and domestic surveillance, cyber
security, corporate taxation both nationally and abroad, American manufacturing, and environmental
In 2014, Cook became the first Chief Executive of a Fortune 500 company to publicly identify as gay.
Cook also serves on the boards of directors of Nike, Inc., the National Football Foundation, and is a
trustee of Duke University. In early 2012, he was awarded compensation of one million shares,
vesting in 2016 and 2021, by Apple's board of directors, and in March 2015, he said he planned to
donate his entire stock fortune to charity.
Cook was born in Mobile, Alabama, United States.He was baptized in a Baptist church and grew up in
nearby Robertsdale. His father, Donald, was a shipyard worker, and his mother, Geraldine, worked at
Cook graduated from Robertsdale High School. He earned a Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in industrial
engineering from Auburn University in 1982, and his Master of Business Administration (MBA)
from Duke University's Fuqua School of Business in 1988.
After graduating from Auburn University in 1982, Cook spent 12 years in IBM's personal computer
business, ultimately serving as the director of North American fulfillment. It was also during this time
that Cook earned his MBA from Duke University, becoming a Fuqua Scholar in 1988. Later, he served
as Chief Operating Officer of the computer reseller division of Intelligent Electronics, and in 1997
became the Vice President for Corporate Materials at Compaq for six months.
In 1998, Steve Jobs asked Tim Cook to join Apple. In a commencement speech at Auburn University,
Cook said he decided to join Apple after meeting Jobs for the first time:
"Any purely rational consideration of cost and benefits lined up in Compaq's favor, and the people who
knew me best advised me to stay at Compaq... On that day in early 1998 I listened to my intuition, not
the left side of my brain or for that matter even the people who knew me best... no more than five
minutes into my initial interview with Steve, I wanted to throw caution and logic to the wind and join
Apple. My intuition already knew that joining Apple was a once in a lifetime opportunity to work for the
creative genius, and to be on the executive team that could resurrect a great American company."
His first position was Senior Vice President for worldwide operations. In relation to the role, Cook was
quoted as saying: "You kind of want to manage it like you're in the dairy business. If it gets past its
freshness date, you have a problem".
In January 2007, Cook was promoted to lead operations and served as Chief Executive in 2009, while
Jobs was away on a leave of absence for health related issues. In January 2011, Apple's board of
directors approved a third medical leave of absence requested by Jobs. During that time, Cook was
responsible for most of Apple's day-to-day operations, while Jobs made most major decisions.
Apple chief executive (2011–present)
After Jobs resigned as CEO and became chairman of the board, Cook was named the new Chief
Executive Officer of Apple Inc. on August 24, 2011.Six weeks later, on October 5, 2011, Jobs died due
to complications from pancreatic cancer. Forbes contributor Robin Ferracone wrote in September
2011: "Jobs and Cook proceeded to forge a strong partnership, and rescued the company from its
death spiral, which took it from $11 billion in revenue in 1995 down to less than $6 billion in 1998 ...
Under their leadership, the company went from its nadir to a remarkable $100 billion today". better
source needed] In April 2012, Time included Cook on its annual "100 Most Influential People in the
In 2016, some analysts compared Cook to former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, claiming that
innovation had died down since he replaced Jobs, similar to when Ballmer became Microsoft CEO in
In December 2017, Cook was a speaker at the World Internet Conference in China, where he stated
that “the theme of this conference—developing a digital economy for openness and shared benefits—
is a vision we at Apple share. We are proud to have worked alongside many of our partners in China
to help build a community that will join a common future in cyberspace.
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