5 Things You Might Not Know About Apple CEO Tim Cook

5 Things You Might Not Know About Apple CEO Tim Cook

In August 2011, Tim Cook was named the CEO of Apple Inc AAPL following the death of company CEO and co-founder Steve Jobs.

Through the years, Cook has guided Apple to become one of the biggest companies in the world, with market capitalization now over $2.3 trillion.

Here are five things you might now know about Tim Cook.

1. Education: Cook graduated in 1982 with a bachelor’s degree in industrial engineering from Auburn University. After Auburn, Cook went on to attend Duke University. While at Duke, Cook earned an MBA from the Fuqua School of Business in 1988. Cook was in the top 10% of his business school class, earning the title of Fuqua Scholar.

Cook returned to Auburn in 2010 to be the graduation commencement speaker.

2. Worked for Apple Competitor: One of Cook’s first jobs out of college was working for IBM IBM. While at IBM, Cook became the fulfillment director for the company’s North American division, where he managed manufacturing and distribution. Cook worked at IBM for 12 years.

Related Link: If You Invested $1,000 In Apple Stock When Tim Cook Became CEO, Here's How Much You'd Have Today

3, Career at Apple: After working at IBM and a six-month position at Compaq Computer as a vice president of corporate materials, Cook joined Apple.

“My most significant discovery so far in my life was the result of one single decision: my decision to join Apple,” Cook said in 2010.

Cook took a leap of faith in joining Apple as it came in 1998, when the company was in near bankruptcy.  

Positions held by Cook included vice president, executive vice president and chief operating officer. Cook also led the Macintosh division.

4. Coming Out In 2014: Cook confirmed he was gay in a Bloomberg opinion piece written in October 2013.

“While I have never denied my sexuality, I haven’t publicly acknowledged it either, until now. So let me be clear: I’m proud to be gay, and I consider being gay among the greatest gifts God has given me,” Cook wrote.

Cook declared that coming out publicly was an important step in helping push for human rights and quality for all. He was encouraged by the words of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. who said, “Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, ‘What are you doing for others?’”

Cook said that he didn’t consider himself an activist for gay rights but hoped that it could inspire others.

“If hearing that the CEO of Apple is gay can help someone struggling to come to terms with who he or she is, or bring comfort to anyone who feels alone, or inspire people to insist on their equality, then it’s worth the trade-off with my own privacy,” Cook said.

5. Misdiagnosed With MS: In 1996, Cook was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, which ended up being a misdiagnosis. 

“The doctor said, ‘Mr. Cook, you’ve either had a stroke, or you have MS,’” Cook recalled when telling of his MS diagnosis. The symptoms came from “lugging a lot of incredibly heavy luggage around,” according to Cook.

Cook is now a frequent supporter of multiple sclerosis events and makes donations to organizations associated with the disease.

Cook has credited this experience as a wake-up call to take care of himself and his health. He enjoys cycling and hiking and also has a regular gym routine. 

Photo: Courtesy Apple

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