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Tech CEO Pick – Which Tim ‘Cooks” at Apple and Earns the Most among his Peers?


Timothy Donald “Tim” Cook (born November 1, 1960) is an American business executive, and is the CEO of Apple Inc.[1] Cook joined Apple in March 1998[2] as SVP of Worldwide Operations and also served as EVP of Worldwide Sales and Operations and was COO until he was named the CEO of Apple on August 24, 2011, succeeding Steve Jobs.[3] Cook had previously served as acting CEO of Apple after Jobs began medical leave in January 2011.[4]

In early 2012, he was awarded compensation of 1 million shares, vesting in 2016 and 2021, by Apple’s Board of Directors.[5] As of 2012, Cook’s total compensation package of US$378 million makes him the highest paid CEO in the world.[6]

Early years

Cook grew up in Robertsdale, Alabama, near Mobile. His father was a shipyard worker, while his mother was a homemaker. Cook graduated from high school at Robertsdale High School, earned a B.S. degree in industrial engineering from Auburn University in 1982,[7] and his M.B.A. from Duke University‘s Fuqua School of Business in 1988.[8]

Personal life

Cook is a fitness enthusiast and enjoys hiking, cycling, and going to the gym. He regularly begins sending emails at 4:30 a.m. and used to hold Sunday night staff meetings by telephone to prepare for the next week.[9] Cook also serves on the board of directors of Nike[3] and the National Football Foundation.[24]

While giving the 2010 commencement speech at Auburn University, Cook emphasized the importance of intuition in guiding his life’s biggest choices, and followed by stating that preparation and hard work are also necessary to execute on that intuition.[25]

Under Cook’s leadership, Apple has increased its donations to charity.[26][27]

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Cook shared the three keys to his leadership at Apple: people, strategy, and execution. “If you get those three right the world is a great place.”

Career -Before Apple

Cook served as chief operating officer (COO) of the computer reseller division of Intelligent Electronics. He also spent 12 years in IBM‘s personal computer business as the director of North American Fulfillment.[2] Cook was VP for Corporate Materials at Compaq for seven months.[citation needed]


He was hired by Steve Jobs to join Apple in 1998. His first assignment was Senior Vice President for Worldwide Operations.[2] His mandate was to clean up the atrocious state of Apple’s manufacturing, distribution, and supply apparatus. Cook is credited with pulling Apple out of manufacturing by closing factories and warehouses around the world. This helped the company reduce inventory levels and streamline its supply chain to reach high efficiency, dramatically increasing margins. These initiatives have proven key to Apple’s success in unveiling next-generation products, keeping them secret until they are ready for distribution to retail, forecasting demand and executing against that forecast. Cook has been 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”.[9]

In January 2007, Cook was promoted to COO.[10]

Cook served as Apple CEO for two months in 2004, when Jobs was recovering from pancreatic cancer surgery. In 2009, Cook again served as Apple CEO for several months while Jobs took a leave of absence for a liver transplant.

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.[11] After Jobs resigned as CEO and became chairman of the board, Cook was named CEO of Apple Inc. on August 24, 2011.[12][13] On October 5, 2011 Steve Jobs died due to complications from a relapse of his previously treated islet-cell neuroendocrine pancreatic cancer, one day after Apple’s Keynote on the 4th of October. On that keynote iOS 5, iPhone 4S, Siri, and iCloud were announced. On March 7, 2012 Apple announced an iPad with Retina display and an updated Apple TV.

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