NET WORTH: Unknown
SOURCE OF WEALTH: Apple
OVERVIEW: In 2015, Cook pledged to give all of his Apple stock, valued in the hundreds of millions, to charity. Publicly, however, he maintains a low profile in his giving and it’s hard to know the extent of his philanthropy or where he donates. However, since Cook took the helm at Apple, the company has become far more philanthropic than it was under Steve Jobs, instituting a number of giving programs. Cook, who is openly gay, is also outspoken on key social issues and on the need for more corporate social responsibility.
BACKGROUND: After earning a bachelor's in industrial engineering and an MBA from Duke's Fuqua School of Business, Tim Cook took a job at IBM, where he would stay put for more than a decade. Following a short stint at Compaq, Cook accepted a job at Apple in 1998 and played a key role in the company's dramatic comeback. When Steve Jobs died in 2011 after a long bout with cancer, Cook was appointed as CEO.
APPLE PHILANTHROPY: Whereas Jobs slashed charitable programs as the leader of Apple, Cook put philanthropy on the company's agenda. Within weeks of taking the CEO position, Cook introduced Apple's charitable matching program, which matches employee contributions up to $10,000. Since the program's inception, it has donated more than $150 million to organizations such as Charity: Water, (RED), and Stanford University Hospitals. In 2017, the heft of Apple's contribution to (RED) was acknowledged: “Apple is the world’s largest corporate donor to the Global Fund, contributing more than $130 million as part of its partnership with (RED),” said Deborah Dugan, (RED)’s CEO.
Since Cook took power, the company has also donated millions to nonprofits that promote diversity in the tech industry. In the wake of violence involving white supremacists in Charlottesville, Virginia, in 2017, Cook announced that Apple was making $2 million in donations to anti-hate groups. Later that year, the company also made a $2 million donation for relief efforts following Hurricane Harvey.
PERSONAL GIVING: The extent of Cook’s personal giving is hard to ascertain. But some public gifts can be identified. In 2015, Cook donated 50,000 of his Apple shares, worth $6.5 million, to an undisclosed charity. Cook also made some investments in for-profit businesses with social missions. In 2015, he invested in scaling the production of a newly developed water-efficient shower head, although the amount was undisclosed.
LOOKING FORWARD: Cook's record of public giving has been pretty sparse, thus far. But he could well be making donations privately or simply waiting until later to fulfill his pledge to give away all his wealth. Cook has no heirs.