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LGBT History Month profile: Entrepreneur, Apple CEO Tim Cook

Equality Forum
Monday, October 14, 2013
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Tim Cook, Entrepreneur
b. November 1, 1960

“You can focus on things that are barriers or you can focus on scaling the wall.”

Tim Cook is an entrepreneur and the CEO of Apple, one of the world’s most valuable companies. In 2011, Steve Jobs handpicked Cook as his successor.

Tim Cook

Tim Cook

Cook was born in Robertsdale, Alabama. He graduated high school second in his class and matriculated to Auburn University, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in industrial engineering. He received a master’s degree in business administration from Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business, graduating in the top 10 percent of his class.

Before joining Apple, Cook managed manufacturing and distribution as director of North American fulfillment for IBM. He also served as chief operating officer at Intelligent Electronics and as vice president of corporate materials at the Compaq Computer Corporation.

In 1997, Apple reported a loss of a billion dollars and was expected to declare bankruptcy. In 1998, Steve Jobs convinced Cook to accept the position of chief operating officer, despite Cook’s reservations. Within a year, Apple reported a profit.

In 2011, Cook became Apple’s CEO and a member of the board of directors. He is one of the highest-paid CEOs. He ranked No. 1 on Out magazine’s “Power 50” list of the most influential LGBT people in the United States. Forbes Magazine named him one of the “World’s Most Powerful People.”

Cook has kept his personal life private.

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