Tim Cook is an American business executive, industrial engineer and developer who is now the Chief Executive Officer of Apple Inc. Having joined Apple in 1998 as senior vice president of worldwide operations, he rose to serve under its founder, Steve Jobs, as Chief Operating Officer before taking on the role of CEO in August 2011. Since then he has been a strong advocate of political reformation of international and domestic surveillance, cyber security, corporate taxation, American manufacturing and environmental issues.
Born in Alabama, USA in 1960, Cook gained a Bachelor of Science in industrial engineering and Master of Business Administration before working for IBM’s personal computer business. He served as Chief Operating Officer for the computer reseller division of Intelligent Electronics and as vice president for corporate materials at Compaq before being asked to join Apple by Steve Jobs.
The impact of his initial role at Apple was to reduce the amount of inventory held while moving to secure long-term investment in flash memory. This guaranteed stable supplies of key components for the iPod Nano, iPhone and iPad and kept costs under tight control, allowing the company to generate huge profits.
He is widely credited for creating the strong partnership with Steve Jobs that rescued the company from a long decline to the market leader it is today; and with restructuring the executive structures to “weed out people with disagreeable personalities” His leadership style as CEO is described as focused on people, strategy and execution.
A notably private individual, Cook is a fitness enthusiast and frequent charity fundraiser. He came out as the first openly gay CEO of a Fortune 500 company in 2014. In addition to his work for Apple, Cook also serves on the directors’ boards for Nike, Inc and the National Football Foundation