Early life and education
Cook was born in Mobile, Alabama and raised nearby in Robertsdale. He earned an M.B.A. from Duke University, where he was a Fuqua Scholar, and holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Industrial Engineering from Auburn University.
Before being recruited by Apple co-founder Steve Jobs, Cook worked at Compaq as a VP for Corporate Materials. He served as Senior Vice President for Worldwide Operations. Cook also served as COO of Intelligent Electronics and also spent 12 years at IBM as the director of North American Fulfillment.
When Cook joined Apple Computer in March 1998, he became the company's Senior VP of Worldwide Operations. He was promoted to Chief Operating Officer and became responsible for all of the company’s worldwide sales and operations, including end-to-end management of Apple’s supply chain, sales activities, and service and support in all markets and countries. He also headed Apple’s Macintosh division and played a key role in the continued development of strategic reseller and supplier relationships, ensuring flexibility in response to an increasingly demanding marketplace. Cook is commonly credited for pulling Apple out of manufacturing by closing factories and warehouses around the world.
Cook was also acting CEO of Apple for 2 months in 2004 while Steve Jobs recovered from pancreatic cancer surgery, and again in 2009 when Steve Jobs took a leave of absence for a liver transplant. In January 2011, Steve Jobs was approved for another medical leave, and Cook was placed in charge for most of Apple's day-to-day operations, while Steve Jobs was in charge of major decisions of the company.
On August 24, 2011, Jobs resigned as CEO of Apple and was succeeded for the fourth time by Tim Cook, this time permanently. Cook not only serves as Apple's CEO, but also on the Board of Directors for Nike as the 11th director of the sports apparel company since 2005.
Cook has been a member of the American Workforce Policy Advisory Board. During a meeting at the White House in March 2019, U.S. President Donald Trump addressed Cook as "Tim Apple". Cook responded by changing his Twitter account name to "Tim ".
- Cowley, Stacey (August 26, 2011). Apple gives Tim Cook $384 million stock grant.
- Tim Cook -- Apple CEO and Robertsdale's favorite son -- still finds time to return to his Baldwin County roots by Michael Finch II, Press-Register. 2014-02-24.
- How Steve Jobs finally persuaded a 37-year-old Tim Cook to join a near-bankrupt Apple in 1998 by Leander Kahney, CNBC. 2019-04-16.
- Trump says he called Apple’s CEO ‘Tim Apple’ to save time after reportedly telling donors he never said it by Lauren Feiner, CNBC. 2019-03-11.
- What Tim Cook says coming out cost him—and why he still has ‘no regrets’ by Zameena Mejia, CNBC. 2018-06-23.