Tim Cook to Donate Fortune to Charity

29 Mar 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Apple boss Tim Cook pledges to donate his $800m fortune to charity before he dies.

The head of the world’s most valuable company is planning to give away his estimated $785 million fortune to charity — but only after paying for his 10-year-old nephew’s college education, according to Fortune.In a recent profile piece for Fortune magazine, Cook said that as far as personal finance goes, he wants first to take care of his 10-year-old nephew’s college fees, though that shouldn’t make too much of a dent in his estimated fortune of $785 million, current stock value included.Tim Cook has led one of the most successful companies in history for the last four years, but at times it seems that the world is still getting to know him.

The Apple CEO told Fortune he’s already made a number of donations to various philanthropic projects, adding that in the future he intends to make more contributions though in a more systematic fashion. One thing has become increasingly clear, however: More than his predecessor, the Apple chief executive is willing to bring the tech giant and his personal life out from under a veil of secrecy. Cook succeeded the legendary Steve Jobs as CEO of Apple in 2011 when the co-founder passed away and has continued to lead the company into huge profitability. Just months after taking over from Steve Jobs in 2011, Cook demonstrated his interest in charitable causes when he set up a matching gift program for donations made by Apple employees.

On Thursday, Fortune reporter Adam Lashinsky, a longtime Cook observer, revealed that the 54-year-old Apple CEO already has well-laid plans for what will happen to his fortune while he is alive and when he dies. The scheme promises that whenever an Apple employee donates money to a non-profit organization, the tech company will equal the donation by up to $10,000 annually. Known as an intensely private man, Cook has begun speaking more openly as of late about causes such as lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender protections. Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates, for example, has been doing his level best to get rid of his billions, while Facebook boss Mark Zuckerberg has also given away a decent chunk of his personal fortune to date, including $25 million last year to help combat Ebola. “Grants like this directly help the frontline responders in their heroic work,” Zuckerberg said at the time, adding, “We are hopeful this will help save lives and get this outbreak under control.” Both Gates and Zuckerberg have signed up to business magnate Warren Buffett’s Giving Pledge promise, a “a commitment by the world’s wealthiest individuals and families to dedicate the majority of their wealth to philanthropy.”

The Apple head honcho, who recently came out as gay, was inducted into the Alabama Academy of Honor late last year, and in his acceptance speech, he challenged his home state to do more to protect the rights of its LGBT community. The new biography Becoming Steve Jobs claims that Cook offered an ailing Jobs a “portion of his own liver.” “After discovering that he shared a rare blood type with his sick colleague, and undergoing a battery of tests at a hospital ‘far from the Bay Area, since he didn’t want to be recognized,’ Cook offered his liver to Jobs — only for Steve to turn it down,” the biography relates. Cook says that he has already begun donating money quietly but that he plans to take time to develop a systematic approach to philanthropy rather than simply writing checks. As Drew Harwell noted in The Washington Post last year, Cook’s coming out was not just personal, it was more evidence of his new style in leading the company: Cook’s sexual orientation was widely known in Silicon Valley, but he did not make his essay announcement on his own. Before his announcement, of the chief executives in the country’s 500 largest public companies, only 5 percent were women, 1 percent were black — and zero were publicly gay or lesbian, said Kenji Yoshino, a professor of constitutional law at New York University who last year co-authored “Uncovering Talent: A New Model of Inclusion.” In a new book to be published by Fast Company executive editor Rick Tetzeli and veteran reporter Brent Schlender, Cook speaks candidly and poignantly about his predecessor, but reveals as much about himself in the process.

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