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Weeks into Apple CEO tenure, Cook gets charitable

Tim Cook, Apple CEOSince Tim Cook has taken over as CEO for Steve Jobs, conventional wisdom has dictated that due to the pair’s cozy relationship and similar style and approach to managing Apple (s aapl), it would be business as usual. That’s not quite correct, as it’s becoming clear Cook has some of his own ideas over how to run the world’s largest technology company by value. Thursday’s news that the company has instituted an employee matching program for charitable giving is one such sign.

MacRumors posted an email Thursday from Cook to employees that detailed the new policy:

Starting September 15, when you give money to a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization, Apple will match your gift dollar-for-dollar, up to $10,000 annually. This program will be for full-time employees in the US at first, and we’ll expand it to other parts of the world over time.

Many companies, particularly those of Apple’s size and influence, have donation matching for employees. So, free of context, this wouldn’t be news. But Apple’s commitment–or more specifically Jobs’–to public giving was questioned in a New York Times column (s nyt) right after Jobs’ departure. It caused a bit of an uproar, and even brought U2 frontman Bono to Jobs’ defense. Bono (correctly) pointed out Apple’s long involvement in (Product) RED by producing a special version of the iPod.

Pointing out Cook’s new policy isn’t to say Jobs didn’t want or like donation matching. But Cook implementing a significant change like that so shortly into his tenure as CEO emphasizes it’s certainly a priority for him in a way it was not for the company before. It also makes us wonder what other things–however seemingly minor they may appear–does Cook have his eye on to tweak at  Apple.

16 Responses to “Weeks into Apple CEO tenure, Cook gets charitable”

  1. Different companies do it differently. Why is this news? And under what obligations was Jobs to donate to charities? Philanthropy has not solve a thing for anybody in the last 50+ years. It is a waste of resources. And before you totally jump on me, I donate a little bit every year myself.

  2. I’d say that this has been in-the-works for more than the few short weeks that Cook has been CEO. It takes time, as well as legal and financial employees at Apple to even get the ball rolling on creating this program. I think it’s still premature to frame any of Apple’s moves as happening entirely under Tim Cook. Indeed, we know there was already a “few years” of product development planned when Steve left, and I imagine this program was at least a few months in the making.

  3. I worked for Apple for five years and asked about this regularly. I may be gone, but at least it is there now. Don’t forget. This us also a huge tax shelter for Apple. As record profits are posted, new shelters will continue to rise.

  4. Steve Ardire

    I think it’s generous and brilliant for a dollar-for-dollar match up to $10,000 annually for non-profit 501(c)(3) organizations. How many US companies match up to 10K ? Zero, a few ? Nice move Tim Cook !