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1. He’s Mr. Inside to Steve Jobs’ Mr. Outside.
Since joining Apple in 1998, Tim Cook has focused on making the trains run on time, handling the company’s logistics and operations. He closed plants, outsourced manufacturing, instituted a just-in-time supply model, and developed long-term relationships with key component suppliers that froze out rivals for key parts like the sophisticated iPod touch screens. The result: Apple has some of the highest margins in the computer industry.
2. He’s a workaholic.
Cook is known to start emailing subordinates as early as 4:30 am and his eighteen-hour workdays are legendary even at Apple. Cook probably gets his stamina from being a fitness buff and is said to be a fan of cyclist Lance Armstrong.
3. He’s more personable than Jobs on email with Apple fans.
Steve Jobs was notorious for responding to the occasional customer email with a terse one sentence or even one word answer. In his first month on the job, Cook signed an email “War Eagles Forever,” a reference to Auburn University where he attended college. His office at Apple is reportedly packed with Auburn football memorabilia.
4. He changed Apple’s charitable donations policy.
Under Jobs, Apple did not have a corporate policy matching charitable donations by employees. Less than a month after assuming the reigns, Cook announced that Apple would now match employee donations dollar-for-dollar up to $10,000.
5. Is he gay?
He might be America’s most important gay business executive. The 50-year-old lifelong bachelor has never spoken publicly about his sexuality and he’s notoriously discreet about his private life. But Out Magazine felt confident enough about the whispers to rank him first on its Power 50 list of the most influential gay and lesbian Americans.
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