Apple’s CEO, Tim Cook, is set to donate almost his entire fortune to charity. Cook, who took over the CEO position when Steve Jobs left in 2011, will donate his entire fortune, close to $1billion, to charity once he has paid for his nephew’s higher education.
Tim Cook will not be the first billionaire to donate massive amounts of his fortune to philanthropic work though. In 2010 Warren Buffett and Bill Gates launched the Giving Pledge. The campaign, they hoped, would encourage billionaires to give at least half of their wealth away to charity since they already have so much available to them. More than 100 of the world’s billionaires have already signed up to the pledge including: Michael Bloomberg and Facebook’s creator Mark Zuckerberg.
Cook did not sign up the pledge and is instead going about this his own way. Last year the Alibaba co-founder Jack Ma started his own multibillion dollar organisation for philanthropic work. The charities set up by Alibaba are designed to specifically help in China with focus going to benefit the environment, medical care, education and finally some unspecified cultural causes that are going to be conducted within China. The amount they put into these charities? $3.4 billion.
Tim Cook himself still has a lot which can be given away. His salary more than doubled last year with Apple paying him $9.2 million and his stock awards being worth $145 million in 2014. Yet there is still even more money for him to be made with his remaining stock being worth somewhere in the region of $536 million.
He is also the first executive of a major cooperation to come out of the closet as gay whilst he is still the head of that cooperation. Of the 700 other enormous multinationals he stands alone as the only man willing to be open about his sexuality. There has been no downturn in the company’s profits, nor even in revenue.
His pledge to donate what amounts to close to $1 billion represents an enormous sacrifice but also shows his willingness to do enormous good for the world as a whole. That kind of money should not just be kept and horded by one person, there are entire countries who will benefit from that kind of investment. Maybe this kind of commitment can lead to other millionaires and billionaires pledging money to charity and hopefully helping to improve the world in their own way.