NEW YORK, March 27, 2015:
Fortune magazine cited the head of the world’s largest technology corporation as saying he planned to donate his estimated US$785 million (RM2.8 billion) fortune to charity — after paying for his 10-year-old nephew’s college education.
“You want to be the pebble in the pond that creates the ripples for change,” Cook told the magazine.
Fortune estimated Cook’s net worth, based on his holdings of Apple stock, at about US$120 million. He also holds restricted stock worth US$665 million if it were to be fully vested.
The 54-year-old’s revelation in Fortune’s lengthy profile of him is an example of the increasingly public philanthropy of the world’s richest people.
Billionaire financier Warren Buffett is encouraging the very wealthy to give away at least half their worth in their lifetimes through the “Giving Pledge,” whose website lists such luminaries as Microsoft Corp’s Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook Inc and Oracle Corp’s Larry Ellison.
While Cook’s largesse could not begin to approach the scale of a Gates or Zuckerberg, both worth billions of dollars, the Apple chief executive officer told Fortune he hopes to make a difference.
Cook, who is not listed on the website, is known as an intensely private person who shuns the spotlight on philanthropy.
In recent years, however, he has begun speaking out more openly about issues ranging from the environment to civil rights.
He told Fortune he has started donating money to unspecified causes quietly and is trying to develop a more “systematic approach” to philanthropy that goes beyond writing cheques.