Apple chief executive Tim Cook has joined the billionaire club as the iPhone maker is poised to become the US’s first 2 trillion dollar company.
Apple’s performance has so far proved to be coronavirus-proof, crushing Wall Street expectations in each of the last two quarters, and pushing the company’s market value to new peaks just below $2tn.
Cook, who took over running Apple when founder Steve Jobs stood down in 2011 due to deteriorating health, owns 847,969 shares in the company, worth about $375m (£286m) at its current stock price. Proceeds from previous share sales, dividends and other compensation add another $650m to his net worth, according to the Bloomberg Billionaire’s Index.
The 59-year-old has presided over a more than eight-fold increase in Apple’s share price since taking over, from about $53 in 2011 to more than $450. Apple was valued at about $350bn when Cook stepped up from chief operating officer to replace Jobs. Two years ago this month Apple became the world’s first publicly listed company to be worth $1tn.
Apple has thrived under Cook’s leadership developing devices including the iPhone X and Apple Watch, and branched into new areas including subscription music and TV.
Last week, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg saw his net worth hit $100bn, making him a member of the exclusive so-called centibillionaire club, alongside Microsoft founder Bill Gates and Amazon founder Jeff Bezos. The centibillionaires, along with other company founders such as Tesla’s Elon Musk, have such enormous net worth because they hold large stakes in their companies. By comparison Cook, who took home $125m last year, holds about a 0.02% stake in Apple.
In 2015, Cook said he planned to give away most of his fortune and has already gifted millions of dollars worth of Apple shares.