Revisionist History

Dara Kerr at CNET:

Apple CEO Tim Cook donates $100 million to charity

Apple CEO Tim Cook might just be taking some tips from Bill Gates–last week he announced he donated $100 million to charity, according to The Verge.

The teaser text for the article’s RSS entry is even better:

Apple’s CEO announces that he spent $100 million of Apple’s money on charitable giving–something Steve Jobs would not have done.


First, claiming that Cook himself made the donation is patently ridiculous. Any such decision would have to have been discussed and signed off on by a number of people. Apple donated the money, not Cook. While the CEO can certainly set the tone and direction in any discussion, he can’t just go rogue and give away the company’s money.

Second and more importantly, the original report from The Verge discusses two specific gifts: $50 million to Product Red and $50 million to Stanford University’s hospitals. Apple has participated in the Product Red campaign since the first red iPod nano was introduced in October 2006. Enough said on that issue.

As for the Stanford gift, Apple’s involvement was publicly announced in February 2011. Steve Jobs may have been on his final medical leave of absence at the time, but he was still CEO and you can bet discussions on the gift had been going on for more than the two weeks Jobs had been on leave, especially since the announcement involved coordination among Stanford and six Bay Area technology companies.

But who needs facts when there’s a narrative to be told: Steve Jobs was a cheap bastard and Tim Cook is a paragon of virtue.

By Eric Posted in Apple