Apple boss Tim Cook to donate $800m fortune to charity

Cook says he will set aside money for his 10-year-old nephew's college education, and give the rest away before he dies.

    Apple boss Tim Cook to donate $800m fortune to charity
    Cook said he would set aside money for his nephew's education and give the rest away [AP]

    Tim Cook, Apple's chief executive, has vowed to donate his wealth to charity before he dies, according to a report in Fortune magazine.

    Cook currently has a net worth of about $120m, based on the amount of Apple shares he owns, but also has restricted shares worth up to $665m, according to the AFP news agency.

    The 54-year-old, who took control of the California company more than three years ago, after the death of its co-founder Steve Jobs, said on Friday that he would set aside money for his 10-year-old nephew's college education, and give the rest away.

    "You want to be the pebble in the pond that creates the ripple for change," Cook said in an article due to appear in a printed version of Fortune in April.

    Cook told the magazine that he has been donating money discreetly, but intends to adopt a more systematic approach.

    He did not specify causes he might target. Cook has spoken out on issues including civil rights, AIDS, immigration reform, and protecting the environment.

    Changing the world is a higher priority than making money at Apple, Cook said in the article

    Last year, Cook became the first openly gay chief executive of a Fortune 500 company.

    Law criticised 

    Meanwhile, Cook joined other business leaders on Friday in criticising the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, a controversial law in the US state of Indiana, which could let business and individuals turn away customers by citing "religious freedom."

    Indiana Governor Mike Pence signed the controversial bill into law on Thursday, which critics warn could be used to discriminate against gay people.

    "Apple is open for everyone. We are deeply disappointed in Indiana's new law," Cook tweeted on Friday to his one million-plus followers.

    "Around the world, we strive to treat every customer the same, regardless of where they come from, how they worship or who they love."

    Supporters of the bill say it will keep the government from forcing business owners to act against strongly held religious beliefs, but opponents say it is discriminatory, the Reuters news agency reported.

    Gay rights groups worry it will be used by businesses that do not want to provide services for same-sex weddings.

    Gay marriage became legal in Indiana last year, following an appeals court ruling.

    SOURCE: Reuters And AFP


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