Alabama Academy of Honor


Timothy Cook

The following biographical sketch was compiled at the time of induction into the Academy in 2014.

Timothy Cook, was born and raised in Robertsdale, Alabama. After graduating from Robertsdale High School in 1978, he enrolled at Auburn University where he earned a bachelor’s degree in industrial engineering in 1982. In 1988, Cook earned an MBA from Duke University, and named a Fuqua Scholar, an honor bestowed only to business students who graduate in the top 10 percent of their class.

After graduating from Duke, Cook spent the first 12 years of his career working for IBM, ultimately as the director of fulfillment for North America. He also worked as vice president for Corporate Materials for Compaq, which at the time was the largest computer company in the world. Mr. Cook joined Apple in 1998 as the senior vice president for Worldwide Operations. From 2002 to 2005, he served as executive vice president of Worldwide Sales and Operations. Cook served as chief operating officer from 2005 to 2011 and also as head of Apple’s Macintosh computer division where he played a key role in the continued development of strategic reseller and supplier relationships. He was named Chief Executive Officer of Apple in 2011. Under Cook’s leadership as CEO, Apple has increased its charitable giving and continued to improve working conditions for millions of workers in the company’s supply chain.

At Auburn, Cook is the founding chair of the Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering’s Alumni Council. He also established the ISE Endowed Fund for Excellence, the Tim Cook Leadership Scholarship for undergraduate students and the Tim Cook Professorship in Industrial and Systems Engineering. He addressed Auburn graduates and their families during the 2010 commencement ceremonies.

Mr. Cook’s honors include: 2014 Lifetime Achievement Award from Auburn Alumni Association; Fortune’s 2014 list of World’s 50 Greatest Leaders; 2013 International Quality of Life Award from Auburn’s College of Human Sciences; Time’s 2012 list of the 100 Most Influential People in the World; Time’s 2012 Person of the Year, Runner-Up; Alabama Engineering Hall of Fame, 2009; Outstanding Industrial and Systems Engineering Alumnus of 2000.