Barely two weeks after a New York Times article called out ex-Apple CEO Steve Jobs for falling short in his philanthropic commitments compared to his peers, new Apple CEO Tim Cook has decided to grab the issue of Apple philanthropy by the horns.
According to a memo sent by Cook to all of Apple, reported by Fortune's Brian Caulfield, Apple will now begin matching employees' charitable contributions. The limit per employee sits at $10,000 annually, and the contributions must (obviously) be directed toward an official 501(c)(3) organization.
"I am very happy to announce that we are kicking off a matching gift program for charitable donations," reads Cook's memo, sent this past Thursday. "We are all really inspired by the generosity of our co-workers who give back to the community and this program is going to help that individual giving go even farther."
Apple plans to start the program for its full-time Apple employees in the U.S. first, and intends to roll out matching contributions for the company's international workers over time.
As for Jobs, he faced a bit of mild criticism from Andrew Ross Sorkin's August 29 piece in the Times, in which the self-professed "admirer" of Apple's departed CEO questioned why there was no public record of Jobs' charitable commitments – despite his $8.3 billion fortune, Sorkin noted.
"But the lack of public philanthropy by Mr. Jobs — long whispered about, but rarely said aloud — raises some important questions about the way the public views business and business people at a time when some "millionaires and billionaires" are criticized for not giving back enough while others like Mr. Jobs are lionized," Sorkin wrote.
While neither Apple nor Jobs offered comment for Sorkin's article, longtime friend and U2 frontman Paul Hewson, or "Bono," came to Jobs' defense in a letter to the editor September 1.
"I'm proud to know him; he's a poetic fellow, an artist and a businessman. Just because he's been extremely busy, that doesn't mean that he and his wife, Laurene, have not been thinking about these things," Bono said. "You don't have to be a friend of his to know what a private person he is or that he doesn't do things by halves."
Please login to add to favorites
Already added to favorites
Added as Favorite