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Steve Jobs on philanthropy: increase AAPL’s value so shareholders can donate their own wealth

When current Apple CEO Tim Cook announced an internal charity-matching project for Apple employees late last year, we noted that this was Cook’s first “anti-Jobsian” move. Meaning, Tim Cook starting an internal Apple charity is something that Steve Jobs would have never done, as the Apple cofounder was not much of a philanthropist. The just released book “Inside Appleprovides some interesting (and perhaps surprising) color on Steve Jobs’ thoughts on philanthropy:

Jobs was notoriously stingy when it came to giving away money. He argued privately that the most philanthropic action Apple could take was to increase the value of the company to share-holders could give away their wealth to causes of their choice, not Apple’s.

Steve Jobs reportedly believed that instead of donating his money or Apple’s money, it would be more beneficial if he and Apple worked to raise the value of the corporation so that shareholders could use their increasing wealth to donate money to places of their choosing. This belief is interesting, and Cook’s new charity plan presents a striking difference between the two industry shifting businesspersons. Cook’s program matches Apple employee donations of up to $10,000.

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