Apple CEO Tim Cook has become a billionaire

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Apple CEO Tim Cook became a billionaire this month, after nine years at the helm of the world’s most valuable company.

The 59-year-old executive’s net worth passed the $1 billion mark thanks to a nearly 5 percent jump in Apple’s stock price last week that put its market value near $2 trillion, according to an analysis by Bloomberg’s Billionaires Index.

That puts Cook among an “elite” group of billionaire CEOs who did not start the companies they lead, Bloomberg reported. The club also includes former Microsoft chief executive Steve Ballmer, who was with the company from 1980 to 2014 and is the world’s seventh-richest person with a net worth of $75 billion.

Cook has quietly built up his fortune on stock awards he’s received in his 22 years at Apple, according to Bloomberg’s Monday analysis. His 847,969 Apple shares — which make up a tiny 0.02 percent stake in the company — are worth about $375 million, while “proceeds from previous share sales, dividends and other compensation” are worth $650 million, the news service reported.

Cook has pledged to give his Apple fortune to charity, and Bloomberg noted that his wealth could be smaller if he’s made donations that haven’t been disclosed. But his worth could grow as Apple nears the $2 trillion mark amid an increased reliance on technology during the coronavirus pandemic.

Apple’s stock price rose another 1.4 percent Monday to $450.91, and Cook is due to receive an award of 560,000 shares this month unless the price plunges, Bloomberg reported. The iPhone maker, however, announced a 4-for-1 stock split last month that will allow investors to buy shares at a 75 percent discount at the end of August.

Cook — who took over for Apple co-founder Steve Jobs before his 2011 death — still has a long way to go to catch up with the fortunes of other tech tycoons. Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos remained the world’s richest person as of Monday with a $186 billion fortune, followed by Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates and Facebook boss Mark Zuckerberg, according to Bloomberg.

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