Duke’s Fuqua School of Business can now lay claim to having one of its alums in the most desirable job in business anywhere in the world: the chief executive officer of Apple.
With Steve Jobs’ resignation yesterday, Tim Cook, who got his MBA from Fuqua in 1988, was named CEO—and Fuqua wasted no time to crow about him.
In a news release today (Aug. 25), the school noted that Apple and Fuqua have a strong relationship – three of the top 10 executives at Apple have their degrees from Duke. In addition, every year Apple hires a number of Fuqua graduates.
“The fact that Tim Cook is now the leader of one the world’s most recognizable brands comes as no surprise to us,” said Fuqua Dean Bill Boulding in a statement. “Even back during his time at Fuqua, he demonstrated great leadership skills and comprehensive business acumen. We are proud of Tim and grateful for the strong collaboration we have with Apple.”
Cook had been Apple’s chief operating officer since 2007, running its day-to-day operations. He had twice taken over CEO duties during Jobs’ recent medical leaves. Jobs remains Apple chairman. The last time Jobs had that role, he had a Wharton MBA in the job as CEO, John Sculley.
Former Fuqua Dean Blair Sheppard has described him as a model student to The Chronicle, the Duke newspaper. “[Cook] was considered a leader, and he was a really, really good student–well-liked by his peers, always prepared, tough but fair,” Sheppard said. “We would have predicted good things for him.”
Returning to Auburn to give its commencement speech last year, Cook thanked Jobs and Apple for his success, along with his parents and teachers, and said the most important decision he has ever made was leaving Compaq to join Apple.
Cook was a Fuqua Scholar at Duke and earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Industrial Engineering from Auburn University.