Timothy D. Cook ascended from a small-town in Alabama to become the head of a global corporation, Apple Inc. Educated as an engineer and a businessman, Cook employed his skills in the computer industry, primarily in positions related to procurement and management of product inventories prior to joining Apple.

Tim Cook's Education

Cook graduated second in his class at Robertsdale High School, Alabama, in 1978. After earning a Bachelor of Science degree in Industrial Engineering from Auburn University in 1982, he continued his studies at Duke University, where he obtained an MBA in 1988 and was named a Fuqua Scholar, graduating in the top 10% of his class.

Tim Cook's Career Before Apple

For 12 years, Cook worked for International Business Machines (IBM), rising to the rank of Director of North American Fulfillment before leaving in 1994 to take the role of Chief Operating Officer (COO) of the Reseller Division of Intelligent Electronics, a position he held for three years. His next job lasted less than a year. From 1997 to 1998, Cook served as Vice President of Corporate Materials at Compaq Computer Corporation.

Tim Cook's Apple Career

In 1998, Cook embarked on his Apple career, accepting the position of Senior Vice President of Worldwide Operations. From 2002 to 2005, Cook was an Executive Vice President of Worldwide Sales and Operations, and, from 2005 until 2011, he held the posts of COO as well as head of the Macintosh Division. On Aug. 24, 2011, Cook took the helm of Apple as its new Chief Executive Officer (CEO).