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SAN FRANCISCO What Would Steve Have Done?
Longtime Apple shareholder Asif Khan believes the dividend suggests that Cook is serious about honoring one of Jobs' final bits of advice. Based on published accounts, Cook told Apple employees at an Oct. 19 memorial that Jobs wanted management to "just do what's right" instead of trying to figure out what the company's late leader would have done.
didn't fall entirely to Cook. It required the approval of Apple's eight member board of directors, which hasn't changed in the past year except for the addition of Cook and the loss of Jobs. Cook joined the board when he became CEO.
"It's an intriguing moment in Apple's history because this is a departure from Steve's philosophy," says Khan, whose family has accumulated 20,000 Apple shares since 1997 when Jobs returned to the company. Cook "is changing the culture of the company just a little bit, but in a good way. Everything I have seen him do so far seems to be making Apple into a kinder and gentler company."
Jobs hoarded cash like a man afraid of running out of it. Plagued by memories of Apple's flirtation with bankruptcy in the late 1990s, he steadfastly resisted calls for the company to pay a Air Max 97 Pimento dividend. Jobs never wanted Apple to be so destitute that it would need financial help, as it did in 1997 when he negotiated a $150 million infusion from rival Microsoft Corp.
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But Cook seems determined to stamp his own legacy on the world's most valuable company. In the biggest break from Jobs' philosophy since Cook succeeded him as CEO seven months ago, Apple is dipping into its nearly $100 billion cash stash to start paying a quarterly dividend of $2.65 per share to its stockholders.
Before Apple's dividend announcement, Cook's most significant change from the Jobs' regime had been to introduce a company program that matched employee donations to charities of up to $10,000.
Apple's board had been discussing a possible dividend since at least January, based on what Cook has publicly told analysts and Apple shareholders.
Apple Life after Jobs CEO seeking to build own legacy at firm
With Cook in charge, Apple is now ready to herald a new era and dole out about $10 billion in dividends each year. It's an amount that Apple can easily afford, given the size of its current bank account and the billions more pouring in amid feverish demand for its iPhones, iPads and iPods.
of Jobs every day he goes to work.
the time he resigned as CEO last August.
Cook, who worked closely with Jobs since joining Apple in 1998, has made it clear he still intends to hew to the vision of his predecessor and mentor. Just last month, Cook told Apple shareholders that he still thinks Nike Air Max 1 Ultra Flyknit Men' Shoe
Analysts and investors viewed the dividend as a sign of Cook's willingness to listen to shareholders.
"This is indicative of the changing of the guard at Apple," says ISI Group analyst Brian Marshall. "I don't think this would have happened under Steve Jobs. This clearly shows Tim Cook is his own man."
Obviously, no one knows what Jobs would have thought about Apple paying a dividend. He died Oct. 5 after a long battle with cancer. It's unclear whether he had softened his stance on the dividend by Nike Air Max 97 Og Retro
It's a question that Apple CEO Tim Cook can't escape. From the naming of the new iPad to his choice of clothing at public events, company watchers parse Cook's every move, looking for differences between him and the company's revered founder Steve Jobs.
"The new management is very shareholder friendly, and it has been very nice to see," says Sterne Agee analyst Shaw Wu.
The commitment announced Monday draws a clear line of demarcation between Cook and Jobs.
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