Tim Cook’s modest home: Apple’s CEO certainly doesn’t live like America’s ‘highest paid CEO’

“A Google search Tuesday morning for ‘Tim Cook’ and ‘highest paid CEO’ turned up 457 headlines, including a handwringer from the Seattle Times that asks ‘Did Apple change its core values?” Philip Elmer-DeWitt reports for Fortune.

P.E.D. reports, “In this regard, a paragraph from my colleague Adam Lashinsky’s forthcoming book Inside Apple (release date: Jan. 25) is instructive: ‘In an organization that frowned on talking about money, Cook was extraordinarily frugal. Well after he had sold more than $100 million in Apple stock, he rented a modest home in Palo Alto, a little over a mile from where Jobs lived. (In 2010, Cook finally bought a house of his own, not far from his previous rental, but hardly an extravagant one. Public records indicate he purchased the house for $1.9 million, which in Palo Alto qualifies as a modest abode.) Asked why he lived so humbly, he once said: ‘I like to be reminded of where I came from, and putting myself in modest surroundings helps me do that. Money is not a motivator for me.'”

Full article with a photo of Cook’s house here.

41 Comments

      1. And OWS cares a lot for society? How about themselves!

        Show me where they cared for the laid off employees due to their camping out at Zuccotti park and chasing off business to those shops causing them to lose money, lay off employees and shutter their business.

        http://www.verumserum.com/?p=32030

        So much for the OWS philosophy and any concerns they have over the down-trodden!

        Regarding Cook’s home… It’s still in CA… wonder what the property taxes are on something like that?! Probably vested those Apple shares to have some money to pay for it! ; )

        http://online.wsj.com/article/SB124260067214828295.html

        1. Wow. You believe everything you read. Because I would suggest that a well-run business would easily be able to retain it’s customers and withstand s short-term inconvenience such as this. Construction creates similar situations all the time, but businesses are not shuttering constantly because of it. You’re basing your reaction of fear-mongering and blame on the words of the owner who sounded like he was fear-mongering and blaming. More likely, he was a terrible businessman who couldn’t attract loyal customers and couldn’t manage the economic aspects of his business. Thus, he is closing up shop. He is probably blaming others for his failures. There have been far more sinister and inconvenient forces than OWS that most businesses can survive, so his explanation is questionable at best.

          The fact that you took a single man’s word at face value, then applied that singular instance to explain an entire movement is disingenuous at best and blind zealotry at worst.

          1. @Nesta: “Construction creates similar situations all the time, but businesses are not shuttering constantly because of it.

            I do not understand the point you make in referring to the construction industry. Before responding, please bear in mind that in most cases, no construction project can move without enduring a long planning and approval process. In most cases, these even involve impact studies (where local businesses and residents views are polled) and the issue of building permits right down to day-to-day traffic management and clean-up.

            I may be wrong but I don’t recall ever hearing of any of the OWS protest groups going through such a process to minimise their impact on residents in the immediate vicinity of their protest. In fact that would be contradictory to the very impact they want to create for their protests.

            No business owner wants such disruption and uncertainty at their doorstep. Particularly in sectors like retail and catering, that due to the GFC, are now increasingly reliant on threadbear cashflow. One immediate way to kill off such a business is to disrupt its customer flow – the consumers who walk into their premises to buy their products or services.

    1. Remember when there was a rash of thefts at the OWS camp?
      The most embarrassing headline quoted a 99er saying “Someone stole my MacBook!”

      If you can afford a MacBook, you are not the 99%

      Maybe 25%, but definitely not 99.

      I’m just saying.

      1. “I’m just saying.” ???

        Come on, have some intestinal fortitude and believe what you write. Using that phrase “I’m just saying.” is a poultry manure way of trying to avoid standing by what you write. I don’t think you have any idea of the difference between the income of the top 99% and the bottom income of the 1%.

      1. @omalansky

        Really? I can assure you that no matter what X said, you are the one who now looks foolish and immature. Everyone is entitled to their opinion. If you can’t articulate yours or defend your position, then *you* are really the one who needs to be quiet.

        (see how much nicer it can be said)

  1. Nice house. I don’t get people like like Larry Elison. He has the right to do whatever he sees fit with his money, but multiple mansions seems very wasteful to me. I lived in a 3600 square foot house for the last decade and being single, it always seemed a bit stupid to me. I couldn’t keep it clean, I only occupied about 4 sq feet at any one moment, there were bedrooms and bathrooms that I wouldn’t see for weeks at a time, just wasteful. I now llive in a 900 sq foot loft in downtown LA and strangely enough I feel as though I have more space. It’s completely open, not walled up into separate rooms, and I’ve jettisoned all the crap that used to occupy space in my life. Much happier. My payments are a fraction of what they were for the house, and my charitable contributions have risen due to having some extra disposable income. Because I’m in downtown, I’ve dumped the car, use public transportation or rent a car when necessary, but primarily communicate with clients via video conferencing, and support systems and networks remotely. Far fewer headaches.

    1. I think Larry probably has an army of cleaners keeping his places spotless, but I get your point. Our apartment is only 100m2 plus terrace and it’s easily big enough for our needs (two guys and a dog). We’re right by the beach too. Unless you have a big family there’s really no point having a big house. Much better to have a smaller one in a better location.

    1. Yes, I know it seems crazy, but that is Silicon Valley (South Bay) area. It’s just expensive. Go look up Palo Alto, CA on zillow.com and see what homes go for. 4 Bedroom 2 bath, 1650 sq. ft. home built in 1950 — 1.4 million! That really is an “average” house there. So for Tim Cook to be in a 1.9 million house really is VERY modest and average for that area.

      1. It all depends upon where you live. I live in a very modest 1600 sq ft bungalow in a city of 1 million in Canada. My house is valued at over US$1M. It is average for the neighbourhood. There are somewhat fancier and larger houses in the area for $2.5M, but they are not mansions. I have visited houses in Florida that were so palatial I would actually be embarrassed to own them.

        1. I like your comment about the homes down here in Florida and it is so true. Example, have a family member married no kids living in a 5,000 square foot home and the taxes are $26,000 per year. I get lost in it. Supposedly their dream home. Absurd. Kudos to Tim Cook and his sense of modesty. Greed nor showiness are not a part of his lifestyle. I would much rather sit at his kitchen table than my family’s any day. Above all, the conversation would be far more interesting and we wouldn’t have to listen to how much they paid for everything including that huge Samsung tv! 😉

    2. RTFA

      $1.9 million is modest for Palo Alto, according to the article. But all Silicon Valley real estate is expensive judged by the standards of most of the rest of the US, according to other articles I have read over the years and conversation with people who lived there.

  2. At Del HQ in the 90s, all they talked about was money, and their stock. Around Austin there was a class known as Dellionaires. But that was then.

    I spoke with a Dell engineer a Christmas party last month and he said they still talk about money all the time, even though there isn’t so much.

      1. I heard Alec Baldwin wanted to play lead in the movie adaption of Dell & Out in Austin Hills, but sources say he wasn’t considered because he was too busy playing video games

  3. Reading the SJ biography give me the feeling that SJ and his wife wanted a ‘normal’ family life, neighbors etc. – you don’t get that if you lock yourself in a grand pile with walls and electronic sy.
    In that respect, it would appear that TC has a similar outlook.
    How many bathrooms, bedrooms and facilities you need is down to the size of your immediate (or extended) family situation – the rest is ‘show’

    1. Exactly. From the pictures after his death, it like Job’s house was on a corner lot on a public street. Corner lots have even less privacy. Although it looked like his house was attractively surrounded gardens and trees

      And Cook is (to the best we know) single. His house is close to his neighbors; less grounds equals less maintenance required.

  4. I like Tim’s house, especially the surroundings. I also like his attitude about remaining grounded within a real community. Ellison in comparison looks to be removed from reality, although that’s of course why the authors have picked him rather than Gates or any of the other tech super-rich.

    1. You obviously haven’t read about Bill Gate’s luxury lakefront estate on Lake Washington, outside Seattle.

      How about real fossils for tiling the the bathrooms for starters?

      Although you are right about Crazy Larry Ellison. Fortune has reported that he likes to live as a feudal Japanese Samurai while he is at his Japanese themed home..

  5. After seeing the pictures, the home maybe “modest” according to Silicon Valley but I need to correct that statement. Modest in Palo Alto, Atherton, Menlo Park area but other parts of California, that home is a mansion! Many people erroneously think that all california homes are like this. There are areas in California that would like to have half the square feet of this home.

  6. The word “paid” in all of these news is associated with stocks which Jobs and the Board arranged for Cook in August and September.

    However, these stocks are not real money, there is no way to buy a palace with these shares.

    And while Cook has serious salary (about $600 000 after taxes), it is not the level of money where you could own multiple $20-100 million mansions as Larry Ellison.

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