Apple CEO Tim Cook’s “brilliance as a business leader” and “his passion for issues that matter to our community” make him a great fit to deliver the address at MIT’s 2017 Commencement exercises on Friday, June 9, according to MIT president L. Rafael Reif.
Tim Cook will join a list of notable recent MIT Commencement speakers such as actor and filmmaker Matt Damon (2016); U.S. Chief Technology Officer Megan Smith ’86 SM ’88 (2015); DuPont CEO Ellen Kullman (2014); Dropbox co-founder and CEO Drew Houston ’05 (2013); and Khan Academy founder Sal Khan ’98, MEng ’98 (2012).
Cook’s experience in the technology field make him “an inspiration to innovators worldwide”, said Liana Ilutzi, president of MIT’s Class of 2017. Before joining Apple in 1998 Cook served for 12 years at IBM and was vice president of corporate materials at Compaq, being responsible for procuring and managing product inventory, and at Apple he has overseen the introduction of the iPhone 7 and Apple Watch.
Apple is viewed as a company that “champions innovation, that seeks creative and inventive solutions to problems across a wide range of domains, and that looks to balance technology with issues of social good”, which is highly important for MIT’s graduates, concludes Chancellor for Academic Advancement Eric Grimson, the longstanding chair of MIT’s Commencement Committee.