Ownership Landscape of Apple: From Vanguard to Tim Cook

According to a report by Business Insider, the largest shareholders of Apple as of January 2023 were institutional investors, with Vanguard Group Inc. leading the pack, holding approximately 7.96% of the company's shares, equivalent to over 1.2 billion shares. Following closely behind is BlackRock Inc., which owns around 6% of Apple's issued shares, totaling approximately 1.1 billion shares. Berkshire Hathaway Inc., owned by Warren Buffett, holds the third-largest stake in Apple, accounting for about 5.73% of the company's outstanding shares.

In terms of individual investors, Arthur Levinson emerges as the largest shareholder as of January 2023, with ownership of more than 4.5 million shares. Levinson, who has been a member of Apple's board since 2000 and its chairman since 2011, holds a significant position within the company. Following Levinson are key executives, including CEO Tim Cook and Chief Operating Officer Jeff Williams, as indicated in the documents.

Additionally, details of Tim Cook's ownership of Apple shares are expected to be disclosed in January 2024. As of October 2023, Cook held 3.3 million shares, according to SEC filings.

Steve Jobs, the co-founder of Apple, also played a significant role in the company's history. After leaving Apple in the mid-1980s, Jobs founded NeXT, which was later acquired by Apple in 1996. Jobs returned to Apple as CEO in 1997, marking a pivotal moment in the company's trajectory.

Regarding Bill Gates' ownership of Apple shares, while Microsoft, under Gates' leadership, made a significant investment in Apple in the late 1990s, Gates himself does not directly hold Apple shares. However, through the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Gates indirectly holds a portion of Apple shares as part of its investment portfolio.

As for the founding members, Steve Wozniak and Ronald Wayne, their current ownership status is less clear. Wozniak and Jobs initially owned 45% of the company, with Wayne holding 10% before selling his shares shortly after Apple's founding. Steve Jobs' widow, Laurene Powell Jobs, inherited 5.5 million Apple shares in 2011. However, in 2022, she pledged to donate most of her wealth through philanthropic efforts, leaving the exact number of Apple shares she currently holds uncertain.

Under the leadership of CEO Tim Cook, Apple has achieved remarkable success, with its market capitalization reaching an all-time high of $3 trillion. While Cook holds a substantial number of Apple shares himself, institutional investors remain the predominant owners of the company, as reflected in Apple's annual proxy statements disclosing shareholders holding 5% or more of the company's shares.

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