14 Sep 2011, Posted by Gloria Lloyd in News, 0 Comments
Dukies now occupy nearly a third of the top 10 positions in Apple Inc. hierarchy—heralded by the New York Times as the world’s most valuable technology company.
On Sep. 1, new Apple CEO Tim Cook, Fuqua ’88, appointed fellow Duke graduate and former head of iTunes Eddy Cue, Trinity ’86, to the Apple executive board as senior vice president of Internet software and services. Senior Vice President of Operations Jeff Williams, Fuqua ’91, completes the Blue Devil trifecta among Apple leadership.
Jon Goldstein, executive director of communications and marketing at the Duke Alumni Association, said it makes sense that Apple would look to Duke graduates for its top leadership positions.
“It’s great for Duke, and I think it’ll be great for Apple,” he said. “Apple is a company where innovation is prized, where entrepreneurship is rewarded. You see these characteristics come through in lots of Duke graduates.”
Cook, then chief operating officer, took over as CEO from Steve Jobs in August, when the Fuqua School of Business released a statement that emphasized the “strong relationship” between Duke and Apple and noted that Apple hires a number of Fuqua graduates every year.
When Cook was first appointed as interim CEO during Jobs’s first official medical leave in 2009, Blair Sheppard—dean at the time—told the Chronicle the appointment was “a real coup” for Fuqua, which is a newer business school than many of its peer institutions. When Cook’s generation was attending business school, Fuqua was smaller and less well known.
Goldstein said the qualities Duke graduates gain while on campus set them up for diverse careers and launch them into the professional world.
“[These careers] are all over the map. Finance, certainly government, media, athletics [and] the arts—all of these areas that require an ability to innovate and see the big picture,” she said. “Duke is terrific at cultivating these leadership qualities in students.”
In addition to the Duke leadership cluster in Cupertino, Goldstein noted several other companies that have found particular success hiring Duke graduates.
Although Duke has no journalism department, NBC has hired a notable number of journalists with a Duke education over the past few decades, including former chief legal correspondent Dan Abrams, Trinity ’88, former weekend anchor John Siegenthaler, Trinity ’78, and former White House correspondent and later CNN anchor Judy Woodruff, Trinity ’68.
Duke had the second-most active players in the National Basketball Association in the 2010-11 season. But, what is not as well-known, is that Dukies who have never put on a basketball uniform populate the NBA behind the scenes.
Adam Silver, Trinity ’84, is the second most powerful man in the NBA as deputy commissioner and chief operating officer.
“Duke students have a great reputation in this league,” Silver said to The Chronicle in April.“The number of Duke students who now work in the league is impressive…. It makes me feel great as a Duke alum that we can make such an enormous contribution to the NBA and are so well respected not just on the floor, but in executive positions as well.”
Steve Nowicki, dean and vice provost of undergraduate education, said Duke students have found success in a number of companies and fields.
“The list goes on and on,” Nowicki said. “One of the great pleasures of my current administration position is that I get to go out and meet Duke graduates all throughout the country. I’m always astounded at what interesting and productive lives they lead.”