Image Image Image Image Image Image Image Image Image
Chris LoCurto


October 14, 2011

Apple CEO Tim Cook Gives The Entire Company Thanksgiving Week Off

October 14, 2011 | By | 24 Comments">24 Comments

Tim Cook, CEO of Apple, has decided to give his team members the entire week of Thanksgiving off. It’s been quite an amazing year for Apple, with the success of the iPad 2 and the introduction of the iPhone 4S. But it’s also been a sad one, too, with the loss of Steve Jobs. Here is the letter Cook sent out:


I consider it an honor to come to work every day alongside the most innovative and most dedicated people on earth. This is an extraordinary time to be at Apple, and it’s all made possible by your incredible efforts.

We’ve had a record-setting year so far and we’re heading into the holidays with the strongest product lineup in our history. Customers are absolutely in love with the iPad 2, and the amazing new iPhone 4S is off to the best start of any iPhone we’ve ever made. The Mac is soaring to new heights with OS X Lion, and on the eve of its 10th birthday, the iPod is still the world’s most popular music player.

In recognition of the hard work you’ve put in this year, we’re going to take some extra time off for Thanksgiving. We will shut down with pay on November 21, 22 and 23 so our teams can spend the entire week with their families and friends.

Of course, Retail and some other groups will need to work that week so we can continue to serve our customers. If you’re in one of these groups, please check with your manager about taking time off at a later date. Our international teams will schedule their three-day shutdowns this quarter at a time that’s best for them. Details will be available on AppleWeb.

I hope everyone enjoys this much deserved break.


Obviously with Black Friday being the day after Thanksgiving, the retail stores will need to stay open. While this seems like a bold move, it’s one that can only garner respect, loyalty and dedication from Apple’s team members. Not only did Cook do a great job of recognizing what the global team had accomplished this past year, he also inspired them by rewarding the team with something that was completely unexpected.

If that’s not enough, Cook also is garnering loyalty and admiration of customers around the planet. Most, if not all, Apple users who will be working that week are proud of Cook for blessing his team.

Question: How do you feel about Cook’s decision?

  • Louise Thaxton

    I think this is a great decision – and one that will reap many rewards for them ….

  • Jana Botkin

    I’ve always have admired Apple (never had any ‘puter that wasn’t a Mac), and now my admiration is elevated to love. What a wonderful letter from the CEO to the employees (“team”), how humble, honest and generous.

    Just swooning here . . . sigh.

    • Chris LoCurto

      HAHAHA…me as well.

  • ginasmom

    I love it, makes it very tough for team members to want to leave, it also makes them want to give their best i’m sure.

    • Chris LoCurto

      Every time!

  • Darrin Dickey

    My favorite part was, “Team…” Not “Apple employees” or “Employees” or “Workers” or “Underlings” or “Hey, you!” Just a simple acknowledgement that they’re all on the same side working toward the same winning goal. Nice going!

    • Chris LoCurto

      And how he ended it with just Tim. Love it.

  • David Cooper

    Yet another example of forward thinking long term actions over short sighted short term profit thinking by Apple. EntreLeadership at its best!

  • specializingintheimpossible

    Caring about employees is one of the most valuable traits of a good, I mean great, leader!

    • Chris LoCurto

      Most of the time it’s the difference between the two.

  • Eric Speir

    I think he understands building loyalty and rapport from his employees. He hit a home run with this one.

    • Chris LoCurto


  • Bethany Jenkins

    He must have copied us (ha!). We are giving our team that whole week off, too. Of course, they have worked every weekend in October (4 consecutive weekends) without complaint – so, they deserve it!!

    • Chris LoCurto

      Heck yeah! Great job Bethany!!

  • Anonymous

    Giving employees time off to be with their families is a fantastic tool for increasing employee satisfaction with their jobs. Working a 40 hour week (or more) job makes taking care of personal business difficult at best. I know that people take off and use sick leave just to see a lawyer, and even to go pay bills. More honesty would be garnered if more time off were allowed for personal matters. Everyone has a water leak now and then. One company that I know of does not separate sick leave and vacation leave, but instead calls the time personal leave time, for whatever purpose you need. I think this should be the norm. Rewarding employees when the company is doing well with paid time off might be better than a bonus check for some. There should be more flexibility in the work place and reward for successs. Positive attitudes would also become the norm!

    • Richard Haralson

      I miss your point. He gives them a surprise week off and you’re saying, “not good enough.” , “could have been thought out better.”

      So, Mr(s) A n o n y m o u s , you sound dis-satisfied at your current 9-5 factory jay-oh-bee. You are at the wheel of your own vehicle. In the words of poem quoted by Earl Nightingale in Lead the Field, “I bargained with life for a penny and life would pay no more.”

      If that didn’t make sense to you let me make a little adjustment.

      You bargained with life for and inconvenient 40-hour work week and life would not be flexible to you.

  • chris


  • Uma Maheswaran S (@mahez007)

    Being a better person first. Being a better human. I believe everyone will welcome this goodwill gesture by the new CEO and take it in the right spirit. I hope Tim will do a great job in the days to come.

    • Chris LoCurto


  • Joel Fortner

    Its of course a good decision. This is another example of how successful companies can bless their team when they don’t do debt and focus on the people.

    • Chris LoCurto

      Sure is.

  • Kent Lapp

    Home run for Mr Cook. This will be one of those decisions he’ll look back on and say: ‘Man, did I come up with that?’ :)

    • Chris LoCurto

      Haha…no doubt.