Apple beat Amazon and Google in the race to become the first trillion-dollar company in the U.S.
on Thursday afternoon, when its stock hit $207.0425 a share. (It closed slightly higher.) It’s another milestone for what might be the most important company of the century thus far—one that’s even more impressive given that, 20 years ago, the company was being written off by nearly everyone and was on the verge of bankruptcy. But Apple survived both near-bankruptcy and the 2011 death of the company’s visionary founder, Steve Jobs. BusinessWeek marked the achievement with a bit of self-deprecation, tweeting its 1997 cover on “The Fall of An American Icon.”
The record-breaking performance apparently prompted a memo from Apple CEO Tim Cook, which Buzzfeed News was able to get its hands on just hours after he sent it out to his employees. Cook is celebratory in his reaction to the news, but reminds his team that a share price is “not the most important measure of our success.”
In a memo to Apple’s more than 120,000 employees, Cook called the valuation a “significant milestone” that gave the company “much to be proud of.” But he said it should not be the Cupertino, California, company’s focus.
Here’s the full memo:
Today Apple passed a significant milestone. At our closing share price of $207.39, the stock market now values Apple at more than $1 trillion. While we have much to be proud of in this achievement, it’s not the most important measure of our success. Financial returns are simply the result of Apple’s innovation, putting our products and customers first, and always staying true to our values.
It’s you, our team, that makes Apple great and our success is due to your hard work, dedication and passion. I am deeply humbled by what you do, and it’s the privilege of a lifetime to work alongside you. I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart for all the late hours and extra trips, all the times you refuse to settle for anything less than excellence in our work together.
Let’s take this moment to thank our customers, our suppliers and business partners, the Apple developer community, our coworkers and all those who came before us at this remarkable company.
Steve founded Apple on the belief that the power of human creativity can solve even the biggest challenges — and that the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world are the ones who do. In today’s world, our mission is more important than ever. Our products not only create moments of surprise and delight, they empower people all around the globe to enrich their lives and the lives of others.
Just as Steve always did in moments like this, we should all look forward to Apple’s bright future and the great work we’ll do together.