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Who REALLY Owns Apple?

Privacy is a virtue at Apple but their public filings allow us to take a closer look at who really owns the company. We will take a look at their individuals and companies that have large stakes in the company.

Apple

Apple designs, manufactures, and sells consumer technology products and services. This includes Mac personal computers, smartphones, tablet computers, wearables, and much more. Apple is well known for many of these, including its iPhone line of smartphones, iPad lineup of tablet computers, and its Mac branded personal computers and laptops. Additionally, Apple operates a strong digital content, iCloud service, and numerous other service-based operations. All of this makes it one of the largest and most recognized global brands.

Who Owns Apple?

Apple is a publicly traded company owned by its shareholders. As of 2021, the top shareholders of Apple include Arthur Levinson, Time Cook, Jeff Williams, BlackRock Inc, Vanguard Group Inc., and Berkshire Hathaway Inc. Take a look at the company’s top individual shareholders.

Arthur Levinson

Arthur Levinson owns over 4.5 million shares of Apple stock (as of December 2020). He has been the Chairman of the Board for Apple since 2011. He has also served as the co-lead director since 2005. He has a long history of working with Apple, having begun doing so in 2000.

His experience managing companies is long as he has built his career around technology investments and organizations. This includes working as the chair of Genetech Inc, which is a biotech company. He is also the founder of Calico and currently maintains his position as CEO of this organization.

Throughout his history at Apple, he has served on all three board committees of the company. That includes the audit and finance committee, the nominating and corporate governance committee, and the compensation committee.

Tim Cook

Perhaps one of the most notable and recognized names behind Apple, Tim Cook, has been with Apple since 1998 (the company was founded in April of 1976). As of 2021, Time Cook owns 837,000 shares of Apple stock. This is about 0.02 percent of the company.

Tim Cook is well recognized for his role in succeeding Steve Jobs, who was the founder and longtime CEO of Apple. After Jobs’ death, Cook was named to Chief Operating Office for Apple. This allowed him to be responsible for Apple in all ways, including worldwide sales of the company’s products as well as operations for the company.

Cook’s history with Apple is significant. He was the head of the Apple Macintosh division. He worked to help the company to establish key vendor relationships as well as build a network of suppliers around the globe to help the company to maintain its ongoing innovation and growth.

Tim Cooke was previously employed at Compaq, serving as the company’s Vice President for Corporate Materials. He also worked for IBM as the Director of North American Fulfillment.

Jeff Williams

The third largest individual stakeholder in Apple is Jeff Williams. He is currently the Chief Operating Officer for Apple. As of 2021, he owed over 489,000 shares in the company’s stock.

Jeff Williams currently oversees many of the company's operations, including service as the global operations lead. He is also the person who oversees the company's Apple Watch and the company's health initiatives.

He began his career with Apple in 1998, the same year as Tim Cook. During his time since joining the company, he has worked in various positions, including Senior Vice President of the company, Operations, and the Head of the Worldwide Procurement division.

His history is also long. He held several roles for IBM from 1985 through 1998 before he made the move to work with Apple.

Apple’s Largest Shareholder Institutions

As such a large organization, Apple has a number of institutional shareholders, meaning that these are people who own shares of the company in a more collective manner. The top three institutional shareholders at Apple own over 20 percent of the company's current outstanding common stock (as of December of 2020). They are the following.

Vanguard Group Inc.

As of the end of 2020, Vanguard Group Inc. is the largest shareholder of Apple (in all institutional investors and private individual investors). It owns over 1.3 billion shares of the company's stock. In total, the company's investments make up 7.83% of the company's total outstanding shares.

The organization is a mutual fund and ETF management company. In total, Vanguard Group Inc has more than $6.2 trillion worth of assets under its global management, making it one of the largest such organizations in the world. It is also one of the largest exchange traded funds in the world. Apple is Vanguard’s number one holding. Apple makes up 6.7% of the company’s portfolio.

BlackRock Inc.

BlackRock Inc is the second largest institutional owner of Apple stock. It owns about 1.11 billion shares of the company. In total, this is about 6.6% of the total outstanding shares for Apple.

BlackRock Inc is a mutual fund and ETF management company. The company has about $8.67 trillion in assets under management on a global scale as of December of 2020.

As of Feb 2021, iShares Core S&P 550 ETF is the largest ETF offered by BlackRock. This is made up of over $251 billion in net assets.

Berkshire Hathaway Inc.

Berkshire Hathaway Inc is a large institutional owner of Apple shares as well. The company is a long-term investor in Apple. As of May of 2022, it owns over 911 million Apple shares. This is about 5.96% of all outstanding shares of Apple.

Berkshire Hathaway is a private investment and diversified holding company. It is led by Warrant Buffett, one of the most recognized names in investments on a global scale and one of the wealthiest men in the world.

The company mainly operates as a diversified holding company with investments in a wide range of industries, including gas and electric utilities, insurance products, railroads, and technology.

About Apple’s History

Apple began on April 1, 1976. It was founded by Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, and Ronald Wayne. The company’s goal was to further develop and then sell Wozniak’s Apple I personal computer. The company did just that. In 1977, it was incorporated by Jobs and Wozniak as Apple Computer, Inc. The company did well with the Apple II computer, which was released right away. The hit helped Apple grow its wealth quickly. In 1980, Apple went public. This led to the company’s very fast growth and financial success.

Wayne sold his shares back to Jobs and Wozniak before the company was incorporated in 1977 for just $800. The company, which began with just a few hundred dollars at the time, was still financially struggling prior to its product development. Mike Markkula, a multimillion dollar business professional, proved vital to the company. He provided business expertise as well as $250,000 (which is over $1 million in today’s dollars) to help support the company’s early growth.

It paid off for many reasons. During Apple’s first five years, it saw incredible growth. Revenue doubled about every four months. From September 1977 (just 9 months after incorporating) until September 1980, the company grew sales from $775,000 to $118 million. This is an annual growth rate of 533%.

The company's success continued with the release of the Apple II, also created by Wozniak. He was able to introduce the new personal computer at the West Coast Computer Faire in April of 1977. It was a shockingly different type of computer than its competitors at the time.

In December of 1980, Apple went public. It sold 4.6 million shares at $22 per share. This move led to the company raising over $100 million. When it reached this mark, it was the largest capital raise by any IPO since 1956, when Ford Motor Company did so. By the end of that initial day, 300 millionaires were created. It all stemmed from a $29 stock price per share and a market cap that reached $1.778 billion.

A Look at Apple’s Leadership as of June of 2020

The following are the company's executives:

  • Time Cook: CEO
  • Katherine Adams: Senior Vice President and General Counsel
  • Eddy Cue: Senior Vice President of Services
  • Craig Federighi: Senior Vice President Software Engineering
  • John Giannandrea: Senior Vice President Machine Learning and AI Strategy
  • Greg “Joz” Joswiak: Senior Vice President Worldwide Marketing
  • Sabih Khan: Senior Vice President of Operations
  • Luca Maestri: Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer
  • Deidre O’Brien: Senior Vice President of Retail and People
  • Johny Srouji: Senior Vice President of Hardware Technology
  • John Ternus: Senior Vice President of Hardware Engineering
  • Jeff Williams: Chief Operating Officer

Apple’s Institutional Holdings

It is possible to take a closer look at some of the numbers for Apple’s Ownership.

Ownership Summary

As of June of 2022:

  • 58.65% of Apple is owned by institutions
  • Total Outstanding Shares (millions): 16,185
  • Total Value of Holdings (millions): $1,304,678
  • 4,471 institutional holders
  • $9.4 trillion in total shares held by institutional holders

Other Institutional Holders for Apple

The following are a few more of the institutional owners of Apple shares.

State Street Corp

State Street Corp has over 610 million shares of Apple Stock. The company is a U.S. based financial services and bank holding company. It is located in Boston but operates around the world. The company is noted as one of the oldest continually operating companies in the United States (as a bank). The company’s predecessor was founded in 1792. The company has over $4.14 billion in assets under management and $12.03 billion worth of revenue (in 2021). Apple is State Street Corp’s largest holding.

FRM LLC

FRM LLC holds over 351 million shares of Apple. Also known as Fidelity Investments, this company is an American multinational financial service company. It is based in Boston, MA. The company was founded in 1946. It offers annuities, mutual funds, IRAs, and numerous other financial services throughout the United States. The company has $4.5 trillion in assets under management and has $24 billion worth of revenue (2021).

Geode Capital Management LLC

This organization owns 272 million shares of Apple. The company is a U.S. based Investment Management firm located in Boston, MA. The company has over $1.009 trillion in assets under management. Founded in 2001, this investment firm focuses on index funds and quantitative funds.

Apple Products and Sales

Apple is a consumer technology company at its heart, though it has a wide range of other products available under its flagship name. The company is noted for the iPhone, its flagship smartphone, and other products.

It is one of the largest companies in the world. The iPhone is its main product. In 2021, the iPhone had a revenue of $191 billion. That is a 39% increase from 2020. The company sold over 250,000 phones (it does not provide specific sales figures any longer).

In 2021, the company’s service division reported 68% billion in revenue. That is six times its revenue of $11 billion in just 2016. The service division of the company has become one of the fastest growing sectors for Apple.

In addition to this, Apple’s iPad, a tablet computer, continues to be an important investment sector for the company. The company saw about $32 billion in revenue from the iPad alone. This is about 34% higher than the same timeframe in 2020. Mac computers also saw about $35 billion in sales. Other products, including the company's wearables, home products, and accessories, also contributed to the company's growth in 2021.

Apple’s ownership is complex, and it is ever changing. Not only does the company have millions of shares of stock in play at any given time, but it is also one of the most sought-after companies when it comes to buying stocks. That comes, in part, from the company’s steady and consistent growth year after year and its ability to continue to innovate and develop new products and ideas for today's consumers.

There is no doubt Apple’s ownership will change as more people become interested in what it offers or when the company launches its next product. As a public company, it is possible to follow Apple’s ownership closely and watch the organization’s leadership change over time.

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