There won’t only be political heavyweights and victims of gun violence in attendance at tonight’s State of the Union. The CEO of Apple, Tim Cook, will be a guest of first lady Michelle Obama, Apple confirmed to ABC News.
The White House has now released the first lady’s guest list. It includes educators, entrepreneurs, and a member of the Mars Curiosity rover control team. Cook will be in attendance because he leads a company that highlights American innovation; Apple also plans to manufacture some new Mac computers in the United States. Increasing manufacting jobs in the U.S. is one of President Obama’s goals and is likely to be discussed tonight. Last year, Laurene Powell Jobs, widow of Steve Jobs, was in attendance.
At the Goldman Sachs Technology and Internet Conference today, Cook spoke about innovation as well as some of the company’s cash pile. “The only thing we will never do is make a crappy product. We are going to make a great product,” Cook said. “That’s the only religion we have.”
When asked about Apple’s $137 billion cash hoard, Cook said, “We do have some cash, but it’s a privilege to be in this position…where we can seriously consider returning additional cash to our shareholders.”
Cook became the CEO of Apple in August 2011, after working at the company for 14 years and serving as Steve Jobs’ chief deputy.