Bono on Jobs: He’s Generous, but Private

The New York Times recently called out former Apple CEO Steve Jobs for what was possibly a lack of philanthropy. U2 leader Bono, however, disagreed and let the paper know what he thought of its assessment.

Bono from U2Bono says Steve Jobs is generous, but private
Image courtesy Steve Kalinsky

In his letter to the NYT, Bono stated:

As a founder of (Product)RED, I’d like to point out that Apple’s contribution to our fight against AIDS in Africa has been invaluable. Through the sale of (RED) products, Apple has been (RED)’s largest contributor to the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria — giving tens of millions of dollars that have transformed the lives of more than two million Africans through H.I.V. testing, treatment and counseling. This is serious and significant. And Apple’s involvement has encouraged other companies to step up.

The NYT noted that Mr. Jobs isn’t a member of Giving Pledge, a charity started by Bill Gates and Warren Buffett, and that there aren’t any public records of charitable donations in his name. The article also notes that Mr. Jobs may well be making anonymous donations, and mentioned that a recent US$150 million donation to the cancer center at the University of California might have come from Apple’s former leader.

“I’m proud to know him; he’s a poetic fellow, an artist and a businessman. Just because he’s been extremely busy, that doesn’t mean that he and his wife, Laurene, have not been thinking about these things,” Bono added. “You don’t have to be a friend of his to know what a private person he is or that he doesn’t do things by halves.”