TIME

When Tim Cook took the helm at Apple in 2011, many saw the Alabama native and former company chief operating officer as a somewhat boring Steve Jobs stand-in. Wall Street worried whether Apple could continue its remarkable growth under a new boss, while Apple fans wondered if they could expect the same astronomical advancements in consumer technology they’d grown to love.

In the intervening three years, Cook has impressed doubters with new products like the Apple Watch and the iPad Air, and wowed shareholders as Apple’s stock price continues to rise (a six-month hiccup in 2012-2013 aside).

We’ve learned things about Cook’s personality and life, too. He’s not the terrifying, volatile firecracker that Jobs was. But the instinctively private Cook has gradually revealed a more personal side as he’s accrued successes. Cook’s most personal revelation came Wednesday, with his formal acknowledgment that he is gay, an oft-rumored fact that…

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