It marks the second year in a row the invitation has been extended to the Apple family. Last year, Laurene Powell Jobs, widow of Apple co-founder Steve Jobs, joined Michelle Obama in the coveted spot.
"Apple is a great American company, and it stands for our sense of innovation, invention, entrepreneurship, and risk taking and I think that's quite an appropriate person to be in the First Lady's box when the president is talking about our economic future, the importance of job creation, manufacturing, innovation and how we create strong middle-class jobs," Sperling said.
Cook made a big splash late last year when he revealed that Apple would bring some manufacturing operations back to the United States this year.
The news solved a minor riddle about a change in a planned appearance by Cook on Tuesday that triggered speculation among investors that the company might be planning a big announcement. Cook had been scheduled to be the lunchtime keynote speaker at a Goldman Sachs technology conference on Tuesday.
Early Monday, Goldman Sachs released a revised schedule indicating Cook's appearance had been moved up to 7:15 a.m. Investors and analysts wondered whether the reason was related to a legal dust-up with a rebellious shareholder last week, or would maybe lead to an announcement that Apple intended to raise its share buyback or dividend programs.
Apple's stock closed Monday at $479.93, up $4.95 or 1.04%.
Turns out, the change was likely made to accommodate Cook's travel schedule. With the State of the Union scheduled for 6 p.m. Pacific time, Cook will be cutting it close to wrap up his talk in San Francisco at 8 a.m., get to the airport and fly across the country.
Lest rival Google feel like it's getting the cold shoulder, the administration has scheduled a Google Hangout on Thursday to take questions.
No word on whether the president planned to wear Google Glass during the State of Union.
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