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Following the launch of two new iPhone models and iOS 7 earlier this month, Tim Cook today emailed Apple employees thanking them for working tirelessly on the new products and rewarding them with extra, paid time off for the upcoming Thanksgiving holidays.

I realize many of you worked tirelessly to bring us this far. I know it required great personal sacrifice…In recognition of your incredible efforts and achievements, I’m happy to announce that we’re extending the Thanksgiving holiday this year.

Cook announced that Apple will shut down on November 25, 26, and 27 so employees can have the entire week off for the holiday. Retail and AppleCare employees will continue to work on those days to serve customers, but they’ll get the additional, paid time off at a later date along with international employees.

And I am proud to tell you that Apple is also a force for good in our world beyond our products. Whether it’s improving working conditions or the environment, standing up for human rights, helping eliminate AIDS, or reinventing education, Apple is making a substantial contribution to society.

None of this would have been possible without you. Our most important resource is not our money, our intellectual property, or any capital asset. Our most important resource — our soul — is our people.

In addition to announcing the additional time off, Cook noted that he visited Apple retail stores during the launch of the iPhone, and also thanked employees for the “substantial contributions” Apple has made to charitable causes.

Cook’s full letter to employees is below:

Team-

It’s been an exciting summer. For the first time, we’ve launched two new iPhone product lines. iOS 7 was created from a deep collaboration between our design and engineering teams, bringing to our customers a stunning new user interface and amazing new features. We unveiled OS X Mavericks and the most powerful Mac ever. The App Store celebrated a new milestone — 50 billion downloads. And we continued to express our love for music with iTunes Radio and the iTunes Festival.

I had the opportunity to visit a few of our stores during the iPhone launch. There is no better place to see and feel why Apple is special. The best products on Earth. Energy. Enthusiasm. The best customers in the world. Passionate team members focused on enriching people’s lives. Innovative products that serve humanity’s deepest values and highest aspirations.

And I am proud to tell you that Apple is also a force for good in our world beyond our products. Whether it’s improving working conditions or the environment, standing up for human rights, helping eliminate AIDS, or reinventing education, Apple is making a substantial contribution to society.

None of this would have been possible without you. Our most important resource is not our money, our intellectual property, or any capital asset. Our most important resource — our soul — is our people.

I realize many of you worked tirelessly to bring us this far. I know it required great personal sacrifice.

In recognition of your incredible efforts and achievements, I’m happy to announce that we’re extending the Thanksgiving holiday this year. We will shut down with pay on November 25, 26, and 27 so our teams can have the whole week off. Retail, AppleCare and a few other teams will need to work that week so we can continue to serve our customers, but will receive the same number of days off at an alternate time. Please check with your manager for details. Our international teams will schedule the vacation days at a time that is best suited for their specific country.

I hope you find the extra time restful and relaxing. You deserve it. Details will be available on AppleWeb soon.

I am exceedingly proud of all of you. I am in awe of what you’ve accomplished and couldn’t be more excited about the future. Enjoy the time away!

Best,

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