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Thursday, October 13, 2011, 02:17 pm PT (05:17 pm ET)

Apple thanks employees with extended paid Thanksgiving holiday

Apple's chief executive Tim Cook has announced an extended, full week of paid Thanksgiving time off for its corporate employees, a benefit that will extended to retail and international employees on alternative dates.

Cook's note to employees, published by French blog Mac Generation, notes that the company will shut down its corporate operations for three additional days to grant employees a full week with their families during the American Thanksgiving holiday.

The extended holiday is described as a "recognition of the hard work you've put in this year," particularly noting the release of iPad 2, Mac OS X Lion, iPhone 4S and the ten year anniversary of the iPod, which Cook noted was "still the world's most popular music player."

Re: Thanksgiving break

Team,

I consider it an honor to come to work every day alongside the most innovative and most dedicated people on earth. This is an extraordinary time to be at Apple, and it's all made possible by your incredible efforts.

We've had a record-setting year so far and we're heading into the holidays with the strongest product lineup in our history. Customers are absolutely in love with the iPad 2, and the amazing new iPhone 4S is off to the best start of any iPhone we've ever made. The Mac is soaring to new heights with OS X Lion, and on the eve of its 10th birthday, the iPod is still the world's most popular music player.

In recognition of the hard work you've put in this year, we're going to take some extra time off for Thanksgiving. We will shut down with pay on November 21, 22 and 23 so our teams can spend the entire week with their families and friends.

Of course, Retail and some other groups will need to work that week so we can continue to serve our customers. If you're in one of these groups, please check with your manager about taking time off at a later date. Our international teams will schedule their three-day shutdowns this quarter at a time that's best for them. Details will be available on AppleWeb.

I hope everyone enjoys this much deserved break.

Tim