When Apple’s CEO Tim Cook publicly announced that he was “proud to be gay,” the declaration was heard around the world. Tim Cook isn’t just some famous guy coming out of the closet, but he is the chief executive of a Fortune 500 company, possibly the No. 1 Fortune 500 company in the world.
Apple has ranked as the No. 1 most admired company in world by Fortune Magazine. By Tim Cook publicly acknowledging what many people have known for years, he metaphorically laid down “a brick on the path of justice.” The chief executive of C1 Financial in Florida, Trevor Burgess, was quoted in The New York Times as saying that Tim Cook “has the most influential voice in global business” and Cook laid “more like 600 million bricks” on that path.
Cook has survived scrutiny before after taking over the top spot at Apple for Steve Jobs in 2011. Cook also may be fortunate in that he was able to make his declaration after Apple had experienced an extremely successful fiscal year and its best product introduction in the company’s history with the announcement of the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus.
While Tim Cook isn’t the only openly gay leader of a major company, his announcement made news around the world. As reported by the Inquisitr, after Cook came out, the politician behind Russia’s anti-gay laws, Vitaly Milonov, declared that the only thing Cook could bring Russia was “… the Ebola virus, AIDS, gonorrhea…” and suggested that Cook be “banned for life” from Russia.
In a piece he wrote for Bloomberg Businessweek, Cook admitted one of the reasons he came out was to help others struggling with their sexuality.
“I don’t consider myself an activist, but I realize how much I’ve benefited from the sacrifice of others. So if hearing that the CEO of Apple is gay can help someone struggling to come to terms with who he or she is, or bring comfort to anyone who feels alone, or inspire people to insist on their equality, then it’s worth the trade-off with my own privacy.”
Cook’s announcement may not have an impact on Apple’s sales in the U.S. but it could in other countries because 60% of their sales are international. Apple is the largest company on the planet and there are more than 75 countries where being gay is illegal, including a third where it is a crime punishable by death. It will be interesting to see if Cook’s coming out will cause anyone to give up their iPhones or iPods in those countries.
Do you think Tim Cook’s coming out will have any affect on Apple’s sales? Give us your opinion in our comments section.
[Image from securityaffairs.co]