Tim Cook, the FT claimed, was doing wonders for Apple and making it a less heartless company. Jobs’ Mob is actually starting to do all the things that people said it did.
During a recent shareholders meeting when one audience member tried to push Apple’s chief executive on the profitability of Apple’s various environmental initiatives, such as its solar-powered datacentre, Cook growled.
“We do things for other reasons than a profit motive, we do things because they are right and just,” Mr Cook growled. Whether in human rights, renewable energy or accessibility for people with special needs, “I don’t think about the bloody ROI,” Cook said. “Just to be very straightforward with you, if that’s a hard line for you… then you should get out of the stock.”
Fortunately, for Cook it has not backfired. The share price has increased by around 50 percent since that shareholder meeting, at one point taking its market capitalisation above $700 billion.
Financial success and dazzling new technology alone might have been enough to earn Apple’s steely chief executive the FT’s vote as the 2014 Person of the Year, enthused the FT, but Cook’s “brave exposition of his values” also sets him apart.
“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,” he wrote in Businessweek in October.
In fact, the only criticism that people seem to have of Cook is that he is not Steve Jobs and lacks any sense of showmanship. He is not as closely involved in new product development as his predecessor, which is probably why the new iPhone bends rather easily.