Apple’s Tim Cook ‘deeply disappointed’ in Indiana’s anti-gay law

29 Mar 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Apple CEO Tim Cook Plans To Give Away Most Of His Fortune.

SAN FRANCISCO — Apple CEO Tim Cook is joining a long list of magnates promising to give away most of the wealth that they amass during their careers.Apple chief executive Tim Cook has said he is “deeply disappointed” that Indiana has passed a law that could allow businesses to refuse to serve gay people.

The detail is part of a wide-ranging profile in Fortune that looks at how Cook is changing Apple on several fronts, such as sharing credit with the executive team. It’s the latest story to run a status check on Cook’s vision for the world’s most valuable company; a profile in The Wall Street Journal last year recounted how Cook’s changes at the company are bigger than just numbers.

According to Fortune, Cook also holds “restricted stock worth $665 million if it were to be fully vested.” Cook said that he’s already begun diverting some of his funds to charity, but adds that he has plans to develop “a systematic approach to philanthropy.” Cook is the latest in a line of wealthy individuals to publicly announce their intention to divest themselves of their fortunes: The Simpsons co-creator Sam Simon gave away millions from his net worth before his death this month. Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates, Berkshire Hathaway CEO Warren Buffett, and Oracle Chairman Larry Ellison are among more than 120 wealthy people and families who have announced they will give away their fortunes. On Thursday, Indiana Governor Mike Pence signed into law a controversial religious freedom bill that critics claim is discriminatory and broader than similar laws in other states. Cook told Fortune magazine he has been donating money quietly for a while, but he now plans to go beyond simply writing cheques and adopt a more systematic approach.

In making the promise, Cook becomes the latest executive to take up the Giving Pledge, an effort created by Microsoft founder Bill Gates and Berkshire Hathaway . Gates, Buffett, and Ellison each have a net worth of at least $54 billion and rank among the five richest people in the world, according to Forbes magazine.

Fortune doesn’t say for what causes exactly, but it mentions that human rights, immigration reform, and stopping HIV transmission have been among the issues that Cook has spoken out on. Buffet started the ‘Giving Pledge’ some years ago in order to commit the rich to philanthropy — many have signed up, including Indian-Americans Vinod Khosla and Romesh Wadhwani.

In Walter Isaacson’s 2011 Steve Jobs biography, Jobs is described as “not particularly philanthropic.” It’s unclear if Jobs was frustrated by how charitable organizations are run or if he simply didn’t want to part with his fortune. Increasingly, he’s used his position at Apple as a platform to advocate for issues important to him. “You want to be the pebble in the pond that creates the ripple for change,” he tells Fortune. Despite attempts to play down the bill, cloud computing company Salesforce, based in San Francisco, said it will cancel programmes that require travel to Indiana, while the city’s Mayor banned public workers from traveling to Indiana at government expense unless essential for public health and safety. “Being gay has given me a deeper understanding of what it means to be in the minority and provided a window into the challenges that people in other minority groups deal with every day. From Fortune: Representing their companies publicly is obligatory for CEOs, but Cook takes public stands on issues including stopping the transmission of AIDS, human rights, and immigration reform.

He briefly set up a foundation, but he discovered that it was annoying to have to deal with the person he had hired to run it, who kept talking about “venture” philanthropy and how to “leverage” giving. Isaacson also resurfaced Jobs’ particularly harsh comment about Bill Gates’ philanthropic efforts, showing that Jobs viewed charity as a sign of competitive weakness. It’s also given me the skin of a rhinoceros, which comes in handy when you’re the CEO of Apple.” He made the decision to come out “quite some time ago”, and did so because of concerns for kids who were bullied at school, some to the point of suicide, and many states allow emploers to sack staff because of their sexual orientation. From the biography: Even the new and largely positive depiction of the late Apple CEO Becoming Steve Jobs echoes that sentiment. “He had a vague desire to support good causes, but hated the inefficiencies of most charities,” wrote co-authors Brent Schlender and Rick Tetzeil.

That hasn’t been an issue during the past year, with Apple’s stock surging by about 60 percent to lift the company’s market value above $700 billion. The openly gay CEO of one of the world’s biggest companies, who has frequently spoken out for gay rights, seems more comfortable blending philanthropy with business strategy. While fiercely guarding Apple’s corporate culture left behind by Jobs, Cook has been quietly putting his own stamp on it, opening it up to the outside world, for one. He has used the global platform provided by his position as CEO of the world’s most-valued company to champion human rights, AIDS, immigration reforms and also LGBT rights. Just months after Jobs’ death, Cook took the stage at All Thing D’s D Conference to explain how he planned on honoring Jobs’ memory and core values — without trying to be him. “Steve was a genius and visionary,” Cook said at the time. “I never viewed my role was to replace him.

More from WSJ.D: And make sure to visit WSJ.D for all of our news, personal tech coverage, analysis and more, and add our XML feed to your favorite reader. I never felt the weight of being Steve.” In 2006, Apple started selling special Product RED iPod Nanos to benefit The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria. It would be hard to imagine that Jobs didn’t approve this collaboration; he famously micro-managed every detail of Apple’s product creation process and marketing. Like Jobs, he thinks deeply about the future of Apple products, but his interest in social causes and justice clarifies Cook’s deep interest in the future of our planet.

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