The Coming Out of Apple’s Chief Tim Cook: ‘This Will Resonate’

31 Oct 2014 | Author: | No comments yet »

Apple CEO publicly acknowledges that he’s gay.

Russia has banned up to a million foreigners from entering its territory, the Migration minister announced this September. NEW YORK (AP) — Apple CEO Tim Cook’s declaration that he’s “proud to be gay” wasn’t exactly news in Silicon Valley, where his sexual orientation was no secret.

A Russian lawmaker known for his relentless struggle against gay propaganda has suggested slapping an entry ban on Tim Cook over fears that the businessman would “make homosexuality fashionable” and “impose changes in human relations.” “Tim Cook’s coming out was a political statement.But Cook’s public acknowledgment of his sexuality, published in an essay in Bloomberg Businessweek on Thursday, could empower others, both in the tech industry and in corporate America more broadly, to speak out and push for more inclusive workplaces. “Thank you Tim for showing what it means to be a real, courageous and authentic leader,” Facebook’s co-founder and chief executive, Mark Zuckerberg, wrote on the social network as he shared Cook’s essay with his followers. She said that Cook was particularly deft when he wrote, “I consider being gay among the greatest gifts God has given me.” The wording, she said, directly addresses anyone who might use religion to condemn him. Petersburg city council member Vitaly Milonov told the FlashNord website on Thursday. “Ban him for life.” Milonov went one step further to suggest that Tim Cook’s coming-out article was aimed at increasing iPhone sales.

The headline did not address the news head on — “Tim Cook Speaks Up.” “The back story on it is pretty simple,” Businessweek’s editor, Josh Tyrangiel, said in an interview on Bloomberg TV. “He called and asked” if they could meet in California. Silicon Valley, with its nonstop focus on the future and its location in one of the most socially liberal parts of the country, has long been publicly supportive of gays and lesbians. In a country where more major-league athletes have come out than top CEOs, business leaders said Cook’s disclosure was an important step toward easing anti-gay stigma, particularly for employees in the many states where people can still be fired for their sexual orientation.

The lawmaker added that he suspected Tim Cook will decide to visit Russia one day, not just to tell people about new gadgets but also to promote a new type of family, which, according to Milonov, was extremely undesirable. Reuters John Browne, former CEO of BP, hid his sexuality for years, before he resigned from the post in 2007, due to the fear of the news leaking out.

It did not even come with any grand pretensions to being a catalyst for changing hearts and minds in an acrimonious debate about same-sex marriage or discrimination laws. Major tech companies field large contingents in San Francisco’s annual gay pride parade, with some top industry leaders, including Zuckerberg and Cook, personally leading their companies’ marchers. Cook, who led Out magazine’s top 50 most powerful people for three years, said in the essay that while he never denied his sexuality, he never openly acknowledged it, either. Tyrangiel said that the essay, which appeared on the Businessweek website Thursday morning, was “not precipitated by any event, it’s not a reaction to anything,” but was something “he has been thinking about for a while.” Businessweek and Mr. At the same time, the Russian politician admitted that he himself was using the iPhone 6 and had no plans to stop doing so. “The phone should not be blamed.

But tech companies, particularly startups founded and staffed largely by young white men, have also struggled to deal with a fraternity-like “bro” culture inhospitable to women and gay people of both genders. Selena Gomez had her visa cancelled by Russia after she had been scheduled to perform in St Petersburg because of Russia’s laws against promoting ‘non traditional sexual relationships’.

Among them are Megan Smith, who oversaw Google’s experimental projects and recently joined the White House as chief technology officer of the United States, and Jason Goldberg, the chief executive of Fab.com and Hem.com, two New York e-commerce companies. Cook was on the cover in September for an article about how he was putting his own stamp on Apple three years after its co-founder Steve Jobs’s death; the piece didn’t delve into Mr. Cook’s private life other than to say that he could become “quite emotional about a range of subjects close to his heart, from Auburn University football to social justice.” In addition to the September feature, the magazine ran a cover piece on Mr.

Tim is a big part of both of these important movements.” Fifty-three percent of workers in the U.S. who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender hide that part of their identity at work, according to a study by Human Rights Campaign, the nation’s largest gay-rights group. “I think it depends on where they’re located, and it depends on their position in a company,” said Wendy Patrick, a business ethics lecturer at San Diego State University. She points out that executives in the 29 U.S. states that do not protect employees from being fired based on sexual orientation may still feel hesitant to come out at work. After the bill was introduced in Russia’s second-largest city (and a number of other regions), the federal parliament voted for a similar nationwide ban, causing a wave of protests in Russia and abroad. His other initiatives included the bill outlawing child beauty pageants, forced resettlement of homeless people in rural areas, a campaign against fake accounts in social networks and many others. Cook is a native of Robertsdale, Alabama and attended Auburn University. “It’s an engineering-based industry,” said author Michael Malone, who has written several books about the evolution of Hewlett-Packard, Intel and other leading companies. “Either the person does the job or they don’t.

He wrote a moving op-ed and quietly became as the New Yorker puts it “the most prominent openly gay C.E.O. in history.” It’s only fitting that the most prominent openly gay CEO comes from Silicon Valley, from an industry that is famously more live-and-let-live when it came to personal lives, where companies often have LGBT groups. Soon after, the Culture Minister, Vladimir Medinsky convinced authorities where the band were playing to drop them, and the government cut short their visas. Sorry to tell you if you are a set of underwear made of synthetic fabrics, or a meat, fish or dairy item from the EU, US, Australia, Canada or Norway: you’re not allowed in Russia. And if they do the job, nobody really cares about their personal life.” “The global reaction to this is going to be very interesting,” said Todd Sears, who runs Out Leadership, a group that promotes gay rights. “Will Singapore arrest Tim Cook the next time he is there?” In Russia, Vitaly Milonov, a city legislator in St.

The appeal of Apple’s products and the company’s clout probably made it easier for Cook to take a stand, said Richard Zweigenhaft, a Guilford College psychology professor who co-wrote the book “Diversity in the Power Elite.” Cook’s revelation has the potential to make people worldwide rethink their attitudes toward gays because Apple’s products are beloved around the globe. As he himself wrote “I’ve had the good fortune to work at a company that loves creativity and innovation and knows it can only flourish when you embrace people’s differences. Some Western food products have also been banned in Russia, in a political move against the West—which looks bad for Europe as it is Russia’s second-largest market for food and drink. Associated Press writers Brandon Bailey and Michael Liedtke in San Francisco, Vladimir Isachenkov in Moscow and Michelle Chapman in New York contributed to this report.

It was a generous and courageous thing to do.” It’s also something that was “unthinkable” when Allan Gilmour was chief financial officer and a board member at Ford, Mr. Collins noted how tough he is as an N.B.A. center, pointing out that he “once fouled a player so hard that he had to leave the arena on a stretcher.” For his part, Mr. Cook wrote reassuringly to his audience: “I’ve made Apple my life’s work, and I will continue to spend virtually all of my waking time focused on being the best C.E.O. And to a lesser extent we think about the sexuality of sports figures either because it’s so unexpected (a footballer) or stereotypical (a diver) or so not-news (Martina Navratilova). And all of these people resist those labels because they do not want to become the gay writer, the gay actor, the gay musician or the gay sportsperson.

Gilmour came out to a local newspaper in 1996, returned for a stint as the openly gay vice chairman at Ford, and served as president of Wayne State University and on numerous corporate boards. Cook an email thanking him for his “courage and leadership.” He added: “I found, after I outed myself in a poorly planned interview, that my life had a new, and wonderful, dimension. Cook’s announcement gave him “the same feeling that I had back in 1998, when many were speculating about when the first African-American would be appointed a Fortune-level chief executive and who it would be.” There were two named in 1999 — Franklin D. By 2005, there were seven more African-American chief executives at Fortune 500 companies. “Those first appointments really opened the gates,” Professor Zweigenhaft said. “It was like the car went from zero to 60 in 10 seconds.” But since then, progress has stalled, and there are no more African-American chief executives today than there were in 2005.

In India those fighting against Section 377 often wish that many key figures in Bollywood or the arts, people whose sexuality is an open secret, whose work inches closer and closer to talking about their sexuality, would just come out once and for all. Cook’s “eloquent” statement and stressing “the importance of a workplace that celebrates and embraces people’s differences.” But he acknowledged in an interview: “There are still pockets of resistance.

And now we should just let Tim Cook get back to work because as the CEO of Apple, Cook knows that he will be judged by iPhone and iPad not because he came out as iGay. Cook was “wonderfully candid about why it was difficult for him to come out,” said Kenji Yoshino, a constitutional law professor at New York University and co-author of “Uncovering Talent: a New Model for Inclusion.” “When I give presentations on diversity and inclusion in organizations, I often start by noting that of the Fortune 500 C.E.O.s, 5 percent are women, 1 percent are black and zero percent are openly gay,” Professor Yoshino said. Cook wrote that he was many things besides being gay: “an engineer, an uncle, a nature lover, a fitness nut, a son of the South, a sports fanatic.” Professor Yoshino noted: “When Drew Faust became the first female president of Harvard, she made a similar point. ‘I am not the woman president of Harvard,’ she said. ‘I’m the president of Harvard.’ ” Professor Yoshino added: “We should honor these individuals as the pioneers they are.

So in my next presentation, which I am about to give in an hour, I will happily adjust the gay C.E.O. statistic up to 0.2 percent, but underscore that the movement has occurred today thanks to ‘the nature lover and sports fanatic’ Tim Cook.”

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