Apple's Tim Cook profiled as "most powerful gay man in Silicon Valley"

Posted:
in General Discussion edited January 2014
Apple's chief executive Steve Jobs has left operations chief Tim Cook in command during extended periods of medical leave three times now, indicating confidence in a man who has been described as Jobs' heir apparent for years.



Valleywag profiled Cook as being "as reticent to acknowledge his sexual orientation as he has his prowess in overseeing the company supply chain," noting that despite being a "famously quiet and collected person," Cook "will find his backstory, both personal and professional, the topic of increasing interest and discussion in the tech community."



The profile notes that "Cook's rise to his position?he is one of the most powerful corporate executives in the world, to say nothing of being the most powerful gay person in tech by a mile?is also a tribute to his skill and work ethic on the one hand, and to the utterly unconventional and unconventionally empowering people skills of Jobs on the other."



Unflappable



The profile detailed Cook's background, in particular describing his recruitment by Jobs from Compaq in 1998, noting that "'unflappable' demeanor may have been what sealed the deal with Jobs. 'Steve is very focused on people he can connect to emotionally' a recruiter present at the meeting later said."



Cook is credited with rapidly fixing Apple's "notorious manufacturing inefficiencies" and solved the inventory problems that dogged the company's ability to supply enough of popular products like the PowerBook while spending too much to warehouse models that weren't.



Cook is also noted as the brain behind identifying flash RAM as a critical component that Apple needed to secure vital access to via a multiyear contract worth more than $1 billion. Cook has since unveiled a new $3.9 billion plan intended to secure priority access to strategic components.



Described as a workaholic who survives on a diet of "an endless series of energy bars," Cook is said to pride himself "on being first into the office and the last one out," and expects a similar level of commitment from others.



Different from Jobs



Unlike Jobs, Cook is not seen to be a product visionary nor a "compelling public speaker," tasks Apple's management team has delegated to design chief Jonathan Ive and marketing chief Phil Schiller, respectively. Like Jobs however, Cook hasn't been shy about thawing sharp critiques at competitors' products, recently describing various vendor's tablet products as being "big, heavy, expensive," "bizarre," or simply "vapor."



Described as both a "fitness nut in the gym by 5 AM," and "relatively withdrawn," Valleywag noted that it has "heard from two well-placed sources" that Cook is gay, and that "it sounds like Cook's sexual orientation has been the topic of at least some discussion within the company."



The profile cited "one tech executive who has spoken to multiple Apple management veterans about Cook" as reporting being "told executives there would support Cook if he publicly acknowledged his orientation, and even would encourage him to do so as he steps up his leadership role, but that they also had concerns about whether his coming out would impact the perception of the Apple brand."



Also noted was Cook's 1996 misdiagnosis with multiple sclerosis, something that caused him to "see the world in a different way," and has prompted him to help raise funds for research of the disease since.



Cook, Jobs & Schiller in 2009 | Source: Getty Images.



All that matters



Apple has been rated among the top "gay-friendly" tech companies among brands, and is widely considered to offer a workplace and culture that is open to people regardless of their background and preferences. Randy Ubillos, one of Apple's most well known engineers as the creator of Final Cut, the man who redesigned iMovie for Mac, and who was introduced last year by Jobs to demonstrate his new iMovie app for iPhone, is openly gay.



Apple has also recognized the achievements of its third party developers who happened to be gay, including Steve Demeter, who left his job at Wells Fargo to work for himself, becoming independently wealthy after creating the early iOS game Trism.



"I'm totally out in my private life," Demeter said in an interview, "but I'm not sure about being out professionally. I'm not worried about a backlash or anything like that, I'm just not sure that my being gay has anything to do with my business [Demiforce, www.demiforce.com ] and the kinds of games we're creating. It's not like we're making 'gay' games.



"I'm proud of the fact that I'm gay and that some of the guys who work with me are gay," he added, "but at the end of the day all that matters is that we put stuff out there that's high-quality and that makes people happy."
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 335
    what?!?!?! ....a....gay...is running apple?



    Uh oh.... it's time for a teabagger boycott! Windowz rulzzzz!!!
  • Reply 2 of 335
    Gay or not, he seems to know how to lead the team troops when Steve is unavailable. I am amazed that gender, race and sexual orientation are even an issue when assessing someone's ability to lead a company. People should be considered on their merits.
  • Reply 3 of 335
    Well..



    Apple is a type of FRUIT.
  • Reply 4 of 335
    Seriously. This is gossip. And AI is reporting on gossip. Especially something as fiercely personal as this. I'd say it was an inappropriate and irresponsible choice to publish this
  • Reply 5 of 335
    Quote:

    "I'm proud of the fact that I'm gay and that some of the guys who work with me are gay," he added, "but at the end of the day all that matters is that we put stuff out there that's high-quality and that makes people happy."



  • Reply 6 of 335
    solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    Please, no jokes about Apple bringing back the original corporate logo when Cook takes over.
  • Reply 7 of 335
    yeh... I guess I'm naive wondering why this is a news story....
  • Reply 8 of 335
    daharderdaharder Posts: 1,580member
    D.E.D., It's obvious that your need for facts is questionable (at best) when it comes to companies other than Apple, but this kind of thing hardly qualifies as remotely gadget news/blog worthy.
  • Reply 9 of 335
    Could this headline be any more offensive? "most powerful gay man" C'mon. Completely irrelevant. First time I have ever said shame on AI for the Fox news journalism. "In other news AI reported to be the most homophobic website on the internet".
  • Reply 10 of 335
    I don't understand what's the problem with being gay! Gays can run a company as well as straights... If Cook is gay then I have no problem with that and wish best of success.
  • Reply 11 of 335
    sflocalsflocal Posts: 4,624member
    Well, it does explain why everyone (excluding Gizmodo) wants to attend an Apple party. \
  • Reply 12 of 335
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by sprockkets View Post






    Who cares if he's Gay!! Can he do the job? Yes. I'm not Gay but I think this whole artical

    is BS. When Steve put him in charge I'm sure he didn't care if he's Gay. He just cared if

    he could do his job.
  • Reply 13 of 335
    john.bjohn.b Posts: 2,720member
    In case you've wondered when you've stepped over the line...



    ... you just have.



    Whether true or not, this was totally uncalled for.



    Grow up guys, they don't even tolerate this shit at flyover country junior high schools anymore.
  • Reply 14 of 335
    archosarchos Posts: 152member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by DaHarder View Post


    D.E.D., It's obvious that your need for facts is questionable (at best) when it comes to companies other than Apple, but this kind of thing hardly qualifies as remotely gadget news/blog worthy.



    DaHarder deh troll, deStupider deh looks



    Maybe you should pay some attention to your own signature
  • Reply 15 of 335
    So what I want to know is, what's his favorite color, and does he roll the toilet paper over or under?
  • Reply 16 of 335
    archosarchos Posts: 152member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by spliff monkey View Post


    Could this headline be any more offensive? "most powerful gay man" C'mon. Completely irrelevant. First time I have ever said shame on AI for the Fox news journalism. "In other news AI reported to be the most homophobic website on the internet".



    So if this was addressing a different minority, and said the "most powerful woman," the "most powerful black man," or any other category of people who are less likely to be promoted in society because of prejudice, would you also be feigning outrage?



    There is nothing offensive about noting that Cook is gay. Being gay is not taboo nor weak. Being homophobic is weak, because it ignores facts to prefer fear. There is nothing demeaning about gays in the article. Quite the opposite, Cook is competent, strong, decisive, has his personal shit together, rather than being a comically effete stereotype preferred in the mainstream media when depicting gays.



    That should attract the anger of the same groups who hate Obama for being a competent, powerful, intellectual, and level headed black man. It absolutely destroys the notion of stereotypes.



    It is offensive that you would try to censor such a message. Do you prefer gays begin depicted as a class of people who have to hide their identity lest anyone finding out they are "defective" or something? THAT'S offensive.
  • Reply 17 of 335
    Who cares if he's gay or not, he has a job to do and is fully capable of it. I've seen several sites that talked about the same article and some of the classless comments towards his rumored orientation really are sad. Let's hope the commentary on here doesn't follow suit.
  • Reply 18 of 335
    At least he's doing something worthwhile instead of fashion or hairdressing or telling women what they should to do to be more attractive.



    Seriously though, there needs to be more info on gay people that do other things besides the above to counter that stereotype! I can't stand watching all that next fashion/model/bimbo-superstar crap on TV with all the flamboyant gay men. Imagine if you're gay and you don't have a great haircut (dyed a flamboyant colour), super-snazzy outfits or a tight body... it can be tough.
  • Reply 19 of 335
    john.bjohn.b Posts: 2,720member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Archos View Post


    So if this was addressing a different minority, and said the "most powerful woman," the "most powerful black man," or any other category of people who are less likely to be promoted in society because of prejudice, would you also be feigning outrage?



    They are "outing" the guy. Not cool. Not even close to cool.
  • Reply 20 of 335
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by nvidia2008 View Post


    At least he's doing something worthwhile instead of fashion or hairdressing or telling women what they should to do to be more attractive.



    The world needs hairdressers... Your comment is full of prejudices!!!!

    Edit: luckily you clarified things a little bit
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