Cook talks Apple's social activism in interview promoting World AIDS Day plans

Posted:
in General Discussion edited November 2016
In an interview published on Wednesday, Apple CEO Tim Cook touted the company's World AIDS Day charity initiatives, while insisting that he and the company are acting beyond selfish interests.




"Of course corporations should have values, because people should have values," the executive told USA Today. "And corporations are just a bunch of people."

Cook noted that Apple throws its weight behind many civil rights issues, and he thinks it's "key that people think about what they stand for and help their communities." The company wants to "leave the world better than we found it," he continued.

The executive deflected charges of hypocrisy, given that Apple's social and charity stances can serve as a form of marketing, and the company continues to do business in countries where homosexuality is illegal -- despite Cook himself being gay and the company taking an active, sometimes political role in U.S. LGBT issues. For World AIDS Day, the company is mostly just donating proceeds from some media and accessory sales, along with a small portion of Apple Pay transaction fees.

"We'll always help the most people through our products, because they empower people to do great things themselves," Cook claimed. "But this (RED) partnership allows us to touch a group of people we normally wouldn't. Sub-Saharan Africa is not a big marketplace for us. This is about trying to lift people up."

Asked whether Apple plans to take on new social matters in 2017, the CEO said his company will stay the course.

"We haven't shied away from being visible on a number of topics, and if it's something in our wheelhouse, we'll always be visible and stand up to protect as well as advance people's rights," he commented. "Every generation has a responsibility of expanding the definition of those rights, to move forward. So we'll very much continue to do that."
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 67
    "Of course corporations should have values, because people should have values," the executive told USA Today. "And corporations are just a bunch of people."

    That sound you just heard was the heads of millions of progressives (including AI's very own DED) exploding.

    I love it. 
    edited November 2016 boltsfan17SpamSandwichtallest skil
  • Reply 2 of 67
    Sog35 is gonna have a field day with this. 

    Joking aside, I can agree with both his usual views on this, and Cook's view above as well. It's good to make sure a company has moral values at heart. It does boost morale and increases passion for the corporation itself. 

    BUT

    If it becomes something that gets in the way of the corps main goals, or creates a divisive environment (ie Cooks email to the company about Trump winning), that's when it becomes a problem and needs to be taken down a notch or 5. 
    edited November 2016 entropysmonstrosity
  • Reply 3 of 67
    macxpressmacxpress Posts: 4,641member
    Waits for the who cares comment...I just want new iMacs and Mac Pros. 
    dasanman69dysamorialolliver
  • Reply 4 of 67
    sog35 said:
    Cook needs to GTFO Apple and become a CEO of a charity organization.

    Cook's stance on various social and political issues has alienated hundreds of millions of customers and potential customers.

    Why can't Cook just STFU and give us great products and services?


    I think Apple's revenues and product sales numbers say otherwise 
    dysamoriarobin hubertaniwhalolliverjony0
  • Reply 5 of 67
    dysamoriadysamoria Posts: 1,860member
    "Of course corporations should have values, because people should have values," the executive told USA Today. "And corporations are just a bunch of people."

    That sound you just heard was the heads of millions of progressives (including AI's very own DED) exploding.

    I love it. 
    What are you talking about? I'm a progressive. I recently made the same exact argument as Cook when explaining to Sog why social issues are an unavoidable feature of business.
    Roger_Fingaslolliver
  • Reply 6 of 67
    Rayz2016Rayz2016 Posts: 4,468member
    sog35 said:
    sog35 said:
    Cook needs to GTFO Apple and become a CEO of a charity organization.

    Cook's stance on various social and political issues has alienated hundreds of millions of customers and potential customers.

    Why can't Cook just STFU and give us great products and services?


    I think Apple's revenues and product sales numbers say otherwise 
    iPhone sales - DOWN
    iPad sales - DOWN
    Mac sales - DOWN
    Total sales - DOWN
    Total profits - DOWN
    China sales - DOWN

    you were saying?
    And what evidence do you have that this has anything to do with Cook's politics?
    macxpresslolliverjony0
  • Reply 7 of 67
    I was okay with them doing this stuff when Apple was on its A game.   When I hear that they don't have time for monitors, desktops, routers, etc....then they shouldn't be talking about anything other than the company.

    As a shareholder, What Tim does on his spare time is his business.  He's a good man and I have a lot of respect for him personally, however, Apple's product lineup is appalling at this time so until things are back in order, we should not be hearing about books, Christmas trees, Political views, Human Rights.  

    Don't get me wrong.  These things are important, even more important than Apple itself but Tim and company are hired to run a corporation.  Like Bill Gates, If Tim feels this is what he wants to do with him time, then he should pass the company torch to someone else.
    indiekidukanantksundaram
  • Reply 8 of 67
    dysamoriadysamoria Posts: 1,860member
    sog35 said:
    Cook needs to GTFO Apple and become a CEO of a charity organization.

    Cook's stance on various social and political issues has alienated hundreds of millions of customers and potential customers.

    Why can't Cook just STFU and give us great products and services?


    Oh look, you've learned nothing. What a surprise.

    Maybe you could provide some actual evidence for your arbitrary "hundreds of millions of alienated potential customers"? What's that? No you can't? What another surprise. You claim not to be a bigot, so why are you so bothered by alienating bigots and Trump supporters? If you're going to say something like "social politics has no place in business", then just save us all the trouble and don't post a response because you're clearly not getting the fundamentals of society/human civilization.

    Alienating bigots is exactly the right way to deal with them. Bigots should be peer-pressured out of all places of influence in society. This is the last area of Apple's business activities that I have no complaints against.
    singularityrobin hubermuppetrylolliverjony0
  • Reply 9 of 67
    I would just as soon that corporations did not get involved with social policies, on either the Left or the Right. Social policymaking should be left to governments, NGOs, and private citizens. 

    I think everyone should keep, and be allowed to keep, their 9-to-5 life separate from their 5-to-9 life. I realize, however, that is wishful thinking.
    buzdots
  • Reply 10 of 67
    volcanvolcan Posts: 1,737member
    sog35 said
    iPhone sales - DOWN
    iPad sales - DOWN
    Mac sales - DOWN
    Total sales - DOWN
    Total profits - DOWN
    China sales - DOWN

    you were saying?
    All finance has ups and downs, ebbs and flows. The dollar is up, the dollar is down, oil is up, oil is down, the Yen is up the Yen is down, stocks are up, stocks are down.

    In the long term, which we all know you have no patience for, Cook has done very well since Steve's passing. The stock is up, the dividends are up, brand recognition is up, customer satisfaction is up, services are up, and overall, revenue, profits, cash and capitalization are all up during Cook's tenure.
    edited November 2016 singularitymacxpresslolliver
  • Reply 11 of 67


    "....And corporations are just a bunch of people."

    Not true, Mr. Cook. Yes, corporations are populated by a bunch of people, but corporations are not "just a bunch of people." Rather, corporations most fundamentally a nexus of contracts.

    In fact, the nexus-of-contracts conception is the basis for the most widely prevalent view of the corporation under US law and governance. 
    entropys
  • Reply 12 of 67
    dysamoria said:
    "Of course corporations should have values, because people should have values," the executive told USA Today. "And corporations are just a bunch of people."

    That sound you just heard was the heads of millions of progressives (including AI's very own DED) exploding.

    I love it. 
    What are you talking about? I'm a progressive. I recently made the same exact argument as Cook when explaining to Sog why social issues are an unavoidable feature of business.
    Two words: Citizens United. 
    tallest skil
  • Reply 13 of 67
    dysamoria said:
    sog35 said:
    Cook needs to GTFO Apple and become a CEO of a charity organization.

    Cook's stance on various social and political issues has alienated hundreds of millions of customers and potential customers.

    Why can't Cook just STFU and give us great products and services?


    Oh look, you've learned nothing. What a surprise.

    Maybe you could provide some actual evidence for your arbitrary "hundreds of millions of alienated potential customers"? What's that? No you can't? What another surprise. You claim not to be a bigot, so why are you so bothered by alienating bigots and Trump supporters? If you're going to say something like "social politics has no place in business", then just save us all the trouble and don't post a response because you're clearly not getting the fundamentals of society/human civilization.

    Alienating bigots is exactly the right way to deal with them. Bigots should be peer-pressured out of all places of influence in society. This is the last area of Apple's business activities that I have no complaints against.
    Dude. stop taking stuff personally.  This is a business.

    Yes, anytime you take any political stance, you make a percentage of people unhappy.  Make multiple statements and the number of unhappy people increases exponentially. Business 101:  CEO's should be low key and stay out of taking any positions of any kind.   Lately, Tim is doing the complete opposite.  Whether you agree or disagree with all his positions, you can not dispute that he's alienating large amounts of customers.   As a shareholder, I want a CEO that runs the company and STFU so he gives no reason to lose customers.   Tim had his time, but he feels he is beyond Apple now and wants to change the world.  Thats great for Tim and the world but I believe its time for him to step down from Apple.
    anantksundaramentropystwa440
  • Reply 14 of 67
    "Of course corporations should have values, because people should have values," the executive told USA Today. "And corporations are just a bunch of people."

    That sound you just heard was the heads of millions of progressives (including AI's very own DED) exploding.

    I love it. 
    Yes, and your head should be exploding because the same conservatives who support corporations as having the same rights as individuals when it comes to political contributions slam Cook for making Apple a good corporate "citizen" by supporting social causes. Can't have it both ways. 
    singularityai46lolliver
  • Reply 15 of 67

    sog35 said:
    sog35 said:
    Cook needs to GTFO Apple and become a CEO of a charity organization.

    Cook's stance on various social and political issues has alienated hundreds of millions of customers and potential customers.

    Why can't Cook just STFU and give us great products and services?


    I think Apple's revenues and product sales numbers say otherwise 
    iPhone sales - DOWN
    iPad sales - DOWN
    Mac sales - DOWN
    Total sales - DOWN
    Total profits - DOWN
    China sales - DOWN

    you were saying?
    And the crowing rooster obviously causes the sun to rise. 
    ai46taniwha
  • Reply 16 of 67
    Lots of profitable corporations go out of their way to do things that are socially responsible. They even tout it because they know that most of their customer demographic applaud it and reward them by choosing their products over their don't-give-a-shit-about-the-environment competitors. It costs more to be be green but it pays off. Think Nike, Subaru, etc. Many (not all) of those who decry Cook's bringing his social activism to the company have issues with gays that their profits criticism is a "beard" for. 
    ai46
  • Reply 17 of 67
    sog35 said:
    volcan said:
    sog35 said
    iPhone sales - DOWN
    iPad sales - DOWN
    Mac sales - DOWN
    Total sales - DOWN
    Total profits - DOWN
    China sales - DOWN

    you were saying?
    All finance has ups and downs, ebbs and flows. The dollar is up, the dollar is down, oil is up, oil is down, the Yen is up the Yen is down, stocks are up, stocks are down.

    In the long term, which we all know you have no patience for, Cook has done very well since Steve's passing. The stock is up, the dividends are up, brand recognition is up, customer satisfaction is up, services are up, and overall, revenue, profits, cash and capitalization are all up during Cook's tenure.
    WRONG.

    This is the first year in over a decade that Apple's revenues are down. 
    This is the first year in the history of the iPhone that iPhone sales are down.

    This isn't normal ebbs and flows.

    This is a decay of Apple because of a CEO who focuses more on social issues then delivering the best products.

    Why are air pods delayed?
    Where is the new Mac mini?
    New Mac Pro?
    New iPads?
    Where is a new design for iPhone?
    Live TV service?

    It really is pathetic how crappy Tim Cook's apple is
    Are you familiar with what "ebb & flow" is?

    If there WERE NOT occasional down periods, that would not be an "ebbing & flowing". that would be a bubble. Nothing can go straight up forever without corrections here and there.

    You may be right that Tim Cook is the wrong guy for the job.

    But you are most certainly wrong to insist that one year of down sales and revenues means the sky is falling.

    And to your points about delayed/missing products or services, might I point out that during Apple's heyday, with Steve at the helm, Apple:
    • Slowly killed off servers.
    • Created a novel "Pro" machine design (Cube) and let it wither on the vine.
    • Jettisoned its printer business.
    • Allowed the iPod to begin its slow fade-out that continues to this day
    • Killed Apple's premier mobile devices (Newton & eMate)
    All these "deliveries" that went missing or were reduced were done under a regime that did not emphasize activism. Activism isn't the reason some products are delayed or are killed. Correlation isn't causation.

    Go ahead and say you don't like Tim, but you'll need better substantiation for your claim that "Tim spends some of his time advocating for social causes AND Apple is having an off year, therefore Tim's activism is destroying/delaying products I want to see" to convince me you are right.
    macxpress
  • Reply 18 of 67
    volcanvolcan Posts: 1,737member
    sog35 said:
    regardless Tim Cook is not doing a good job
    Cook has around a 99% approval rating from shareholders so you are in the extreme minority.
  • Reply 19 of 67
    You could tell by this and by the intro to the last keynote Cook is desperately trying to find his niche, instead I think he should just sit down and try to use a Mac and understand why Steve created it instead of killing it.
    entropystallest skil
  • Reply 20 of 67


    "....And corporations are just a bunch of people."

    Not true, Mr. Cook. Yes, corporations are populated by a bunch of people, but corporations are not "just a bunch of people." Rather, corporations most fundamentally a nexus of contracts.

    In fact, the nexus-of-contracts conception is the basis for the most widely prevalent view of the corporation under US law and governance. 
    Yes, corporations are legal entities, but there are no decisions that are made by corporations without the input and influence of people. So, both Tim Cook and Mitt Romney are right... "Corporations are made of people."
    edited November 2016 thewhitefalcon
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