Tim Cook’s Message to Employees after Election: ‘Move Forward Together’

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Apple CEO Tim Cook sent a company-wide email to employees Wednesday evening encouraging them to “move forward.” While he didn’t name President Elect Donald Trump or his defeated rival, Hillary Clinton, by name, the theme of the email was that the election shouldn’t divide employees.

“Moving forward” and “move forward” occurs in the short missive three times. The first is a quote from one of Mr. Cook’s heroes, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. The second time Mr. Cook emphasizes Dr. King’s point. The third is in his closing, where he told Apple’s 76,000 employees, “Let’s move forward — together!”

Apple CEO Tim Cook during Mac

Apple CEO Tim Cook during Mac “hello again” event.

It’s the sort of message we’ve come to expect from the thoughtful, cerebral Tim Cook. In reality, the election could have enormous implications for Apple. From personal encryption—which Donald Trump opposes—to corporate taxation policies—which could improve for Apple under Republican rule—to manufacturing—which Donald Trump has vowed to bring back to the U.S., though without any specific proposals to do so.

I’ll be writing more about this separately. In the meanwhile, here’s Mr. Cook’s email in full, as published by Buzzfeed:

Apple CEO Tim Cook’s Post Election Email to Employees

Team,

I’ve heard from many of you today about the presidential election. In a political contest where the candidates were so different and each received a similar number of popular votes, it’s inevitable that the aftermath leaves many of you with strong feelings.

We have a very diverse team of employees, including supporters of each of the candidates. Regardless of which candidate each of us supported as individuals, the only way to move forward is to move forward together. I recall something Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. said 50 years ago: “If you can’t fly, then run. If you can’t run, then walk. If you can’t walk, then crawl, but whatever you do you have to keep moving forward.” This advice is timeless, and a reminder that we only do great work and improve the world by moving forward.

While there is discussion today about uncertainties ahead, you can be confident that Apple’s North Star hasn’t changed. Our products connect people everywhere, and they provide the tools for our customers to do great things to improve their lives and the world at large. Our company is open to all, and we celebrate the diversity of our team here in the United States and around the world — regardless of what they look like, where they come from, how they worship or who they love.

I’ve always looked at Apple as one big family and I encourage you to reach out to your co-workers if they are feeling anxious.

Let’s move forward — together!

Best,
Tim

3 Comments Add a comment

  1. Looking forward to a thoughtful follow up. Apple needs a CEO. Yes. But that CEO would be negligent if he ignored politics. Many companies have been made or broken by governmental policies and regulations. Cook’s letter to Apple’s family looks reasonable and timely.

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