Tim Cook has given a revealing and in-depth interview with CBS. The Apple CEO said he was “full of secrets” in the build-up to WWDC 2020 and discussed the company’s wider contribution to society.
Tim Cook ‘Full of Secrets’ Before WWDC 2020
Asked about WWDC 2020 by 60 Minutes correspondent John Dickerson, Mr. Cook said he was “full of secrets” ahead of Monday’s keynote. But as well as being clearly excited by the technology Apple is set to unveil, he spoke about how he sees the company’s place in the world. “You know, there was a time back many years ago where CEOs were just supposed to focus on profits only, and not so much the constituencies,” said Mr. Cook. “And that’s never been my view. I’ve never subscribed to that.”
He also described Apple as “humbled” by the fact that the iPhone plays a key role in being able to record moments like the death of George Floyd – an unarmed black man who was pinned under the knee of a police officer for nearly nine minutes – so that people know what has happened. Those videos have prompted protests around the world calling for racial equality. He spoke about how video captured moments like race protests in Birmingham and Selma.
The thing that has changed, though, and we’re very proud of this, is that we put a camera in everybody’s pocket. And so, it becomes much tougher as a society, I believe, to convince themselves that it didn’t happen, or that it happened in a different manner or whatever it might be.
Of the death of Mr. Floyd, the Apple CEO that “I think fundamentally, this one will change the world.” Mr. Cook also reflected on his own experiences of seeing racism, remembering “as if it were yesterday” seeing ‘whites-only’ scratched into peoples’ doors.
‘Grateful’ For Recent Supreme Court Opinion
Mr. Cook, the first openly gay Fortune 500 CEO, said he was “grateful” for the recent Supreme Court opinion protecting LGBTQ rights. He added that he had made his opinions on equality and social clear to U.S. President Donald Trump during their interactions. “All roads lead to equality. I believe that everyone should be treated with dignity and respect. It’s basically that simple,” he said. “We start life on this equal footing and then the people that work hard can get ahead and those sorts of things. But we should start life on an equal footing. And I long for that day.”
Mr. Cook has led Apple since August 2011 and has used his role and the company’s power to back a number of social causes. He said that while Apple has a responsibility to “pay what we owe, just plain and simple,” the company’s civic responsibility goes beyond that. “We turned the company upside-down to help the world on COVID, and donated all of that, hundreds of millions of dollars,” he noted. “My own view is, you pay what you owe in taxes. And then you give back to society. And Apple is clearly doing that.”