“Apple CEO Tim Cook got barely any notice when he slipped into the Capitol last Tuesday for a handful of meetings with Congressional leaders,” Tory Newmyer reports for Fortune. “The low-key visit was in keeping with the company’s traditional approach to Washington. But the fact that Cook visited at all signals a subtle but significant pivot for the outfit inside the Beltway.”
“For years, Apple has hewed to a studiously hands-off lobbying strategy, flowing from co-founder and longtime CEO Steve Jobs’ aversion to tangling with the policymaking process,” Newmyer reports. “As his successor begins to put his own imprint on the company, however, Cook wants key players in Washington to know they now have an open line to the chief executive in Cupertino.”
“That was the message aides briefed on the meetings said Cook conveyed in sit-downs with House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio), Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.), and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.),” Newmyer reports. “‘It was an act of opening up a line of communication,’ one aide briefed on a meeting said, ‘but it was a first step in what hopefully will be a growing relationship. They didn’t become best buds in one meeting.'”
Newmyer reports, “For its size, the company maintains an exceedingly modest lobbying footprint, spending only $500,000 on advocacy in the first quarter of the year. Google, by comparison, spent 10 times that amount. And unlike most major companies with a stake in the capital, it has no political action committee to dole out campaign funds to lawmakers. That likely won’t change overnight, but it is clear the Cook era at Apple has announced itself, quietly, in Washington.”
Read more in the full article here.
[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Fred Mertz” for the heads up.]
Apple CEO Tim Cook meets with U.S. Speaker John Boehner (with photos) – May 15, 2012