Apple CEO Tim Cook outed as gay by CNBC co-achor

“In a live TV segment of CNBC’s ‘Squawk on the Street’ on Friday, co-anchor Simon Hobbs caused a kerfuffle when he inadvertently ‘outed’ Apple CEO Tim Cook as being openly gay,” Mikey Campbell reports for AppleInsider. “The gaffe came during a discussion with New York Times columnist and CNBC contributor James Stewart, who was on the show to talk up his latest think piece dealing with corporate culture and gay executives.”

“Specifically, Stewart told ‘Squawk’ anchor Carl Quintanilla that his most recent column focuses on former BP chief John Browne, who recently wrote a book dealing with the ‘tortured life’ he led as a closeted gay CEO. Browne resigned from his post at the huge multinational oil and gas company in 2007 after being outed by a tabloid,” Campbell reports. “Stewart said he was surprised to learn that Browne is the first executive of a Fortune 500 or FTSE 100 company to publicly acknowledge that they are gay. The column explores why, in spite of civil rights advances, a stigma appears to exist at such high levels of business. ‘I just found it very, very fascinating,’ Stewart said. ‘Of course, there are gay CEOs in major companies, and I reached out to many them. I got an extremely cool reception — not one would allow to be named in the column.'”

“Then Hobbs jumped in,” Campbell reports. “‘I think Tim Cook is open about the fact he’s gay at the head of Apple, isn’t he,’ Hobbs asked. Following a stifling silence from the panel, and a disparaging shake of the head from Stewart, the anchor tried to recover. ‘Oh, dear, was that an error? I thought not.’ The irony of Hobbs’ ill-timed mistake was not lost on co-anchor David Faber, who said, ‘Wow, I think you just…yeah.’ Listening closely, Hobbs can be heard just under the prattle of his co-anchors trying to cover for the slip, saying, ‘I think he’s very open about it.'”

Read more and see the video in the full article here.

Related articles:
Does the press have an ethical duty to out powerful gays in tech? – August 31, 2011
Gawker’s Valleywag outs Tim Cook as ‘most powerful gay man in Silicon Valley’ – January 21, 2011

64 Comments

      1. No, discussing the private lives of other people is not his right—or anyone’s right, you would think. But there is a HUGE industry devoted to nothing but>/i>discussing the private lives of celebrities and other public figures. It is the lowest form of mass entertainment, and it’s everywhere.

        1. IT IS NOT Privacy, its about saying something that may or may NOT be true as if it were TOTALLy true. The newscaster who spoke about Tim Cook being Gay had NO PERSONAL knowledge, then blabbed on as if he did have.

          That is NOT OUTING, that is possibly Libel.

          Just saying.

  1. Please, he was “outed”? The news talked about how he was gay when be became CEO! And now we are supposed to be shocked? If you didn’t know he was gay, you weren’t paying attention

    1. Yeah how can you “out” someone when it’s already common knowledge with anyone paying the remotest of attention? Especially journalists for Chriminy’s sake? The shame is all on THEM. By underlining it they make a big deal of it instead of simply accepting it as a fairly common new normal these day. I lose all hope for 21st century journalism.

    2. This could not be more stupid:

      …he inadvertently ‘outed’ Apple CEO Tim Cook as being openly gay

      ‘Outing’ is idiotic activity to start with. But obviously you can’t “out” someone who is already OUT.

      When I see crap like this I immediately wonder about the person doing the ‘outing’. Maybe they’re worried about being ‘out’ed themselves.

    1. Well there is t least one moron on here who does and makes bigoted remarks at every opportunity he can, and others who chirp in or make occasional remarks. It really obstructs intelligent debate here at times and I see no reason why this would not be magnified at times in the real world especially when they can disguise it as some do here as attacks on his management style. Fact is most people would not have known and someone’s sexuality should not be discussed unless it has done relevance to his/her competence or behaviour where some link might be argued.

    1. I might have said the same thing as Hobbs. It seems to me that Cook being Gay has been common knowledge for years. No reason for Hobbs to “keep a secret”. The stunned awkward reaction to Hobb’s remark is the most Gay part of the event.

        1. Hey, keep your remarks in the context of the story. The entire show was a discussion of Gays in high corporate positions, and the issues they face. This topic interests me not in the least, but the show was discussing published articles and books on the subject, so obviously, it interests some segment. Bottom line, though, is that in the context of a discussion about Gay CEOs it would have been remarkable if someone HADN’T mentioned Cook’s name, The castigation of Hobbs, like he actually “outed” Cook is ridiculous.

          1. Good point. The others on set, who shuffled their papers and giggled were the real buffoons here. Hobbs should have looked them in the eye and told them to grow up.

  2. Tim Cook is a wonderful brilliant and lovely person. CNBC is nothing more than a rag channel and it’s so-called anchor an idiot . What Tim Cook does in his private life is nobody else’s business and. The same goes for the rest of us. Disgraceful CNBC!!

      1. they should have asked him if he was gay, and asked him if anyone in his family was gay, and asked if any of his co-workers was gay, and asked him if anyone he knew were gay, and then ask if he was willing to say who, which, etc,,,

        get personal with someone who is so willing to be such?

        this guy outed himself as a complete jerk,

  3. Yet we honor the buffoon by talking about it here. The problem with cable news is excessive prattle and insufficient thought. I once saw about 5 Faux News talking heads sitting in front of a camera spouting out what seemed to be a Twitter feed. The extreme case of all prattle and no thought, but it filled the air time.

  4. I wouldn’t call what happened an “outing.” The guy just reiterated unsubstantiated, but common, knowledge. He wasn’t speaking from a position of personal knowledge, right?

  5. The problem is not that Tim Cook might be gay. The problem is that some asshole “journalist” couldn’t contain himself from getting that information out. I highly doubt that this was a mistake. The media has been hellbent on starting another civil rights battle so that they can report on it. It doesn’t matter to them if the battle is over gays, or some other group. This is Tim Cook’s personal private business. It’s up to him to reveal personal details about himself, and if he chooses to not reveal details of his personal life, I totally respect that. What’s really sad here is that our society even cares about someone’s race, their religion, or their sexual orientation. We’re all people. Let’s move on and put bigotry behind us. As John F Kennedy once said, “For, in the final analysis, our most basic common link is that we all inhabit this small planet. We all breathe the same air. We all cherish our children’s future. And we are all mortal.”

      1. Oh my, you hit my nail right on my head, (and not in a bad way)

        I have cancer and cannot imagine having no more pleasure in my life simply because the culture somehow shuns my idea about what is pleasurable,

        even if my “kink” is only slightly different than mainstream,

        as of yet, that is,, !-)

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