“As Apple chief Tim Cook quietly slipped out of a public meeting at the White House for a private lunch with Eric Holder in December 2013, the attorney general braced himself for a rough encounter,” Tony Romm reports for Politico. “His Justice Department had sued Apple more than a year earlier, after all, for the way that the company priced its e-books, touching off a bruising legal war between the two. And this time Apple seemed even more apoplectic. It was seething over a flurry of reports that the NSA had quietly cracked its servers and gained access to untold millions of its customers’ personal communications.”
“Cook’s demeanor, however, wasn’t even the most remarkable part of the meeting,” Romm reports. “A private conference in Washington with the attorney general (in itself a rarity for many tech magnates) would have been unthinkable for Cook’s irascible predecessor, Steve Jobs, who actively disdained D.C. Cook, much as he sought to shirk Jobs’ shadow as CEO, had also endeavored quietly to rethink his company’s relationship with the nation’s capital, becoming a leader not only ready to engage its power brokers but challenge them openly when it mattered most.”
“In the months since Edward Snowden’s surveillance leaks rattled the tech industry, Cook has become one of corporate America’s loudest activists on a range of issues. He’s met with members of Congress. He’s reached out personally to top administration officials, including, most recently, Holder’s replacement, the newly minted Attorney General Loretta Lynch. The first openly gay CEO of a Fortune 500 company, Cook has brought his name and Apple’s brand to bear in major national debates, especially same-sex marriage and equality. And his brand of passionate, targeted political activism has furthered his company’s vast political agenda, from advancing tax reform in Congress to addressing the pitfalls of surveillance — a privacy debate that continues to confound the nation’s capital,” Romm reports. “Once a political neophyte, Cook now occupies a public role in politics unlike any CEO in Silicon Valley, and his unique approach has rewired his company’s political strategy.”
Read more in the full article here.
MacDailyNews Take: You cannot be the world’s most valuable company and continue to basically ignore Washington D.C. Apple is famous for not cutting corners (greasing palms to get things done doesn’t happen with Apple (which is why it’s taken them so long to begin to establish a meaningful retail footprint in China, for example)), so it remains to be seen how effective the company’s lobbying efforts will be, but Apple does have a bunch of perfectly legal carrots to offer, such as billion-dollar data centers in the state(s) of U.S. senator(s) or countries of leaders whose backing they need on certain issues, etc.