Apple CEO Cook: Corporations need to step up where governments don’t, can’t, or won’t

“Since taking over from Steve Jobs as CEO, one of the things Tim Cook has brought to Apple is a greater push to address social problems,” Blair Hanley Frank reports for IDG News Service.

“On Tuesday at the Boxworks conference in San Francisco, Cook said he wants other companies to do the same,” Frank reports. “‘I think business has a very important responsibility to society,’ he said. ‘And that responsibility has grown markedly in the last couple of decades or so, as government has found it more difficult to move forward or get as much done that would please the people.'”

“Cook said the company’s U.S. operations are running entirely on renewable energy, and Apple is now focused on getting its supply chain to the same point — though that could be a challenge given the scale of its factory operations in China,” Frank reports. “Cook has also been an advocate for providing equal rights to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people, especially after coming out as gay almost a year ago.”

Read more in the full article here.

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      1. Na… it simply requires a sane tax code.

        You know, one that doesn’t excessively claim (legally steal) an absurd portion of the wealth generated by society’s most productive members… regardless of their position on the economic ladder.

  1. There is a large group of people in America who believe that companies have no business dealing with social matters; their one sole purpose is to grow their business (for shareholders), and meddling in social issues would eventually necessarily conflict with their primary (sole?) purpose of making profit.

    However, that view simply no longer works. Corporations are where people spend most of their waking hours; not with their families, not sleeping, but at work. Work is where most of our social interaction occurs. This is why corporations are expected to be responsible for the social aspects of people’s lives.

    The most common refrain from the business lobby regarding move to renewable energy is that it is too costly and business simply cannot survive without cheap fossil fuel. Apple has become one of the most profitable companies on he planet. If Apple can turn such profit while running their entire domestic operation on renewable energy, nobody else has a valid excuse.

  2. I read a sci-fi book probably 40 years ago about a future where national governments had been deprecated. Corporations had become the world’s governments.

    Tim is CEO of Apple. His employment as such is dependent on the Board of Directors. It’s their business decision to run the company as they thinks bring the most benefit, and to ensure its viability and growth. Shareholders can either buy or sell based on that direction. Apple certainly has the clout to shift the perception of what a “corporation” represents.

  3. …or shouldn’t. It’s not the government’s job to “please the people.” Glad Cook is learning that we the people will make it happen when the government gets out of the way.

  4. When I was younger I read something attributed to Abraham Lincoln… “The purpose of government is to do for the people what they can not, or will not, do for themselves.”

    Even then I disagreed with that idea because basically it’s a blank check for the state to justify doing whatever it wants. It ignores the central provision of government that founding fathers fought to establish.

  5. I think Apple might be out standing in the field of integrity morality and ethics for their country of origin, alone of course but if you listen closely you might hear cheers from those of the free and civilized world.

  6. I think business has a very important responsibility to society

    Damned right. It’s part of the core of capitalism. Companies that ignore this fact have deliberately gone rogue and left real life behind, choosing instead to play ripoff/greed/financial/corporatocracy games instead.

    I find it consistently amusing how parents freak out about their kids rotting their lives playing video/computer games all day. But here we are in modern civilization with grown up business people… rotting their live playing biznizz games all day. Lost and lousy. 😛

  7. I would prefer if cook would keep his mouth shut about social issues and just run Apple or even better yet retire. My enthusiasm for all things Apple has been diminished each time he opens his PC flap.

    1. I’m with Grumbler.

      Cook expressing his opinion is terrible.

      The Koch brothers and their buddies paying a billion dollars to buy the politicians and policies they want is, of course, wonderful.

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