Apple CEO Cook: ‘We focus on policies, not politics’

“Today at the TIME 100 Summit, Apple CEO Tim Cook opened the event with an interview with Nancy Gibbs,” Michael Potuck reports for 9to5Mac. “The conversation ranged from topics like corporate values, politics, privacy, encryption, regulation in the tech industry, and more.”

“Gibbs started the interview by asking Cook about Apple’s values. He began by talking about why he believes corporations should have them,” Potuck reports. “Cook explained further that he sees today’s issues being solved by teamwork coming from the public sector, private sector, and academia.”

Potuck reports, “When it comes to acting on its values, Cook said that Apple focuses on policies, not politics.”

We focus on policies, not politics, we do not focus on politics and I recognize that everything kind of, unfortunately these days, tends to break down in that way. But we focus on the policy itself, not the politics.

You know, Apple, this probably not known to a lot of people in here, but Apple doesn’t have a PAC (political action committee). Apple’s probably the only large company I would think that doesn’t have a PAC. I refuse to have one because I think it shouldn’t exist. Right?

I think that people that should be able to donate are people that can vote, right, and we should set a limit about what that is… and it should be transparent. I never have donated any money to a PAC personally, every donation I’ve ever made has been public… The company donates zero to political candidates. — Apple CEO Tim Cook

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Of note, the top PAC contributor to candidates in the U.S. for 2017-2018 was the National Beer Wholesalers Association. 🙂

Also of interest, “Tim Cook also touched on the San Bernardino case in which Apple fought against the US government to protect encryption,” Potuck reports.

I wish that case would have gone to court to be honest, it was dropped the day before. And now after the inspector general reports have come out, our worst fears have been confirmed that it was a very rigged case to begin with. And so I think this was not the government’s finest hour. I have personally never seen the government apparatus move against a company like it did here in a very dishonest manner. – Apple CEO Tim Cook

10 Comments

  1. I do appreciate someone that deals with the issues, ideas, policies as opposed to discussing (often attacking) the personal character of the person or group issuing the ideas.

    Way to set it straight Mr. Cook.

    1. “I do appreciate someone that deals with the issues”

      You left out someone that deals with LIBERAL ISSUES by not mentioning Christians that the CEO has absolutely NO BUSINESS in doing so. What would Steve do? Stay clear of partisan politics by words and practice.

      Apologies to MDN, gonna fix the headline:

      We focus on products, not politics.

      If only it was true…

  2. Steve Jobs understood the difference between company involvement in partisan politics, which he never did, and company involvement in public policies with an impact on the company and its various constituencies, which he did all the time. Tim Cook is making the same distinction here.

  3. While you are objectively correct, Road Warrior and TxUser, I think Cook has earned his scorn because of the hypocrisy in what Apple offers versus the value signaling he says.
    – Apple claims to champion equal opportunity, but Apple is no paragon of diversity nor does it offer much in the way of hardware that is affordable to the lower classes or to educational institutions.
    – Apple claims to care about Mac owners, security, and personal computing but continues to deliver thin client subscription based stuff
    – Cook uses Apple money to sponsor his personal pet projects, and flies around the world on an Apple jet to attend personal social events, while investors see lots of gamesmanship (AAPL buybacks) but dramatically slower value creation than just a few years ago. Apple coffers of cash are sitting underused overseas.
    – Apple deploys all kinds of human rights and ecological responsibility rhetoric while outsourcing its production, its pollution, and its labor to a dirty communist regime.
    – Apple makes a big deal out of using recyclable materials while simultaneously creating mountains of unneeded white plastic adapters for landfill fodder. Otherwise perfectly workable gadgets are thrown away because Apple glued them shut and sealed the irreplaceable battery inside.
    – and so on.

    I simply don’t think Cook is a detailed leader. He clearly doesn’t listen to user desires. He can’t deliver a product on time or on budget to save his life. So while it is admirable that he focuses on policies, I propose he should resign and let someone lead Apple whose policies involve a laser focus on service to the customer, respect and proper compensation for every employee, consistent community engagement, and vastly more transparent and honest investor relations. Tim doesn’t have the honesty or attention to detail, so his broad hypocritical platitudes are falling flat.

    Simple example: Apple could start by eliminating he term “other” from its vocabulary. Tell people the whole complete truth. iOS storage “other” and financial statement “other” are cop outs. They undermine Apple’s credibility.

    1. “I think Cook has earned his scorn because of the hypocrisy in what Apple offers versus the value signaling he says.”

      I could not agree more, Mike. Even though you thoroughly despise me politically, not that I care, we could not agree more on this topic.

      Bullet points we agree on:

      Profits are out of control and high priced products are not “diversity.”
      Thin client subscription based stuff is not caring about security.
      Cook personal pet projects should not be financed by Apple.
      Dramatically slower value creation than just a few years ago.
      Apple coffers of cash are sitting underused overseas.
      Apple deploys all kinds of human rights and ecological responsibility HYPOCRISY while outsourcing its production, its pollution, and its labor to a dirty communist regime
      Apple makes a big deal out of using recyclable materials while simultaneously creating mountains of landfill.
      So while it is admirable that he focuses on policies, I propose he should resign and let someone lead Apple whose policies involve a laser focus on service to the customer, respect and proper compensation for every employee, consistent community engagement
      NUFF SAID…

  4. I agree with a lot of what Mike says. However, manufacturing in China is not pushing our pollution to a dirty communist regime. Apple is high end equipment so like the bulk of all other computer and electronic gizmo makers, to make a profit, the need to pay lower wages. Due to quality parts this is particularly important to Apple. In turn, Apple provides desperately needed (and welcomed) employment and they do it in a way that treats workers not as slaves (that other manufacturers apparently do) but as humans (decent wages by country standards and decent working hours).

    I am also unhappy that ‘Cook uses Apple money to sponsor his personal pet projects’. Keep politics out of things Tim and focus more on poor quality issues which I find are occurring more and more.

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