Why Apple’s CEO didn’t walk out of Trump’s advisory council

Tim Cook couldn’t quit like Tesla’s Elon Musk and Disney’s Bob Iger because Cook never joined.

From the New York Times Risky Business for C.E.O.s: An Invitation From Trump:

[In December] the Blackstone Group’s chief executive, Stephen A. Schwarzman, announced the formation of the President’s Strategic and Policy Forum, whose members would “meet with the president frequently to share their specific experience and knowledge,” as Mr. Schwarzman put it at the time.

Then, executives were clamoring to make the cut, even those who had been cool or in some cases hostile to Mr. Trump’s candidacy. Well over 100 chief executives approached Mr. Schwarzman and the Trump transition team angling to be included…

The final list of 16 included such business luminaries as Jack Welch, the former chief executive of General Electric; Jamie Dimon of JPMorgan Chase; Bob Iger of Disney; Mary Barra of General Motors; and Virginia Rometty of IBM.

Soon after, Elon Musk of Tesla Motors, Travis Kalanick of Uber and Indra Nooyi of PepsiCo were added, buttressing the group’s expertise in technology and consumer products…

Only two people declined, citing time pressures: Apple’s chief executive, Tim Cook, and the Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates. (boldface mine)

See also: Apple: We’ll save the planet despite Trump


  1. Bruce Oran said:
    While the forum is a sham, would not it be better to have some representation of reasonable people, who even if not able to sway Trump, could enlighten and perhaps even persuade their conservative colleagues? I doubt many or any of the remaining members think Tim Cook a fool.

    June 3, 2017
    • Richard Wanderman said:
      That’s a good point, but it seems to me that Trump has chosen people for his administration who think the way he does and while Cook no doubt will keep his Congressional connections alive, this administration seems to have a unified view of climate change and getting along with the rest of the world. They do not think climate change is real (Chinese hoax) and are not interested in treaties, especially those put in place by the Obama administration.

      June 3, 2017
  2. Fred Stein said:
    My guess / opinion: Tim decline because he knew that Trump will say, and do, many things that he, Tim Cook, could not agree with. That would create the dilemma of when to ignore, implying tacit approval, or when to speak out against. And that this would happen often.
    For some reason, Travis and Elon arrived at the same conclusion, just now. Odd they did not foresee this.

    June 3, 2017

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