Tim Cook: I try not to get wrapped up in a pretzel (video)

At the TIME 100 Summit Tuesday, Apple's CEO talked ethics, PACs and government regulation of tech.

From the excerpts posted by TIME:

"We all have to be intellectually honest, and we have to admit that what we're doing isn't working," said Cook, in an interview with former TIME Editor in Chief Nancy Gibbs. "Technology needs to be regulated. There are now too many examples where the no rails have resulted in a great damage to society."

"I'm hopeful," Cook said at the Summit. "We are advocating strongly for regulation — I do not see another path."

Cook also explained Apple's stance on transparency and money in politics. "We focus on policies, not politics," Cook said. "Apple doesn't have a PAC... I refuse to have one because it shouldn't exist."

"Apple never wanted to maximize user time," Cook said. "We've never been about that. We're not motivated to do that from a business point of view, and we're certainly not motivated from a values point of view."

"If you're looking at a phone more than someone's eyes, you're doing the wrong thing," Cook said.

"I try not to get wrapped up in a pretzel about who we upset," Cook said. "At the end of the day we'll be judged more on 'did we stand up for what we believed in,' not necessarily, 'do they agree with it.'"

Cue the video:

My take: Although Time has twice named Tim Cook one of the 100 most influential people in the world (in 2012 and 2015) he didn't make the cut this year. More important—for Apple and for TIME—he showed up at yesterday's summit.

One Comment

  1. Jerry W Doyle said:
    A question often posed is: “What would Steve do?”

    There is a fine line between outside corporate policy and politics. It does get somewhat nebulous where external corporate policy initiatives effect political outcomes.

    I do not recall Steve Jobs pushing corporate policy to effect societal change extraneous with the organization. Even in education, Jobs would focus corporate money targeted with creating great products as educational tools to effect educational outcomes.

    Jobs believed in directing corporate money to a single goal. That goal was to create the world’s greatest products that could influence outcomes.

    I question seriously that Steve Jobs would have targeted corporate money to effect societal change for specific social, environmental causes, etc.

    Under the leadership of Tim Cook, Apple has taken a step outside the corporate corridors to become an activist using its deep beliefs and corporate monies to effect changes extrinsic with the Apple organization.

    I write this observation not as a negative judgement of Tim Cook’s executive leadership style, but as an “observational fact.”

    Steve was no philanthropist. He may have evolved later in life (if he were alive today) to become one. At the time of his early demise, though, I question that Steve would have authorized millions of dollars of corporate monies toward some societal or philanthropic cause outside Apple.

    April 24, 2019

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