Tim Cook Chooses the Environment Over Profit
Bryan Chaffin of The Mac Observer witnessed a visibly angry Tim Cook lash out at a National Center for Public Policy Research representative at this year’s Apple shareholder meeting. The NCPPR had pushed a proposal that would have required Apple to disclose the cost of sustainability programs and be more transparent about its relations with sustainability-related groups. After the measure failed, the representative questioned the effect of Apple’s sustainability programs on its bottom line and demanded that Cook promise to do only things that are profitable. Cook responded angrily, concluding with, “If you want me to do things only for ROI reasons, you should get out of this stock.”
"We do a lot of things for reasons besides profit motive. We want to leave the world better than we found it."
If you don't like it, "get out of the stock."
Steve Jobs could have said it no better.
Bravo Mr Cook. I can only hope other CEOs will follow your lead.
I'm an Apple hater as much as the next guy, but, wow, the stock isn't doing good enough for NCPPR? ~4000% over the past 10 years or so! If I was NCPPR i would be BEGGING Cook not to change a thing!!!
Our think tank, the Storey Institute, also holds shares in Apple. NCPPR is buying shares to push an agenda. They aren't concerned about shareholders such as ourselves, or our profit margin—which has been quite decent with Apple. We are libertarians who wish these conservaties would stick to their own affairs. They don't know how to run businesses, or they would be doing it.
Apple is a public company. Why should they not disclose the cost of these programs and which related groups they deal with? Considering they have a board member (Gore) that is highly invested in these areas, there is huge potential for conflict of interest.
Apparently, the shareholders didn't feel that it was a useful way to spend Apple resources, since the measure failed. Apple doesn't break out the costs of many aspects of its business operation, nor is it transparent about its relationships with other organizations, ranging from legal services to component suppliers, so why should it focus on sustainability-related costs and groups?
Most shareholder resolutions fail (mainly because most shareholders do not vote). Why should they disclose sustainability related costs? Because they are not an obvious part of the basic corporate operations (like legal expenses) and because of potential conflicts of interest.
Please re-title your re-title 'Tim Cook Chooses the Environment Over Profit' as it is entirely non sequitur. It has nothing at all to do with the issue or the article. Did you read the article? Here's the last paragraph, which I consider to be a useful summary:
"To me, it was a clear rejection of the groups politics, especially the anything-for-the-sake-of-profits mentality the NCPPR was asking him to embrace. It was also an unequivocal message that Apple would continue to invest in sustainable energy and related areas."
The concept Tim Cook uses is called 'balance'. Business is, among other things, about sustainability and responsibility for its actions. It's about long term thinking, long term benefit. That runs quite contrary to the spirit of the age of what I can only sarcastically call 'biznizz' in our current era, where short term thinking leads directly to long term disaster. Bravo Tim Cook!
Everyone should be allowed to operate a business according to his own moral light. Alas, that is illegal.