Apple CEO Tim Cook came out of the closet yesterday, revealing himself as one of the most powerful representatives of the LGBT community within America’s corporate environment.
He is, astoundingly, THE ONLY openly gay CEO of a Fortune 500 Company.
As the head of one of America’s most influential brands, Cook explained that while he’s never been ‘in the closet’ at Apple, it was important for him to bravely sacrifice his privacy by coming out publicly to the nation. Cook said in a statement in Bloomberg Businessweek:
“Let me be clear: I’m proud to be gay, and I consider being gay among the greatest gifts God has given me. I’ve had the good fortune to work at a company that loves creativity and innovation and knows it can only flourish when you embrace people’s differences. Not everyone is so lucky.”
Cook’s confidence in coming out is a testament to the huge changes happening not only within the “liberal” media and entertainment industries, but on a grand scale in many different, more traditionally conservative environs all over the country. His unique role as a corporate leader who also has attained celebrity status through the passing of the torch from Steve Jobs (RIP) has offered him an incredibly unique opportunity to become a symbol for diversity within the corporate environment–a role which he has just stepped up to fulfill.
Cook knows that a shift in equal rights and diversity within the workplace will help arm our companies to compete strongly in future markets. The incorporation and equal treatment of women, veterans, people of any race, and the LGBT community will allow companies to grow in the most well-rounded ways possible, with the most breadth of perspective, opinion–and most importantly–creativity.
“Part of social progress is understanding that a person is not defined only by one’s sexuality, race, or gender,” says Cook.
“Being gay has given me a deeper understanding of what it means to be in the minority and provided a window into the challenges that people in other minority groups deal with every day.”
Hopefully as Cook tamps down the path for others and Apple continues to move forward successfully (cross your fingers), his bold move will offer an opportunity for other power players and CEOs to come out of the closet–and we’ll start to see even more change in the corporate world coming from the top down.
“We’ll continue to fight for our values, and I believe that any CEO of this incredible company, regardless of race, gender, or sexual orientation, would do the same.
“And I will personally continue to advocate for equality for all people until my toes point up.”
Apple CEO Tim Cook made a bold move this week in coming out. Find out how it could could change the future of America’s corporate environment…