More than an hour into Apple’s annual shareholder meeting in February, Tim Cook had patiently fielded questions ranging from its plans for the television market to what he thought of Google Glass. But when one audience member tried to push Apple’s chief executive on the profitability of Apple’s various environmental initiatives, such as its solar-powered data centre, Mr Cook snapped.
“We do things for other reasons than a profit motive, we do things because they are right and just,” Mr Cook growled. Whether in human rights, renewable energy or accessibility for people with special needs, “I don’t think about the bloody ROI,” Mr Cook said, in the same stern, uncompromising tone that Apple employees hope they never have to hear. “Just to be very straightforward with you, if that’s a hard line for you . . . then you should get out of the stock.”
What a year it has been for Tim Cook. It’s definitely Tim Cook’s Apple now.
“From one son of the South and sports fanatic to another, my hat’s off to you,” tweeted Bill Clinton, the former US president, in response to the article.
And what a day this was…!