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Apple CEO Tim Cook officially comes out
2014-10-30

This article shared 4231 times since Thu Oct 30, 2014
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Apple CEO Tim Cook publicly confirmed he is gay in an opinion piece published Oct. 30, making him the highest-profile chief executive to come out.

In an op-ed in Bloomberg BusinessWeek, Cook writes, in part, "Throughout my professional life, I've tried to maintain a basic level of privacy. ... At the same time, I believe deeply in the words of Dr. Martin Luther King, who said: 'Life's most persistent and urgent question is, "What are you doing for others?"'

"For years, I've been open with many people about my sexual orientation. Plenty of colleagues at Apple know I'm gay, and it doesn't seem to make a difference in the way they treat me. Of course, 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.

"While I have never denied my sexuality, I haven't publicly acknowledged it either, until now. So let me be clear: I'm proud to be gay, and I consider being gay among the greatest gifts God has given me."

USA Today reported that, on Twitter, Apple Chief of Global Marketing Philip Schiller showed support for Cook. "Proud to work for you and be your friend," Schiller posted.

Cook's piece published days after the Apple CEO criticized his home state of Alabama over gay rights.

StartOut, the national nonprofit dedicated to empowering LGBT entrepreneurs and business leaders, salutes the bravery and determination of Apple CEO Tim Cook to publicly acknowledge his orientation as a gay man, and as the only out CEO of a Fortune 500 company.

"While there have been substantial gains for the community in representation and visibility in politics, entertainment, journalism and now even sports, in too many places the corporate closet continues to flourish, and there are virtually no role models in the senior ranks of the business community. Today that changed," said StartOut CEO, Gene Falk. "Tim's leadership of Apple has not been, and will not be, defined by his being out. It will only be enhanced because now he's empowered to lead without hiding."

This is a historic moment for the LGBT business community who seeks greater representation in the top echelons of the corporate world that their struggle to achieve equal access to the American dream has been shared by those who have reached the very top, the group said. Cook echoes the sentiment of all out CEO's in the StartOut family when he says, "It's been tough and uncomfortable at times, but it has given me the confidence to be myself, to follow my own path, and to rise above adversity and bigotry. It's also given me the skin of a rhinoceros, which comes in handy when you're the CEO … ."

The National Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce, the business voice of the LGBT community, commends Tim Cook for his moving and heartfelt coming-out essay. The group stated: "While his story and success are unique, we are proud to say we hear about similar journeys every day from the LGBT Americans, including those who are part of NGLCC. Our goal is to expand economic opportunities and advancements for LGBT people. Tim's words today will help us in that mission. They also serve as an opening of the door for other LGBT CEOs and senior executives to move forward in knowing there is a safe place for them in the business world."


This article shared 4231 times since Thu Oct 30, 2014
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