Apple | Brian Williams | News | Tim Cook

Apple CEO Tim Cook's First TV Interview: VIDEO


Tim Cook gave his first full TV interview last night to Brian Williams on Rock Center, and his first since the death of Steve Jobs. Cook talked about problems that the company has faced since then — the Maps application, controversy over its factories in China — and what plans the company might have for the future, including, possibly, an Apple-branded TV.

Watch it, AFTER THE JUMP...

Though the interview talked about the many ways that Apple is now trying to be transparent, that doesn't extend to Cook's personal life, since he's still not saying much about life at home, aside from the fact that he' a very private individual, and works out and visits National Parks to de-stress.

Wrote Gawker in August of last year:

After Cook was profiled as a "lifelong bachelor" and "intensely private" elsewhere, we wondered if he might be gay. We've since heard from two well-placed sources that this is indeed the case, and it sounds like Cook's sexual orientation has been the topic of at least some discussion within the company. One tech executive who has spoken to multiple Apple management veterans about Cook was told executives there would support Cook if he publicly acknowledged his orientation, and even would encourage him to do so as he steps up his leadership role, but that they also had concerns about whether his coming out would impact the perception of the Apple brand.

Wrote Felix Salmon in a powerful piece for Reuters:

But surely this is something we can and should be celebrating, if only in the name of diversity — that a company which by some measures the largest and most important in the world is now being run by a gay man....

None of that came up in the interview so it rings slightly false when Williams proclaims, "This is kind of your television coming out."

We'll be waiting for that. In the meantime, what are your thoughts about this? Would Cook's coming out impact the perception of Apple? In what ways would it make a difference? Would a similar interview with the heads of Google or Amazon mention their lives at home with their wives and children?

Watch it, AFTER THE JUMP...

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  1. Why should Cook's sexual orientation have any impact on the Apple brand? What, are they afraid of the OneMillionMoms?

    Posted by: Hunter | Dec 7, 2012 8:23:01 AM

  2. He probably doesn't talk about his personal life because he doesn't have one. Seems like a live-to-work guy.

    Posted by: ripper | Dec 7, 2012 8:28:48 AM

  3. That Tim Cook is gay was widely circulated when he was appointed. I never met the man so I'm pretty sure I didn't imagine it. I think any possible impact on the brand is an excuse which is not worthy of Apple. THe brand is known for it's risk-taking and innovation. Such reticence signals a shift in culture that is not good news for Apple fans.

    Posted by: Alex Parrish | Dec 7, 2012 8:30:12 AM

  4. I assume Apple paid for this infomercial?

    Posted by: ratbastard | Dec 7, 2012 8:38:55 AM

  5. I can't imagine why anyone gay or not would 'connect' or 'relate' to guys like Cook. These CEOs and other high powered individuals in business, politics, etc., wouldn't the vast majority of people the time of day. They live in another world, another dimension. And my own personal opinion is most also display clear personality disorder and/or serious mental health characteristics, i.e. sociopathy, psychopathy, etc. I think most people simply don't want to contemplate the fact many of our 'leaders' in politics, business and elsewhere are psychopaths.

    Posted by: ratbastard | Dec 7, 2012 8:44:11 AM

  6. Watch all the ApplePhobes flock to this comment thread.

    Posted by: Randal Oulton | Dec 7, 2012 8:49:00 AM

  7. He's been publicly out for a while. I didn't know that there was any question about it.

    Posted by: Erik | Dec 7, 2012 9:14:29 AM

  8. More importantly, is manufacturing Imac in US a publicity stunt or a real attempt to bring back job in America?

    Posted by: bambinoitaliano | Dec 7, 2012 9:21:58 AM

  9. Tim Cook is out akin to how Anderson Cooper was out. He's out, but he doesn't talk about it. He doesn't talk about himself, period, much the way Steve Jobs didn't. But yes, he is gay and not in the closet.

    It would be awesome if he came out. It would be huge for the community. There are a lot of us who hold CEO positions or high-ranking executive positions at many of the biggest companies in the world but very few have come out. It would be a great way to send the message one can be gay and powerful if some of them would. The corporate world is just now starting to become more pro-gay so hopefully things continue to progress.

    Posted by: Francis | Dec 7, 2012 9:26:12 AM

  10. I too remember reading all over the web that Cook was "openly gay" when it was announced he would replace Steve Jobs. There's a difference between being closeted and not talking about your personal life.

    Posted by: shawnthesheep | Dec 7, 2012 9:32:16 AM

  11. Ratbastard,

    That is a rather bold assertion. While I admit that many of the CEOs and political leaders are extreme overachievers, I think you're way off when you say that many of our leaders are "psychopaths." Certainly there are some that would qualify, but the majority I have met strike me as normal people. Don't get me wrong. I don't relate to being an overachiever. I think there's much more to life than achieving a certain amount of wealth or a certain title. Bit O've had occasion to spend time with CEOs and senators and congressmen, not just in public, but with their friends and family. And the majority of them are incredibly driven, very intense and pretty damn normal.

    Posted by: shawnthesheep | Dec 7, 2012 9:38:48 AM

  12. "But yes, he is gay and not in the closet."

    And you know this how? Because of what you read on a gay gossip site (Gawker), which quoted anonymous sources as saying he is?


    "There are a lot of us who hold CEO positions or high-ranking executive positions at many of the biggest companies in the world but very few have come out."

    There are? Again, what proof do you have of this? I have been in the corporate world for 20+ years and of the hundreds of men I have had dealings with, I have encountered almost none in senior management positions who were over the age of 35 and not married (to a woman).....almost always with kids.

    "Would a similar interview with the heads of Google or Amazon mention their lives at home with their wives and children?"

    Executives are rarely asked by interviewers in the business press explicitly about their private/family lives and when mention of them is made, it is usually at the initiative of the individual being interviewed. It is just not relevant, typically, to the topic at hand.


    I will say this, though. If Cook really is gay and feels the need to stay in the closet even in hyper-liberal Silicon Valley even when he is THE boss of the most prominent company in the Valley, then it should be an indication to those of you outside the busineess world of just how homophobic the corporate world remains, which those of us who have lived in it know from often hard experience.

    Posted by: Rick | Dec 7, 2012 9:43:04 AM

  13. Tivo thinks his name is Jim

    Posted by: chasmader | Dec 7, 2012 9:47:03 AM

  14. The larger issue is whether Apple needs a Steve Jobs to survive or not. This might be their last hurrah.

    Posted by: anon | Dec 7, 2012 10:17:26 AM

  15. Well hell, yes I would love it to be known through remarks of his own, that he is gay. But it really is irrelevant and RICK is mostly right. It's just that, as in government, it's good that people know some true to life big shots are gay. Prominent men get far more interesting when they're gay although it must be said, that for a lot of straight people they get rather more disappointing, less so when they have a partner and kids. Still, the more they look like most everybody else the more acceptable (encouraging) they become and we still need that.

    Posted by: UFFDA | Dec 7, 2012 11:09:22 AM

  16. I'm not really interested if Mr. Cook is gay or not, that really doesn't have anything to do with Apples's productivity.

    Posted by: jakeinlove | Dec 7, 2012 11:11:27 AM

  17. Hope he will not suffer the fate of Lord Browne of BP who was forced out of the closet.

    Posted by: simon | Dec 7, 2012 12:24:41 PM

  18. Apple will make the Mac Pro in the United States. It will say "Designed in Cupertino, assembled in the U.S.A." Not the iMac or any other device because all of those devices depend on the skills that left this country long ago. The Mac Pro doesn't rely on a millimeter thin display of unbreakable/unscratchable glass. It is the primo of desktop computers.

    A lot of people don't realize that Apple contracted with Samsung to build and assemble its devices. Samsung, as a rip off artist, had direct access to how Apple products were designed and made. They copied Apple's recipe, adding a slight alteration and are attempting to steal the market. But no matter what, they will never match the Apple product because they cannot create their own. They have to steal.

    Microsoft was famous for this - for flooding the marketplace with an inferior OS (Windows based on a DOS they bought for $50,000), adding it to every computer possible (Android/Google), forcing computer sellers to use it resulting in the outright blocking of superior operating systems. Microsoft set us back decades in technology and cheated everyone. When it was finally realized Microsoft was convicted of monopoly, manipulating the market, before the market was open to an OS like OS X (a true object oriented operating system based on Unix - the backbone of the internet).

    Google, with Android, has taken the same path - again flooding the marketplace with a plethora of Android devices using an inferior operating system which will eventually come back to haunt Google as well as Android users. Microsoft's "Surface" has faltered badly just as Windows 8 has faltered despite the 2 billion Microsoft is pumping into advertising it. People just aren't buying it. Two years from now we'll all look back and ask - where's the Surface? Why aren't Windows users using Windows 8 (because Microsoft will have to "fix it" with Windows 9 and charge their customer based another $499 and once again, Windows users will be duped and told a replacement is coming, Windows 10).

    Posted by: OS2Guy | Dec 7, 2012 2:03:57 PM

  19. "Watch all the ApplePhobes flock to this comment thread."

    And watch all the Applebots try to defend the indefensible, too!

    Posted by: iban4yesu | Dec 7, 2012 5:45:58 PM

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