Comments

  1. FriendOfTheBear says

    How do you out somebody who’s already out? Tim Cook doesn’t make a point of being “politically” gay. It’s simply not his focus, but to imply that he’s closeted and has been outed by someone in the know seems a couple of decades behind the times. There’s a difference between what Mike Signorile used to call “the glass closet,” e.g. Tim Cook or Jodi Foster, and actually denying you’re gay even though people know you are, like Matt Drudge or John Travolta.

  2. Matt27 says

    I remember Simon hosting Closing Bell on CNBC Europe. He is smarter and faster as an anchor and journalist than they allow him to be on CNBC US. He should get his own hour to host.

  3. says

    What an idiot. Cook obviously isn’t “out” if someone asked the question about no “openly” gay CEO.

    And no, it is not Cook’s responsibility to be a role model to anyone. If he wants to be a role model, then good, but he has no responsibility to be one. His only responsibility is to his friends, family, and company and to be an upright citizen.

  4. Andrew says

    Cook was named the most influential gay man in the US by Out magazine in 2011. His level of “outness” might be up for debate, but it’s in no way a secret that he’s gay. The silence might reflect the panel’s ignorance, but it’s not accurate to say that Cook was “outed” by Hobbs.

  5. Rixk says

    “There’s a difference between what Mike Signorile used to call “the glass closet,” e.g. Tim Cook or Jodi Foster, and actually denying you’re gay even though people know you are, like Matt Drudge or John Travolta.”

    Has Cook ever been asked directly by a reporter whether he is gay or not? It seems that every time he has been asked about his social life, in general, he replies with something along the lines of “I don’t discuss my personal life”, which, yes, in 2014 amounts to denying that you are gay.

    All the more so since he lives in the San Francisco Bay area and works in an industry that bends over backwards to be politically correct about everything it does.

    I am not sure what he is afraid of, therefore–but if I had to guess, he probably has family back in Alabama who he thinks would be hurt if he announced that he is gay….and may just be sparing them that discomfort, as so many gay people have done over the years….

  6. Brian W. says

    A public figure that has never acknowledged the fact they are gay and refuses to talk about it is closeted. It doesn’t matter if close friends and family know.

  7. says

    in cases like this i merely tip my hat to the brave men and women who stop giving such pathetic excuses to remain closeted. in north america. in 2014. and choose instead to stand up to be counted, and open the doors for others.

  8. Hrm says

    Tim Cook is a GREAT role model. He’s a hard worker, and remains forever focused on his passion for Apple, which is why he’s in charge of the company. His personal life, husband, wife, kids, etc. mean nothing to me. I don’t know him personally. I use his products, and what *I* care about is what their future plans are for the products I buy. The rest of it, frankly, is not anyone’s business.

  9. Hrm says

    Tim Cook is a GREAT role model. He’s a hard worker, and remains forever focused on his passion for Apple, which is why he’s in charge of the company. His personal life, husband, wife, kids, etc. mean nothing to me. I don’t know him personally. I use his products, and what *I* care about is what their future plans are for the products I buy. The rest of it, frankly, is not anyone’s business.

  10. Michaelandfred says

    Him not talking about it doesn’t mean it stops being true. That he’s gay is common knowledge. It’s not up to reporters to pretend he’s not. Just because some housewife in Alabama doesn’t know a public figure is gay doesn’t mean they’re in the closet, nor do they have to hold a press conference to the world announcing how gay they are. They just are. It’s not up journalists to try and decide who’s non secrets they’re supposed to keep.

    You want to be closeted? Then be in the closet. But don’t be out and about when you feel luck it and expect strangers to keep your secrets. Especially if your the CEO of one of the worlds largest companies.

  11. Rixk says

    “it’s possible, and plausible, that when Tim Cook talks to the press, he wants to talk about Apple, not his personal life”

    He may, but the personal lives of CEOs are inevitably scrutinized–where else would the rumor that he is gay have come from in the first place?

    The CEO of GM did not flinch when Matt Lauer asked her whether she could be a CEO and a good mother at the same time….and that is about as personal as it gets…..so if Tim Cook avoids any and all questions about his personal life, it can only be because he is trying to hide something…..which either means he is ashamed of it or is uncomfortable talking about it for some other reason.

  12. simon says

    The “awkward silence” probably not due to embarrassment. More out of fear since it is something actionable to spread rumor without proof.

  13. oncemorewithfeeling says

    You can’t “out” someone that the entire world knows is gay and the entire world has been talking about being gay for how long now? A year? Two? That’s ridiculous.

    This is 2014. Tim Cook is gay. Acting as if it’s evil to say that Tim Cook is gay is homophobic bigotry at its absolute worst, no matter who it’s coming from.

    It’s just worse when it comes from someone gay.

  14. StranglerFig says

    Silence=Death.

    There being NOT A SINGLE out CEO speaks volumes to gays and straights alike.

    If you’re in the closet at work or whatever, and benefiting from the progress of the LGBT movement in your life, you’re a FREE RIDER at best. Nothing to be proud of. Nothing to defend.

  15. jjose712 says

    Rixk: That was not only talking about her personal life, was directly sexist. I never heard that kind of question to a male CEO who is a father.

    Tim Cook is gay and everybody knows it, he probably doesn’t want to talk about his life, but he never denied

  16. northalabama says

    even if tim cook hadn’t already discussed it publicly, this story is not about an outing, it’s about an accident. this didn’t happen on purpose – in fact, the panel tripped all over themselves to make sure they hadn’t accidentally outed anyone.

    if you are a closeted business professional who is openly gay socially, accidents like this will happen, and should be expected. this is no big deal and not a worthy story, true or not.

  17. Sergio says

    Rixk said it very well. Sorry, Bill, but CEOs don’t get to pick and choose what’s relevant to members of society. If we want to discuss his sexuality, he’d better get used to it.

  18. Sergio says

    “The rest of it, frankly, is not anyone’s business.”

    He’s a public figure. It’s now everyone’s business. Were you born yesterday?

  19. MATTROCKS says

    RIXK just because he doesn’t want to talk about his personal life doesn’t mean he is “ashamed” or “hiding” something. If he has already acknowledged that he is gay, it is not hidden. Maybe, just maybe he wants to do his job and RUN A COMPANY. There are many CEO’s of large companies that do their jobs and keep their home life seperate. They are CEO’s, not the Kardashians. It doesn’t mean they are ashamed. Quit trying to make something out of nothing.

    RICK (yes, we know it is you) YOU are the one who has problems with your own sexuality and issues with most everyone else on this planet (except white males of course). Get a life.

  20. Brian1 says

    David Geffen has founded and led many companies as an out gay man. I don’t know if he ever took a CEO title, but it’s not important. He is an out gay business leader. Barry Diller almost qualified, but then he went back into the closet.

  21. Bob Loblaw says

    In 2014, it’s absurd that traditional media is still operating under the presumption of the closet, wherein sexual orientation is completely taboo unless the subject addresses it directly.

  22. MATTROCKS says

    No SERGIO, he is a CEO, not a celebrity. I work for a major Fortune 500 company, do I know the details of our CEO’s personal life? NO. And most people who work in large companies don’t know about their own company’s leaders personal lives, or care. The public doesn’t demand to know because it really doesn’t matter. It has no bearing on your day. If their personal/family life comes up or they want to promote themselves that way, great. But it is not like people walk around wondering about the home life of the head of GE, Nabisco or any other large company. If you do, you really need to get a life.

  23. DanielG says

    Matt, you realize that aspects of a CEO’s personal life are of material interest to shareholders, right? Steve Jobs tried to conceal the true extent of his health problems and got a lot of criticism for it. If Tim Cook had an affair with a co-worker or even anyone else, like Jack Welch, he’d be scrutinized big time.

    I still don’t get why being gay makes everyone freak out. So what, speculate all you want! Homosexuality is not something to hide or be ashamed of. We show NO hesitation gossiping about other aspects of public figures.

  24. MATTROCKS says

    Health problems and co-worker affairs are one thing. Doing a spread in People magazine about your wife, children and dog is another. The board knows who his family are. Do you think by talking about his family to the media a CEO would bring up health problems, affairs, etc? No, if they are going to hide it, they are going to hide it. We’re talking about someone being “ashamed” of who they are because they would like to keep their home life private. These are seperate issues.

  25. Sergio says

    DanielG just demolished MattRocks’s puerile ‘argument’. Try again to let us know why CEOs are somehow protected species, despite being intimately involved with the public good and public life.

  26. Rick says

    “No, SERGIO, he is a CEO, not a celebrity.”

    You are not serious, are you? Apple is not just any company. It is a company that is re-defining the way people live–and because of that, it’s CEO is one of the most recognizable people on the planet, particularly when he is the immediate successor to Steven Jobs–and was hand-picked by Jobs fot the job.

    Regardless, you will almost never see an article written about a CEO that does not at least include his marital status, whether he has children and if so, how many and what their ages are, and what some of his personal interests are. No such article is ever “just about business” even if business is the main focus.

    So if Tim Cook is gay, then he is making a concerted effort to cover it up by declaring ANY information about his personal life off limits.

  27. Kevin K. says

    I think thoughtful, involved citizens should follow the personal lives of CEOs. These people impact us greatly, so it makes sense that we should see if their values match ours. I want an out and proud CEO, and I have a responsibility to future generations to make that happen, if possible.

    Come out, Tim Cook. It’s 2014.

  28. EYEROLL says

    This is about some people here who want him to be “in your face” to the world about being gay. He just wants to do his job and not put his family in the spotlight. Some of you can’t handle the fact he doesn’t live up to your expectations and isn’t screaming at the top of his lungs and saying “look at me”.

    Why don’t you go into work on Monday and walk around and tell everyone all about your personal life and see who really cares. Gay or straight, some CEO’s and business leaders keep their home life out of the spotlight. Why is this so hard to understand?

  29. Rick says

    “This is about some people here who want him to be “in your face” to the world about geing gay.”

    Well, that is what I often accuse others on this blog of, myself, but, in this case, I disagree. Nobocy is suggesting that he wear a rainbow flag pin in his lapel or even that he “announce” that he is gay.

    But, by the same token, going out of your way to cover up your sexual orientation sends the signal that you are ashamed of it–which is not a good signal to send if you are supposed to be a role model (and the CEO of Apple, whomoever he is, is a role model whether he wants to be or not)

    As I said earlier in the thread, though, there could be personal considerations, like having elderly parents who simply would not understand homosexuality–any more than most of their generation did–and who might be hurt deeply if their son publicly acknowledged that he was gay….and embarrased in front of their friends.

    I am not saying that such a consideration would outweigh the negative effect of staying closeted, but it would be somewhat understandable. But I am just speculating.

  30. EYEROLL says

    RICK: who said he is covering it up? If he is gay and everyone around him knows, the board knows, the top executives know, his family and friends know, (apparently the media too) does that mean he has to issue a press release to get our approval? Just because he doesn’t want to talk about his family doesn’t necessarily mean he is ashamed of being gay or anything else like that. Did you ever think maybe he is being private for their sake?

    Off the top of your head and without doing a Google search, tell me the family life of the head of, let’s say Chevron, a Fortune 500 company. Do you know who his wife is? Is he married? Details. You can’t, because you don’t care. You only care because of the gay factor. You are like a bunch of gossipy hens.

  31. Rrhain says

    You don’t get to ask other people to lie for you. Therefore, since everybody seems to know that Cook is gay, there was no reason for any of the people on the program to freak out about discussing gay CEOs in a conversation about gay CEOs. That Cook hasn’t held a press conference about it doesn’t mean nobody gets to mention it. If he didn’t want anybody to know, then he should have done a better job of hiding that aspect of his life.

    Nobody knows what Cook thinks about this. After all, when he made Out’s list, there was no scandal. That said, I have no doubt that the author of the Times article called up Cook to get a statement and that Cook refused to give one. But that doesn’t change anything: You don’t get to ask other people to lie for you.

  32. UFFDA says

    Ditto STRANGLERFIG. NO big CEO’s being out is something to think about. Money, which is an economy, is at the root and cause of every civilization. That the leaders of the money who are gay remain silent about it (in effect closeted) suggests that it is still not quite safe to be gay, not among the seriously significant business patriarchy, which is the ruling elite par excellence.

  33. franco says

    Tim Cook has never been publicly out. Gossip sites like Gawker and others have speculated about his sexuality for years to almost the point where it’s gospel. Still…most legitimate news organizations can’t call someone gay (ie. out) unless he/she publicly identifies as such.

  34. BrokebackBob says

    Who is that nellie queen from the Times? What right does he have to but into the personal lives of CEOs of major companies? I think he better watch his own back while he’s checking himself. Must not have been able to be feminine fresh that day. Whoa.

  35. BrokebackBob says

    Who is that nellie queen from the Times? What right does he have to but into the personal lives of CEOs of major companies? I think he better watch his own back while he’s checking himself. Must not have been able to be feminine fresh that day. Whoa.

  36. Bill says

    @Rikk: did you bother to actually look at the interview? They had a bunch of talking heads spouting off and Tim Cook was not there. One guy commented that he got a cool reception when he tried to ask a number of CEOs about their sexual orientation, but he did not say if Tim Cook was one of the CEOs he asked.

    Also, the personal lives of CEOs are normally not scrutinized unless there is something unusual or salacious.

    The awkwardness in the video seemed to be due to the possibility of having inadvertently broken a rule that gays do not out other gays without their permission.

    BTW, the reason is is plausible that Tim Cook would only want to talk about Apple when he talks to the press is that CEOs typically put in very long hours, and the last thing they need is some distraction that makes it more time consuming to get things done.

  37. Fenrox says

    That wasn’t an awkward silence, it was that guy being confronted on what Tim Cook said when he asked him about being gay. The “silence” was them realizing that this guys denial meant that Tim Cook, who is openly gay, asked to not be talked about. The implication is that he is knowingly trying to stop people from thinking he is gay, which is ridiculous. People need to read more books.

  38. Richardb says

    Well, he didn’t start denying it like a lot of people do. Personally, I think the only person who should reveal anything about his/her sexual orientation is that person and nobody else.

  39. SHUT UP says

    I’m so tired of “Out” gays screaming could about those gays that are not out! Stop saying teens need to see this! It’s the family of those teens that scare therm, so no matter who the hell comes out, IT DOESN’T WORK!!!! Furthermore, it’s none of anyones damn business!!!

  40. TKinSC says

    I think Tim Cook is straight. He’s just afraid to admit it because then nobody would think of Apple as a hip, progressive company anymore.

  41. Gay Guy says

    Acknowledging this oneself is not the same as “everybody knows” (even though everybody does know).

    Witness, Ricky Martin. Everybody knew, but his coming out was a big event.

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