Apple boss Cook ‘proud to be gay’

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Published: Thursday 30th October 2014 by The News Editor

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Apple boss Tim Cook has revealed he is “proud to be gay” and hopes that in publicly coming out he can help others come to terms with their sexuality.

In an essay in US magazine Businessweek the 53-year-old head of the technology giant admitted it had not been an easy decision.

“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,” he wrote.

The Alabama native has led Apple since the death of the company’s former CEO and co-founder Steve Jobs in 2011. Mr Cook was personally selected as the next CEO by Jobs before his death.

“I don’t consider myself an activist, but I realize how much I’ve benefited from the sacrifice of others,” Mr Cook said.

“So if hearing that the CEO of Apple is gay can help someone struggling to come to terms with who he or she is, or bring comfort to anyone who feels alone, or inspire people to insist on their equality, then it’s worth the trade-off with my own privacy.”

Since taking over as CEO, Mr Cook has overseen the introduction and launch of five new iPhones, including the current iPhone 6 and 6 Plus, as well as 7 new iPads, including the iPad mini for the first time. The company will also introduce its first smartwatch in early 2015; The Apple Watch.

Under Mr Cook, Apple also purchased Beats Audio, the headphones and music firm owned by rapper Dr Dre, in a multi-billion dollar deal concluded earlier this year.

Mr Cook said that while he has taken this step to speak publicly, he wishes to remain private in the long term.

“I’ll admit that this wasn’t an easy choice. Privacy remains important to me, and I’d like to hold on to a small amount of it. I’ve made Apple my life’s work, and I will continue to spend virtually all of my waking time focused on being the best CEO I can be.

“Part of social progress is understanding that a person is not defined only by one’s sexuality, race, or gender. I’m an engineer, an uncle, a nature lover, a fitness nut, a son of the South, a sports fanatic, and many other things. I hope that people will respect my desire to focus on the things I’m best suited for and the work that brings me joy.”

According to the Interbrand Best Global Brands report, Apple is currently the world’s most valuable brand, with a valuation of 118.9 billion US dollars. Earlier this month the firm also announced record iPhone sales as part of their quarterly results. The record-breaking launch of the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus – with 10 million units sold in the first weekend, meant the technology giant reported net profit of 8.5 billion dollars (£5.3 billion) for the final quarter of 2014.

Up to the time of the announcement, 40 million iPhones had been sold in Q4. Since them, the new iPad Air 2 and iPad mini 3 have also gone on sale.

Mr Cook, who previously served on the board of sportswear giant Nike, has been a long-standing supporter of LGBT rights, criticising his home state of Alabama for its lack of action over gay rights. In a speech earlier this week he remarked, “we can’t change the past, but we can learn from it, and we can create a different future”.

Last month, he also tweeted his support to Apple employees and their families who were marching during the Pride parade in Austin, Texas, saying “inclusion inspires innovation”.

Published: Thursday 30th October 2014 by The News Editor

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