Search form

Scroll To Top

Fortune Calls Apple CEO Tim Cook a 'Global Role Model'

Fortune Calls Apple CEO Tim Cook a 'Global Role Model'

Tim Cook
Getty Images

He's featured on the cover of the 'World's Great Leaders' issue.


The magazine's eclectic list also includes Taylor Swift (No. 6) one spot behind Pope Francis (No. 5), along with Mark Zuckerberg (No. 25), Jeff Bezos (No. 27), and Jimmy Fallon (No. 45), along with world leaders and activists. The editors cite Apple stock's and the innovations of Apple Pay and the Apple Watch. But it is the fact that Cook's "gradually becoming more open and outspoken, including on a variety of non-corporate social issues. By announcing that he is gay, Cook also has done something few would have predicted: become a global role model," which also helped him land at the No. 1 spot.

Excerpts from the interview in the issue include some interesting insights:

On what he learned taking over for Steve Jobs, and how he dealt with the scrutiny:

"I have thick skin, but it got thicker. What I learned after Steve passed away, what I had known only at a theoretical level, an academic level maybe, was that he was an incredible heat shield for us, his executive team. None of us probably appreciated that enough because it's not something we were fixated on. We were fixated on our products and running the business. But he really took any kind of spears that were thrown. He took the praise as well. But to be honest, the intensity was more than I would ever have expected.... You pick up certain skills when the truck is running across your back. Maybe this will be something great that I'll use in other aspects of my life over time."

On his decision to come out publicly last fall:

"I didn't feel like business was exactly leading the way in the executive suite.... To be honest, if I would not have come to the conclusion that it would likely help other people, I would have never done it.... There's no joy in me putting my life in view."

On responding to his critics:

"I'm not running for office.... I don't need your vote. I have to feel myself doing what's right. If I'm the arbiter of that instead of letting the guy on TV be that or someone who doesn't know me at all, then I think that's a much better way to live."

On his education as CEO:

"You're engaged in so many things that each particular thing gets a little less attention. You need to be able to operate on shorter cycles, less data points, less knowledge, less facts. When you're an engineer, you want to analyze things a lot. But if you believe that the most important data points are people, then you have to make conclusions in relatively short order. Because you want to push the people who are doing great. And you want to either develop the people who are not or, in a worst case, they need to be somewhere else."

On the company becoming more open to the media:

"My objective is to raise the public profile of several of the folks on the executive team, and others as well. Because I think that's good for Apple at the end of the day."

On Apple investors:

"The kind of investors we seek are long term because that's how we make our decisions.... If you're a short-term investor, obviously you've got the right to buy the stock and trade it the way you want. It's your decision. But I want everybody to know that's not how we run the company."

On the company's new "Apple Campus 2," Cook calls it, "the mother of all products," and on the new 1,000-seat auditorium which will be the company's new site for all its public presentations other than its annual developers conference, Cook adds: "No more scheduling months ahead of time around other people's schedules."

Read the complete list here.

Advocate Channel - The Pride StoreOut / Advocate Magazine - Fellow Travelers & Jamie Lee Curtis

From our Sponsors

Most Popular

Latest Stories