Tim Cook made a surprise visit at San Francisco Pride parade on Sunday to show support for the company's LGBT employees. Although he didn't march in the parade (despite previous reports), he did take quite a few selfies-- which were shared on Twitter with the hashtags #ApplePride and #SFPride--dressed in a white T-shirt with the word PRIDE in the company font below the Apple logo.
"In an unusual step for the sometimes secretive Apple, the company has spoken out about its support for the Pride festival. To help attendees navigate the packed event, the company set up a dedicated LGBT station on iTunes Radio and featured several apps on its App Store, including the Find My Friends app. Company employees also handed out iTunes gift cards to bystanders.
'Apple believes equality and diversity make us stronger, and we're proud to support our employees and their friends and families in this weekend's celebration,' Apple spokeswoman Michaela Wilkinson said."
Although Tim Cook has never made a public statement about his how sexuality (although there was speculation on CNBC before the Pride festivities), he has been No. 1 and No. 2 on Out's annual Power List since he took over as CEO at Apple. If he were to come out, he would be the first CEO of a Fortune 500 company to do so.
Apple has never been shy about its support of the LGBT community, but many other Silicon Valley tech firms--including Google and Facebook--were also visible at the parade. Ellen Leanse, a former Google and Apple senior employee, told Reuters that the Pride festival is a "high-visibility place" for these tech firms to compete for talent. "Tech companies need to be at Pride simply to be in the game."