Apple CEO Tim Cook talks about climate change, President Trump, COVID-19, antitrust investigation and more

Tim Cook, the CEO of $2 trillion Apple Inc. shed the light on many current environmental, political, health, and business-related issues in an interview with Jeff Goldberg of The Atlantic Festival. For over 15 minutes, Cook very skillfully answered pressing questions on the Trump administration’s dealing of the pandemic, critic of Apple’s new privacy policies, and more importantly, the anti-trust investigation.

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Tim Cook Addresses Current Issues

The interview started with the unfortunate fires in America and the damage, evacuations, and air pollution caused by it. Cook reiterated the company’s commitment to be carbon neutral by 2030 and the current efforts to transfer the whole manufacturing cycle to 100% renewable energy.

When questioned on the relationship with President Trump and his denial of climate change, Cook answered that he believes in “engagement” even more in times of disagreement and focuses on the policies rather than politics. He shared that the DACCA is close to his heart as many undocumented employees are his family who deserve relief from the cloud of uncertainty.

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In respect to the President’s handling of the COVID-19 pandemic, Cook changed the direction of the conversation to how Apple responded to the outbreak of coronavirus in the country. Working with “how can we help” motto, Cook listed how the company contributed voluntarily to provided the frontline workers with masks, face shields and test kits. The company changed its platform as well, for example, Apple News has a dedicated COVID-19 section to provide users with accurate virus-related news from verified sources.

The pandemic has also changed how the company operated from a very social and secure environment of Apple Park to the comfort of home. Cook appreciated his team’s “resilience” in these testing times to deliver new innovative products like Apple Watch 6, iPad Air and more. He also confirmed that Apple’s 85% to 90% workforce will continue to work from home till the mid of 2021.

Apple’s Anti-trust investigation and Privacy Updates

In the second half of the interview, Cook was engaged in deeper topics like the on-going anti-trust investigation, the company’s commitment to protecting users’ data and his personal future plans. Talking about the probe, Cook said,

Big companies deserve scrutiny, I not only thing that fair but important for the system that we have in America. I have no issue at all in Apple being put under microscope and people looking into and probing. My hope is that as people heard our story and as the continue to hear our story it will become as apparent to them as it is to us that we have no monopoly, there is no monopoly here.

We are in very very competitive markets like smartphones, smartwatches, and tablets and personal computers. These things are fiercely competitive, they are basically street fights for market share everyday and our core strategy as a company is to make the best, not the most. That basic strategy will never produce a monopoly because it is very rare for the best to become the most as well. some one will choose the commodity product and people will buy the commodity porduct that it will have more share.

That is true for all the different fields we are in, I am hoping that people heard that and heard how we conduct our selves because it is very important to use for we always do what we believe is right and conduct ourselves with integrity and professionalism. I hope that came across and that we can unpeel from the investigation.”

Apple has been under fire from marketing groups because of the recent iOS 14 privacy features. In that regard, Cook expressed that,

“We see privacy as basic human right, very the fundamental human right. From a US perspective, it is the foundation on which other freedoms exist like freedom of expression, freedom of the press, a core civil liberty,  without that we worry about the whole stack would erode. Since Apple was founded, we had always worried about people’s privacy. We saw the digital world and its capability to destroy the privacy[…]The new privacy features are core part of what our users want.

Averting a discussion on China’s human rights violations, Cook said the company focuses on its users and the potential of doing business in connecting people. He later mentioned that for the moment he does not think of retirement and is very happy with his team and their achievements.

“I love the people I work with and currently it is tough to envision life without. At the moment there is nowhere I will rather be than right here.”

Watch the whole interview here.

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