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Given widespread rumors that he was gay, including being ranked No. 1 on Out magazine’s list of the most powerful gay people last year, this appears less surprising
Tim Cook’s Thursday’s regulation has left us all speechless and to say the least, this was the last thing we had been expecting him to say. After all, it is not every day that a Fortune 500 company’s CEO admits publicly about this sexuality. Tim Cook’s declaration that “I’m proud to be gay” has officially made him first publicly gay chief executive of a Fortune 500 company and it is pretty clear that Tim Cook isn’t just any other CEO and Apple isn’t a any company. In the Fortune 500 ranks, it appears to be the most profitable and has ranked number 1 on the magazine in the annual ranking of the most admired companies.
The reaction of Lloyd Blankfein, chief executive of Goldman Sachs, was perfectly suited to the situation as well as the personality involved here as he said “He’s chief executive of the Fortune One. Something has consequences because of who does it, and this is Tim Cook and Apple. This will resonate powerfully.” Another comment has come from an important person who knows exactly what it feels like. We are talking about Trevor Burgess, the openly gay chief executive of C1 Financial in Florida, and one of the first publicly gay chief executives of a public company who has said that Time Cook used “the metaphor of laying a brick on the ‘path towards justice.’ ” But, “This is more like 600 million bricks,” Burgess said. “He has the most influential voice in global business.”
However, to us all, this revelation hasn’t come as surprising. We are not surprised at all to find out about Cook’s sexuality but we were only taken aback by the fact that someone so big related to “Apple” actually came out. This is because he was always in the rumors which talked about him being gay and he was ranked No. 1 on Out magazine’s list of the most powerful gay people last year. But we must say that his announcement sure did come from a position of strength as his company has just launched the powerful devices, iPhone 6 and 6 Plus and reported cash flows last month. He told the investors that Apple’s latest fiscal year “was one for the record books.”
Getting through his journey at Apple wasn’t easy at all. He had to face constant judgments and attention after he succeeded Apple’s legendary founder, Steve Jobs, in 2011.
Still, Cook was plainly reluctant, and, as he put it in his essay in Bloomberg Businessweek, “I don’t seek to draw attention to myself.” But, he wrote, he came to the realization that “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.”
Cook and Blankfein have remained close professionally and had been together in China recently and though Blankfein has been part of gay rights campaign, there was never any mention of Cook’s sexuality anywhere publicly. “I don’t talk about my sexual predilections, and if anybody asked it would be jarring,” Blankfein said. “No one owes the public such a deep view of his personal life. People underestimate how hard this is. But someone had to be first. For Tim, this was a commitment to make life easier and better for others. It was a generous and courageous thing to do.”