Tim Cook, the chief executive officer of Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) is very private person. The leader of the iPhone and iPad maker does not discuss his lifestyle to the public, but one of the hosts of CNBC’s Squawk on the Street accidentally revealed Cook’s sexual orientation.
The hosts of the Squawk on the Street were talking about gay CEO’s in the corporate world. They were specifically talking about the book written by John Browne, the former CEO of BP Plc (NYSE:BP) wherein he described his tortured life a closeted chief executive of a major energy company.
Browne resigned from his position at BP Plc (NYSE:BP) after revealing he is gay in 2007. Back then, he implicitly acknowledge his sexual orientation by saying, “I have always regarded my sexuality as a personal matter.” He was the first chief executive in a Fortune 500 company to publicly acknowledge that he is gay.
During the discussion on Squawk on the Street, one of the host of the show, Simon Hobbs suddenly uttered, “I think Tim Cook is fairly open about the fact that he’s gay, the head of Apple, isn’t he? He’s co-hosts treated his question with a silence or hesitation.
Hobbs sounded awkward and quickly made a follow up question, “Oh dear, was that an error?” Jim Stewart, a columnist of the New York Times and was featured on the show discussed about gay executives, awkwardly replied, “I’m not gonna to out anybody.” The other hosts said they don’t know whether Tim Cook is gay or not.
The chief executive of Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) never talked about his sexual orientation on public. There were written articles speculating that he is gay particularly after his speech on human rights at Auburn University in December last year. In his speech, he admitted experiencing discrimination.
Cook said, “I’ve experienced many other types of discrimination and all of them were rooted in the fear of people that were different from the majority.”
He also said, “I was very fortunate that my life’s journey took me to Apple. In addition to finding a company and a founder unlike any other; I found in Apple a company that deeply believed in advancing humanity through its products and through the equality of all of its employees.”