At today's annual shareholder meeting, Apple CEO Tim Cook laid the verbal smack down on conservative investors who want the company to abandon some of its progressive policies.
Apple is one of the most valuable corporations in the world, and, in recent years, the company has been advancing some progressive policies, amongst them some environmental ones, such as the company's stated goal to get on 100 per cent renewable energy. In the words of Tim Cook, the company hopes to "leave the world better than we found it." That makes sense. You don't get to be a huge company without doing some harm, so investing some of your money in cleaning up after yourself is something of a moral responsibility.
Apple's policies could be way more progressive, of course, but a lot of people have other things in mind. Apple has lots of investors and, on the whole, they tend to want profits first and foremost. It should come as no surprise, then, that a shareholder resolution proposed by Justin Danhof from the National Center for Public Policy Research accused Cook and Apple of compromising shareholder interest in favour of specious environmentalism. In short, Danohof isn't happy about the company's social agenda.
During the Q&A today, Danhof stood up and asked if the company was advancing environmental policies that weren't necessarily good for business. Cook wasn't amused, according to Apple Insider, "we do a lot of things for reasons besides profit motive," he is reported to have said, and he even "recommended that anyone who had a problem with that 'should get out of the stock.'"
Danhoff expressed his butthurtness in a statement emailed to Gizmodo. Let the climate change denial begin:
"Tim Cook, like every other American, is entitled to his own political views and to be an activist of any legal sort he likes on his own time," said Amy Ridenour, chairman of the National Center for Public Policy Research. "And if Tim Cook, private citizen, does not care that over 95 per cent of all climate models have over-forecast the extent of predicted global warming, and wishes to use those faulty models to lobby for government policies that raise prices, kill jobs and retard economic growth and extended lifespans in the Third World, he has a right to lobby as he likes. But as the CEO of a publicly-held corporation, Tim Cook has a responsibility to, consistent with the law, to make money for his investors. If he'd rather be CEO of the Sierra Club or Greenpeace, he should apply.
Oh snap! Too bad Dahoff's resolution was rejected by his fellow shareholders. Hooray for science and social responsibility. [Apple Insider]