Apple CEO Tim Cook urges employees to 'move forward together' in memo on 2016 presidential election
Following one of the most bitterly contested — both by candidates and their respective constituencies — presidential elections in modern American history, Apple CEO Tim Cook on Wednesday sent out a company-wide memo addressing employee concerns about what comes next.
In a copy of the memo, obtained by BuzzFeed News, Cook encourages his staff to reach out to colleagues "if they are feeling anxious" about the recent election.
Donald Trump in the early hours of Wednesday morning capped a long and controversial presidential campaign with an upset victory over former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Though Cook fell short of mentioning Trump by name, the business magnate turned populist politician is clearly the subject of today's memo.
During his campaign, Trump repeated unsavory remarks regarding people of color, women, the LGBTQ community and others, actions seemingly at odds with Apple's public fight for diversity and inclusion. Acknowledging the angst felt by some employees, Cook reassured his team that Apple "is open to all, and we celebrate the diversity of our team here in the United States and around the world — regardless of what they look like, where they come from, how they worship or who they love."
Beyond political leanings, Trump targeted Apple directly when he promised to force the company to manufacture its products in the U.S.
In February, Trump again lashed out at Apple, calling for a boycott of the company's goods over its stance in an ongoing debate over device encryption and national security. At the time, Apple had refused to help government agents access data from an iPhone tied to last year's San Bernardino terror attacks, saying that doing so would leave millions of consumer devices at risk.
A few months later, it was reported that Apple withheld money and support from the Republican National Convention due to Trump's comments on minorities, women and immigrants. Apple has in the past supported the event.
I've heard from many of you today about the presidential election. In a political contest where the candidates were so different and each received a similar number of popular votes, it's inevitable that the aftermath leaves many of you with strong feelings.
We have a very diverse team of employees, including supporters of each of the candidates. Regardless of which candidate each of us supported as individuals, the only way to move forward is to move forward together. I recall something Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. said 50 years ago: "If you can't fly, then run. If you can't run, then walk. If you can't walk, then crawl, but whatever you do you have to keep moving forward." This advice is timeless, and a reminder that we only do great work and improve the world by moving forward.
While there is discussion today about uncertainties ahead, you can be confident that Apple's North Star hasn't changed. Our products connect people everywhere, and they provide the tools for our customers to do great things to improve their lives and the world at large. Our company is open to all, and we celebrate the diversity of our team here in the United States and around the world — regardless of what they look like, where they come from, how they worship or who they love.
I've always looked at Apple as one big family and I encourage you to reach out to your co-workers if they are feeling anxious.
Let's move forward — together!